AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The appeal is against the judgment delivered on 25/6/2012 by the High Court of Justice, Abia State, presided over by Hon. Justice A.U. Kalu (hereafter to be simply referred to as the lower Court and learned trial Judge respectively).
The instant case was commenced by the Respondents as Claimants before the lower Court by a writ of summons which issued on 9/5/2003. Their statement of claim was filed on 13/5/2004 and the reliefs sought against the Appellants as Defendants therein are for: -
(1) A declaration that the Plaintiffs are entitled to the statutory right of occupancy over the land known as and called "AZU ULO" which is situate and lying at Nkata Afarata Ibeku in the Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State of Nigeria with an annual rental value of N50.00.
(2) N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) special and general damages for various acts of trespass committed by the Defendants over the land in issue b…