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WHAT AMOUNTS TO CONVERSION

Dictum

In OWENA BANK (NIG) LTD. V. N.S.C.C. Ltd. 1993 4 NWLR (Pt.290) CA 698 on what amounts to conversion. The court held “Conversion is an injury to the plaintiffs possessing right on interest in the chattel converted.”

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ACTION IN CONVERSION

A cause of action in conversion therefore is based on an unequivocal act of ownership by a defendant of goods of the plaintiff without any authority. – Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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ACTION IN CONVERSION VS ACTION IN DETINUE

In General and Finance Facilities Limited v. Cooks Cars (Romford.) Limited (1963) 1 W.L.R. 644 at p. 648, Diplock, L.J. (as he then was) differentiated action in conversion from action in detinue as follows: “There are important distinctions between a cause of action in conversion and a cause of action in detinue. The former is a single wrongful act and the cause of action accrues at the date of the conversion; the latter is a continuing cause of action which accrues at the date of the wrongful refusal to deliver up the goods and continues until delivery up of the goods or judgment in the action for detinue.”

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WHAT IS CONVERSION IN LAW

CLERK AND LINDSELL ON TORTS 14 EDITITION PAGE 671 ARTICLE 1077. Conversion is defined thus: “Conversion is an act of deliberate dealing with a chattel in a manner inconsistent with another right whereby that other is deprived of the use and possession of it.”

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DAMAGES IN DETINUE & CONVERSION DISTINCTION

Whereas an action for damages in detinue considers a return of the res in specie, an action for damages for conversion relates to the pecuniary damages only.

– Karibi-whyte JSC. Stitch v. AG (1986)

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