PRINCIPLES GUIDING THE AWARD OF GENERAL AND SPECIAL DAMAGES

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CASE TITLE: DANIEL v. AKPERAN ORSHI COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, YANDEV (2018) LPELR-45888(CA)

JUDGMENT DATE: 1ST NOVEMBER, 2018

PRACTICE AREA: CIVIL PROCEDURE

LEAD JUDGMENT: JUMMAI HANNATU SANKEY, J.C.A.

SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT

INTRODUCTION:

This appeal borders on Award of Damages.

FACTS:

This appeal is against the Judgment of the High Court of Benue State, Gboko. The Appellant, a student in the Respondent institution sat for his final exams sometime in 2009. During the conduct of one of the examinations, he was accused of exam malpractice, and so the Respondent refused to release his HND/Statement of Result and Certificate. The Appellant denied this allegation and after failed attempts to get his results, filed an action before the High Court seeking the following claims against the respondent and its rector:
“(a) That his HND/Statement of Result and Certificate be released to him, just like his mates.
(b) An order of award of the sum of 5, 000, 000.00 (Five Million Naira) only as specific damages.

(c) An order of award of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) only as general damages jointly and severally against the 1st and 2nd defendants.”

The Defendants denied the claim and parties duly filed their pleadings. At the trial, the Appellant testified in proof of his claim while the Defendants adduced evidence through three witnesses. At the close of trial and the final addresses of Counsel, the learned trial Judge struck out the name of the rector. He also entered Judgment in favour of Appellant in terms of his first relief only. No findings were made in respect of the second and third reliefs sought by the Appellant for special and general damages. Dissatisfied by the absence of a finding on the issue of damages claimed, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

 

ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION:

The issue for determination is:

“Whether or not the trial High Court was right in failing to decide on reliefs (b)and (c) of the reliefs sought at the trial ?”

DECISION/HELD:

In conclusion, the appeal was allowed.

RATIOS:

  • APPEAL- INTERFERENCE WITH AWARD OF DAMAGES: Principles upon which an appellate court acts when interfering with an award of damages
  • COURT- POWER OF COURT: Power of the Court of Appeal as provided for under Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act
  • DAMAGES- AWARD OF DAMAGES: Object of an award of damages
  • DAMAGES- SPECIAL DAMAGES: Principles guiding the award of special damages
  • DAMAGES- GENERAL DAMAGES: Guiding principles for the award of general damages

lawpavilion • November 15, 2018


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