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THERE MUST BE A SPECIFIC DENIAL PLEADINGS BY THE OTHER PARTY

Dictum

In the case of Messrs. Lewis & Peat (N.R.I.) Ltd. v. Akhimien ( 1976) 7 S.C. 157 at page 163-4 where he stated: “We must observe, however, that in order to raise an issue of fact in these circumstances there must be a proper traverse: and traverse must be made either by a denial or non-admission either expressly or by necessary implication. So that if a defendant refuses to admit a particular allegation in the statement of claim, he must state so specifically; and he does not do this satisfactorily by pleading thus: ‘defendant is trot in a position to admit or deny (the particular allegation on the statement of claim) and will at the trial put plaintiff to proof.” … We are, of course, not unmindful of the first paragraph of the statement of defence. Nowadays almost every statement of defence contains such a general denial. (See Warner v. Sampson (1959) 1 Q.B. 287 at 310-311. However, in respect of essential and material allegations such a general denial ought not be adopted; essential allegations should be specifically traversed. (See Wallersteins v. Moir (1974) 1 W.L.R. 991 at 1002 per Lord Denning, M.R.; also Bullen & Leake & Jacobs, Precedents of Pleadings 12th Edition 83).

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PURPOSE OF PLEADINGS IN CIVIL CASES

I have carefully considered the submissions of the parties and the judicial authorities cited. It is trite that adversarial civil litigation is basically fought on pleadings. It is the foundation of the parties’ respective cases. The general principle of law is that such pleadings must sufficiently and comprehensively set out material facts, so as to...

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DISTINCTION IN AVERMENTS IN AFFIDAVIT vs THAT IN PLEADINGS

MAGNUSSON VS. KOIKI (1993) 12 SCNJ 114 held 5, the Supreme Court said: “Averments of facts on pleadings must be distinguished from facts deposed to in affidavit in support of application before a court. Whereas the former, unless admitted, constitutes no evidence, the latter are by law, evidence upon which a Court of Law may,...

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COURT CANNOT LOOK FOR EVIDENCE WHERE A PARTY ABANDONS HIS PLEADINGS

Once a party abandons his pleadings it is not the business of the court to look for evidence from the other party so as to base a case on facts which the plaintiff does not plead and cannot rely upon. Judgment is given in respect of material facts pleaded and proved at the trial. The...

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PLEADING IS NO EVIDENCE

Pleading, of course, is no evidence and a case is decided on the admissible evidence adduced before the court-see: Dumbo V Idugboe (1983) 1 SCNLR 29; (1983) 14 NSCC 22. A.S.H.D.C. v Emekwue (1996) – SC. 282/1989 Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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FOUR REASONS WHY AMENDMENT OF PLEADINGS MAY ARISE

Amendments arise because of a number of reasons. I can identify four main reasons here. First, at the time of filing the pleadings, the factual situation sought to be amended was not available or if available was not within the reasonable anticipation of the party and his counsel, employing all diligence and intellectual resources at...

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COURT OF LAW MUST LIMIT ITSELF TO ISSUE RAISED IN PLEADINGS

Courts of law must, as a rule, limit themselves to the issues raised by the parties in their pleadings as to act otherwise might well result in the denial to one or the other of the parties of his constitutional right to fair hearing. – Iguh, JSC. Clay v. Aina (1997) Was this dictum helpful?...

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