S. A. Okedare & Anor V. N. Saimua (1955)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Breach covenant to sub-let—Recovery of Premises Ordinance—position sub-lessee—meaning of words “tenants” and “occupy”—liability landlord.
The respondent leased the premises to the defendant, Saimua, with a covenant against sub-letting. Saimua broke the covenant and unlawfully sub-let to the appellants.
The respondent succeeded in an action against the defendant, Saimua, forfeiting the lease and obtaining an order for possession. The appellants were not joined in this action. The respondent obtained a warrant for possession and the bailiff found the appellants in possession and evicted them and their families from the premises.
The appellants brought this action against the respondent, and the defendant, Saimua, claiming damages for trespass or, alternatively, for unlawful ejection. The trial Judge held that the appellants were in the position of trespassers and were not protected by either the provisions of the Increase of Rent (Restriction) Ordiinance (Cap. 93) or the Recovery ofPremises Ordinance (Cap. 193).
The appellants did not come within the provisions of the Increase of Rent (Restriction) Ordinance, but they were tenants occupying premises within the meaning of the Recovery of Premises Ordinance, and accordingly the respondent should have proceeded against the appellants to recover possession under that Ordinance and are liable for trespass for their unlawful eviction by the bailiff.
The respondent is liable for the acts of the bailiff as being the party prosecuting the Judgment by reason of Order 2, Rule 29 (2) of the Rules made under the Sheriffs and Enforcement of Judgments and Orders Ordinance, Cap. 205.
Appeal allowed. Judgment entered for plaintiffs.