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My One Penny (6) Statement of Defence Signed in the Name of a Law Firm By Oseme Peremene Anthony, Esq

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By Oseme Peremene Anthony, Esq

AKAPO & ORS v. AGBOJO & ORS (2019) LPELR-49143(CA)

“The Counter-Claim incorporated in the Statement of Defence was signed by the law firm of Chief (Deacon) D.B. Babajide & Co.

The issue of signing a Court process in the name of a law firm has been settled by the apex Court in a plethora of cases including BANK OF INDUSTRY LTD V. AWOJUGBAGBE LIGHT INDUSTRIES LTD (2018) 6 NWL R (PT. 1615) 220; GTB V INNOSON (NIG) LTD (2017) 16 NWLR (PT. 1591)181; OKPE V FAN MILK PLC & ANOR (2017) 2 NWLR (PT. 1549)282.

The effect is that such process is incompetent and liable to be struck out. It follows that there was no valid counter-claim before the lower Court. The lower Court evaluated evidence placed before it and made findings thereon without making a distinction between the evidence for the substantive claim and that of the Counter-claim.

Indeed, in the case of ADEROUNMU & ANOR V. OLOWU (2000) 4 NWLR (Pt. 652) 253, the Supreme Court held that the lower Court is not obligated to undertake a separate consideration of the Counter Claim from the substantive claim where the questions determining both are the same. It is for this that I agree with my learned brother that the facts assessed by the lower Court is not severable.”

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Oludare
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