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WEMA BANK LIMITED V. J. O. B. KARUNWI

(1975) JELR 41959 (SC)

Supreme Court  •  SC.73/1974  •  20 Jan 1975  •  Nigeria

Coram
GEORGE BAPTIST AYODOLA COKER JSC; ATANDA FATAYI-WILLIAMS JSC; AYO GABRIEL IRIKEFE JSC;

Judgement

G. B. A. COKER, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The appellants- Wema Bank Limited - have appealed against the judgment of the High Court, Lagos, awarding damages of some N700.00 against them for libellous publication concerning the plaintiff. The learned trial Judge found, and this was not contested on appeal before us, that the plaintiff who was at one time a debtor to the Bank, had before the date of the libellous publication paid off all his indebtedness to the appellants. Surely on this basis there can be no justification for the publication referred to at the time it was indeed published.

Learned counsel for the appellants sought before us to shift the liability for the publication from the appellants to the auctioneer to whom the appellants had entrusted the sale of the plaintiffs property and the publication of the libellous advertisement.

Learned counsel for the appellants however conceded, when pressed by this court on the issue, that the action was not contested on…

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