Ratio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio Decidendi


(1975) JELR 46235 (SC)    

Supreme Court  ·  SC.254/1973 ·  28 Nov 1975 ·  Nigeria
Other Citations
ATANDA FATAYI-WILLIAMS Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria MOHAMMED BELLO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria CHUKWUNWEIKE IDIGBE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

Ratio Decidendi

Editorial Summary
The plaintiffs/respondents sued the defendants/appellants in negligence and under the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher for damage done to their farmlands, fishing ponds and fishing lakes. The trial court found for the plaintiffs and awarded damages. Aggrieved, SPDC filed this appeal to the Federal Supreme Court. The Federal Supreme Court set aside the award of damages but dismissed the appeal. The Court also laid down principles governing the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher, while distinguishing it from negligence.
Core Terms Beta
learned trial judge
plaintiffs farm land
access road
worded claim
crude oil
trial court
high court of midwestern state
free flow of water
negligence of the defendants
total award
learned judge
oil-waste pit
ground of appeal fails
utefe stream
escape of the chemicals
claim of damages
first ground of appeal
result of the activities of the appellants
end of the trial
unenurhie land
evidence shows
area of land
support of their case
reasonable compensation
particulars of negligence
said lakes
law awards
see willes j.
flow of water
lower court
above claim
material paragraphs of the respondents statement of claim
justice of the case demands
sum of the argument
leading judgment
causes of action
oil waste
natural course of the utefe stream
specific findings
parcels of land
flood season fishes
adequate control
defendants location

C. IDIGBE, JSC (Delivering the Leading Judgment): This is an appeal from the judgment of Ogbobine J., in the High Court of Midwestern State sitting at Ughelli in a rather inartistic, if not badly worded claim against Shell-BP Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, the appellants, by the respondents (members of the Enenurhie - EVWRENI - Community) which reads:-

"The plaintiffs' claim against the defendants as follows: for

(a) the sum of 50,000 pound being fair and reasonable compensation due payable by the defendants to the plaintiffs for the damage done by the defendants, by and through their agents to plaintiffs farm land, fishing ponds, fishing lakes on plaintiffs' land, known as and called Oto Edefema and IWHREMO BUSH in that the defendants by themselves their servants and or their agents wrongfully and partially blocked the Utefe stream and the original channel or waterway hatched green in the survey plan No. AR 1391, now replaced by the Access Road sometimes in 1969/70 and als…

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