Ratio Decidendi


(1976) JELR 46255 (SC)    

Supreme Court  ·  SC.48/1975 ·  19 Mar 1976 ·  Nigeria
Other Citations
MERIBE v. EGWU (1976) 3 S.C. (REPRINT) 50
ATANDA FATAYI-WILLIAMS Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria CHARLES OLUSOJI MADARIKAN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria MAMMAN NASIR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

Ratio Decidendi

Core Terms Beta
learned trial judge
chief egwu
customary burial ceremonies
evidence of the defendant
findings of the judge
following observations
meribe family
native law
numerical superiority
said nwanyiocha
barren wife
c. o. madarikan
common ground
death of nwanyiakoli
direct evidence
evidence of the plaintiff
father of the defendant
financial position
hearing of the appeal
high court
judgment of aniagolu
leading judgment
married woman
meribe cheghekwu egwu
mr. g.e.n. onyekwuluje
parcel of land
part of the plaintiff
possession of the said land
public morality
relevant portions of the evidence
said properties
specific findings of facts
such evidence
support of the plaintiff
system of jurisprudence
view of the errors
virtue of the nature of the said marriage
wives of chief cheghekwu egwu

C. O. MADARIKAN, JSC (Delivering the Leading Judgment): This appeal is from the judgment of Aniagolu, J. in the High Court, Umuahia, in an action (Suit No. HU/36/71) instituted by the respondent, as plaintiff, against the appellant who was the defendant and who was sued in a representative capacity, namely, for himself and as representing the Meribe family. In the action, the plaintiff had claimed declaration of title to a parcel of land called "Uzo Ama Awom", ₦200 damages for trespass and an injunction.

At the trial, it was common ground that Nwanyiakoli, one of the wives of Chief Cheghekwu Egwu, owned the land in dispute. It transpired that Chief Egwu died in 1925 and was survived by many children two of whom were the plaintiff and Meribe Cheghekwu Egwu who was the father of the defendant. Eventually, Nwanyiakoli died in 1937.

The evidence led in support of the plaintiff's case was that because it seemed as if Nwanyiakoli was barren, she handed her niece, Nwanyiocha, over to Chief E…

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