Holt & Co. (Lpool) Ltd. V. Oduguwa (1940)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Administrairix-Respondent.Application made under Order 51 Ride 2 of the Rules of Supreme Appeal fromeallCourt.
The Judge refused the application on the ground inter alia that the rule only Nigeria. applied to property outside the jurisdiction. Held : the rule confers power on the Supreme Court to make the-necessary appointment in respect of property within
The facts of the case are sufficiently set out in the judgment.
A. L. Johnson for Applicants-Appellants. A. O. Abavomi for Respondent.
The following joint judgment was delivered :–
KINGDON, C. j., NIGERIA, PETRIDES, C.J., GOLD COAST AND GRAHAM PAUL, C. J., SIERRA ‘LEONE.
The appellants bring this appeal not in the hope of succeeding upon it, but merely to get one of the rations decidendi of the Court below declared erroneous. They applied to the Court below for an order appointing the Deputy Sheriff for other fit and proper officer of the Court to take possession of the property both real and personal of the deceased and ‘put it under Seal and so keep it until it can be dealt with in accordance with law.
The application was made under Order 51 Rule 2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court.
The learned Judge before whom the application came in the
Court below refused the application on two grounds, viz. :—
( I) That the rule in question only applied to property outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, so that he had no power wider it to make the order prayed.
(2) Even if he had the power he would not, in the exercise of his discretion exercise it since there was an application for Letters of Administration on the file from the widow who was on the face of it the person best entitled to the grant.
It is now admitted that Letters of Administration have already been granted to the widow, and that the granting of the order prayed for in the Court below is now impossible, but the appellants ask this Court to give a ruling as to the correctness or otherwise of the view taken by the learned Judge in the Court below as to his powers under Rule 2 of Order 51.
As to this we agree with the contention of the appellants that the Rule confers power upon the Supreme Court itself to make the necessary appointment in respect of property within its jurisdiction. The words Any Court ” are as wide as they can be and if it had been intended to limit the meaning in the way suggested the words ” other than the Supreme Court ” should obviously have been added.
The only reason to suggest to the contrary is the wording ” and shall report its proceeding to the Supreme Court “, but we do not regard this as conclusive.
It would be a ridiculous situation if the Supreme Court could take steps to protect property outside its jurisdiction, but had no such power within its jurisdiction.
We therefore hold that the, learned judge in the Court below had the power to make the order prayed, if, in his discretibn, he had thought fit to do so.
To that extent the appellants have gained their point. But as has already been pointed out they cannot succeed on their appeal.
The appeal is dismissed with costs_ assessed at 12 guineas.