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EFFECT OF A WRIT OF SUMMONS SIGNED IN THE NAME OF A LAW FIRM

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CASE TITLE: FRIN v. IFERI & ORS (2018) LPELR-45931(CA)

JUDGMENT DATE: 12TH NOVEMBER, 2018

PRACTICE AREA: CIVIL PROCEDURE

LEAD JUDGMENT: JIMI OLUKAYODE BADA, J.C.A.

SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT

INTRODUCTION:

This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.

FACTS:

This is an appeal against the Ruling of Federal High Court, Ibadan Judicial Division in Suit No:- FHC/IB/CS/10/2008: BETWEEN – (1) FORESTRY RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA, (2) DR S. O. BADEJO (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FORESTRY RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA IBADAN) VS. (1) IFERI INAH IFERI, (2) ALBERT RURU SULE, (3) IBIDAPO JOSEPH AGBOOLA delivered on the 5th day of November 2012.

Briefly, the facts of the case are that the suit was instituted by a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim dated the 25th day of February 2008 where the Respondents who were Claimants at the Federal High Court sought for the following reliefs against the Appellants who were Defendants as follows:-

“(A) A declaration that the Plaintiffs are entitled to the following claims:-

(i) Monthly salary pending the final payment of their severance allowance in accordance with the Federal Government Circular No. HCSF/PS/EXP/90/32 of 18th April 2006

(ii) Leave allowance for the year 2007

(iii) Three (3) months salary in lieu of notice and

(iv) 22% arrears of monetization in accordance with the Federal Government Policy and Circular for 12 months of 2004 

(B) An order of this Honourable Court directing and or compelling the Defendant to effect payment of item “A” above forthwith and

(C) An interest of 19% on the entitlements of each Plaintiff with effect from 1st May 2007 Until Judgment, Thereafter 10% Until Final Payment.”

After Address On Issue Of Jurisdiction At The Federal High Court The Suit was transferred to the National Industrial Court for adjudication. The Appellants were dissatisfied and thus appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION:

The Court determined the appeal on this sole issue couched as follows:

“Whether the lower Court could validly transfer Suit No. – FHC/IB/CS/10/08 to the National Industrial Court when the action itself was commenced by an incompetent originating process.”

 DECISION/HELD:

On the whole, the Court found merit in the appeal and accordingly allowed same. The Ruling of the Federal High Court in Suit No.-FHC/IB/CS/10/2008 delivered on the 5th day of November 2012 was set aside. In its place the suit was struck out for being incompetent.

RATIOS:

  • PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE- SIGNING OF COURT PROCESS(ES): Proper person to sign a legal process/effect of legal documents signed/franked by a law firm
  • PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE- ACADEMIC OR HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION(S)/ISSUES/SUIT/EXERCISE: Duty of Court not to decide on or engage in academic/speculative questions or issues
  • PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE- SIGNING OF COURT PROCESS(ES): Effect of a court process signed in the name of a law firm

lawpavilion • November 28, 2018


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