PLEADINGS – DOCUMENT REFERRED TO IN THE PLEADINGS – WHETHER DOCUMENT BECOMES PART OF THE PLEADING 

CASE CITATION:  SIFAX NIGERIA LIMITED & 4 ORS. v. MIGFO NIGERIA   LIMITED & ANOR. (2018) 1-2 S.C. (Pt. I) 90 @ 135-137 

DATE OF JUDGMENT: FRIDAY, THE 16TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018 

COURT:       SUPREME COURT 

SUIT NO:    SC. 417/2017 

CORAM:      MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI, JSC – (Presided)

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD, JSC

KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, JSC

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE, JSC   – (Delivered the Leading Judgment)

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE, JSC

 

ISSUE(S):   PLEADINGS – DOCUMENT REFERRED TO IN THE PLEADINGS – WHETHER DOCUMENT BECOMES PART OF THE PLEADING 

CASE LAW: INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN A CONCURING JUDGMENT AND THE LEADING JUDGMENT – WHETHER CONCURRING JUDGMENT WILL GIVE WAY TO THE EXTENT OF ITS INCONSISTENCY.

CASE SYNTHESIS

The Appellants also argued that the said date – 20/7/2006, was not stated specifically in the said Paragraphs 9-47, but as the Respondents submitted, reference to a document in a pleading makes the document part of the  pleading – see M.M.A. Inc. v. N.M.A (2012) 12 S.C. (Pt. II)  41, cited by them, wherein this court, per Galadima, JSC,  231explained the principle as follows –

The case of Day v. William Hill (Parklane)  (1949) 1 KB 632 was cited with approval by  the Supreme Court in Banque Genevoise De  Commerce Et De Credit v. Cia Mar Di Isola Spetsai Ltd. ((1962) 2 SCNLR 310). The court  affirmed that a reference to a document in a  pleading makes the document part of the  pleading, Brett, F.J., said at Page 74 thus:

“in writing, reference to it makes it part  of the pleading; Day v. William Hill  As the agreement of 26/10/1961 was  (Parklane) (1949)1 KB 632 – – – The  essential part of the pleading is the  statement in Paragraph 4 that since the  agreement was entered into the  relationship between the parties has  been governed by it. This was enough  to make it clear to the Plaintiffs that the  Defendants are relying on the  agreement as debarring them from  enforcing the mortgage, and in my view,  it is open to the court to give the  agreement its true legal effect”.

The court below was, therefore, in the right when it  gleaned the said date from the certified true copies of the  incorporation documents of the fifth Appellant, referred  to by Respondents in the said paragraphs of the Statement of Claim.  As to the issue of simple contract, Oseji, JCA., said  in the leading judgment that computing the limitation period  shows that the Respondents “are still within the ambit of  the six years’ period of limitation as prescribed by Section  8(1) (a) — granted that the transaction falls within the  realm of a simple contract”. It was only one Justice, who  stated differently, in his concurring judgment, and where  there is any inconsistency between a concurring and a  leading judgment, the law says that the former would give way to the extent of the inconsistency – see O.S.I.E.C. &  Anor. v. A.C. & Ors. (2010) 12 S.C. (Pt. IV) 108. So, the  decision of the court below is that the transaction is a  6simple contract –  (SIFAX NIGERIA LIMITED & 4 ORS. v. MIGFO NIGERIA   LIMITED & ANOR. (2018) 1-2 S.C. (Pt. I) 90 @ 135-137)click HERE to read full judgment

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