United Nigeria Press Ltd. And Anor Vs Timothy Olu Adebanjo (1969)
LawGlobal-Hub Lead Judgment Report
In this application made ex-party, the applicant who is the respondent in this appeal is applying for an order that all the papers pertaining to an earlier application for the release to him of the judgment debt already paid into Court by the first appellant and all other processes issued in the matter be served on both appellants by pasting them on the door of their business premises at No. 13, City Way, Yaba.
The applicant swore to an affidavit in support of the application the relevant particulars of which are as follows: Although the last known address of the appellants is No 13 City Way, Yaba, neither of them was found at the said address when the applicant tried on several occasions to serve them with the motion papers pertaining to his earlier application for the release of the said judgment debt.
As No. 13, City Way Yaba, is according to the “Companies Registry’ in Lagos, the last registered address of the first appellant’s office, the motion papers for the release of the money, if pasted on the door of this last registered address, might get to the knowledge or hearing of the appellants. The affidavit, significantly enough, was silent about the last known address of Mr. Smart Ebbi the second appellant.
In our opinion, the object of all types of service of processes, whether personal or substituted, is to give notice to the other party on whom service is to be effected so that he might be aware of, and able to resist, If he may, that which is sought against him.
Therefore, since the primary consideration in an application for substituted serve is as to how the matter can be best brought to the attention of the other party concerned, the court must be satisfied that the mode of service proposed would probably, after all practicable means of effecting personal service have proved abortive give him notice of the process concerned.
In the present application all that is disclosed in the affidavit in support is that the appellant could not be found at their registered address and that if the motion papers are pasted on the door of this address notice of them might get to the knowledge of the appellants. In the earlier application for the release of the money, the present applicant deposed in paragraphs 5-7 of the supporting affidavit as follows:
“5. That the said 1st named appellant has not been doing any business in Lagos since the latter part of 1967, and all its officers and directors have been away from Lagos since then.
6. That the 2nd named appellant fled to the former Eastern Region of Nigeria since the latter part of 1966, and his whereabouts since then has not been known to me.
7. That while I was away on duty in the United States I met the Managing Director of the 1st named appellant company, Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe. “
Having regard to the present state of the country and to the facts referred to above with respect to the whereabouts of the appellants, it seems to us that the particular mode of substituted service which the applicant has proposed in the present application will probably not bring the matter to their knowledge.
It will therefore not be in the interest of justice to grant the application which is accordingly refused.
Other Citation: (1969) LCN/1636(SC)