ESUKU
V.
LEKO

(1993) JELR 79432 (CA)    
Court of Appeal  ·  12 May 1993 ·  Nigeria
 · 
Other Citations
Esuku v. Leko (1994) 4 NWLR (Pt. 340) 625
CORAM
FRANCIS OLISA AWOGU, J.C.A. (Presided), GEORGE ADESOLA OGUNTADE, J.C.A., SAMSON ODEMWINGIE UWAIFO, J.C.A (Read the Leading Judgment)
Core Terms Beta
appeal
jurisdiction
high court
court
magistrate grade iii
order
appellate judge
judgment
district court
yakurr district court
appellate court
matters
judgment of the district court
present case
appellate jurisdiction
attorney-general
civil cause
decision of the district court
e.a. uke
exercise jurisdiction
judgment of the magistrate
learned judge
lower court
subject matter
supreme court
appropriate court of competent jurisdiction
binding precedent
court iii
district customary court of yakurr
errors of the learned judge
grounds of appeal
high court of the cross river state
inter alia
issue of the jurisdiction of the magistrate
judgment of the high court
judgment of the trial court
jurisdiction of a court
lack of jurisdiction
laws of the cross river state
leading judgment
magistrate grade iii of jurisdiction
magistrates courts
merit of a case
merit of the appeal
said law
spite of this conclusion
trial court
trial judge

UWAIFO, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The crucial issue in this appeal is simple. It is whether it is proper for an appellate court to proceed to decide the merit of a case on appeal where it has held decidedly that the court below lacked jurisdiction. That was what E.A. Uke, J., did on 4 October, 1989 sitting as an appellate Judge in the High Court holden at Obubra.

The case originated in the District Customary Court of Yakurr. It is a claim relating to land. The plaintiffs (now appellants) sought a declaration of title to a piece of land known as Ebongho Cocoa-land. Judgment was given in favour of the defendants (now respondents). The plaintiffs appealed by filing their notice and grounds of appeal at the Yakurr District Court. It appears from there the appeal was transmitted to the Magistrate's court Grade III. That court heard and determined the appeal. It reversed the decision of the District Court and gave judgment for the plaintiffs.

The defendants then appealed to th…

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