ORUWARI
V.
OSLER

(2012) JELR 51129 (SC)    

Supreme Court  ·  SC.289/2005 ·  14 Dec 2012 ·  Nigeria
CORAM
WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN JSC (Presided) BODE RHODES-VIVOUR JSC MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD JSC CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI JSC
Core Terms Beta
foreign language
plaintiff
english language
kalabari language
defamatory words
independent sworn interpreter
lower courts
english translation
amended statement of defence
trial court
literal translation
english translation of the defamatory words
expert witness
lead judgment
lower court
reasonable cause of action
correctness of the english translation of the defamatory words
state of their pleadings
alleged defamatory words
correct english translation of the defamatory words
plaintiff’s case
rules of pleadings
correctness of the translation
english languages
english of the alleged defamatory words
trial court’s decision
above abstracts of their pleadings
amended statement of claim of the plaintiff
apparent joinder of issues
chukwuma-eneh jsc
concurrent findings of the learned trial court
correctness of the defamatory words
crucial issue
favour of the respondent
instant matter
instant trial court’s findings
law demands
order of restrictive injunction
original language
plaintiffs’ witnesses
presenceof clement ibialabo
pw5 of the alleged defamatory words
pw5’s ordinary testimony
question of publication of the slanderous words
repetition of the slander
said clement ibialabo
said onus
slanderous publications
unanimous decision of the court of appeal

CHUKWUMA-ENEH JSC (Delivering the Lead Judgment): This appeal is against the unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division delivered on 14 April 2005, affirming the trial court’s decision, holding the appellant (defendant) liable in damages in favour of the respondent (plaintiff) for slanderous publications uttered and concerning (sic) of the respondent (plaintiff) on 7 May 1994; also an order of restrictive injunction which has in addition, been slammed on the appellant to prevent a repetition of the slander against the respondent.

The correctness of the translation to English of the alleged defamatory words spoken in a foreign language (i.e. in Kalabari language) as well as its publication to PW5 as pleaded in paragraph 37 of the amended statement of claim of the plaintiff/respondent in this matter, is the gravamen of this appeal. The plaintiff/respondent has pleaded the said defamatory words thus:

“On or about 7 May 1994, the respondent herein falsely and malici…

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