WHETHER A COURT CAN GRANT BOTH THE MAIN RELIEF AND A RELIEF CLAIMED IN THE ALTERNATIVE1871 views
CASE TITLE: MINISTRY OF LAND & HOUSING, BAUCHI STATE & ANOR v. TIJJANI (2021) LPELR-55039(CA)
JUDGMENT DATE: 8TH JULY, 2021
PRACTICE AREA: CIVIL PROCEDURE
LEAD JUDGMENT: BOLOUKUROMO MOSES UGO, J.C.A.
SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:
This appeal borders on Civil Procedure.
This appeal is against the judgment of the High Court of Bauchi State on the 5th day of June 2017, as delivered by A.M. Liman, J. in Suit No. BA/103/2015.
Respondent, Abdulwahab Tijjani bought House No. U7 in Gubi Housing Estate, Bauchi, from appellant, Bauchi State Ministry of Lands for the sum of (₦3,022,908.00). The said house, he asserted, was in an uncompleted state, that when he made the required first down-payment of 10% of the purchase price of the house as demanded by appellants, they assured him, orally, that they would complete the house even before he completed payment. Upon completing payment, the appellants issued him a Certificate of Occupancy for the house. He claimed that 1st defendant after collecting his full payment refused to complete and physically hand over the house to him. Appellants on their part insisted that they have sold a completed house and there was no agreement whatsoever, formal or informal, between parties for purported completion of the said house No. U7 or any other house at Gubi Housing Estate and no Committee was formed nor funds earmarked as alleged by him for completion of any house in Gubi Housing Estate.
The trial Judge held that respondent “discharged the burden placed on him by law based on the pleadings and evidence in support,” and on that basis, proceeded to grant him his claims, both main and alternative.
Dissatisfied with that judgment, appellants brought this appeal to the Court of Appeal.
ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION
The Court determined the appeal based on a sole issue thus:
Whether the trial Court considered and properly evaluated the entire evidence adduced before it in holding that he (respondent) proved his case as required by law and awarding judgment in his favour as per the reliefs sought by him.
In the final analysis, the Court of Appeal held that the appeal was meritorious and it was allowed. The judgment of the trial High Court was accordingly set aside in its entirety and the said suit dismissed.
- ACTION – ALTERNATIVE RELIEF: Whether a court can grant a main relief and a relief claimed in the alternative
- COURT – DUTY OF COURT: Primary function of Courts
- EVIDENCE – BURDEN OF PROOF/ONUS OF PROOF: Burden of proof on a claimant; whether a claimant can rely on the weakness of the case of the defence