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SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED v. ETEIDUNG EMMANUEL ALFRED AKPAN & ORS

(2014) JELR 36481 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  CA/C/138/2013  •  4 Jul 2014  •  Nigeria

Coram
DATHATU ADAMU JCA; CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE JCA; ONYEKACHI A. OTISI JCA;

Judgement

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The respondents in this appeal [as plaintiffs] took out a Writ of Summons against the appellant herein [as defendant] at the Federal High Court, Uyo Judicial Division, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State (hereinafter, simply, referred to as "the lower court'). In the said Writ, filed along with the Statement of Claim, the respondents claimed, inter alia, damages and injunctive reliefs for an alleged oil spill which emanated from the appellant's oil well at Ikot Ada Udo village, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Upon service on them, the appellant's former counsel greeted the respondents' processes with a preliminary objection. The two grounds of the objection were that (a) the Writ of Summons was, incurably, defective due to its non-compliance with sections 97 and 99 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act [which prescribe the endorsement for service outside jurisdiction] and (b) that the subject matter was statute-barred…

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