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ADMISSION AGAINST INTEREST

Dictum

An admission against interest, in order to be valid in favour of the adverse party, must not only vindicate or reflect the material evidence before the court; it must also vindicate and reflect the legal position. Where an admission against interest does not vindicate or reflect the legal position, it will be regarded for all intents and purposes as superfluous. And a court of law is entitled not to assign any probative value to it.

– Tobi JSC. Odutola v. Papersack (2007)

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CHANGE IN THE RATE OF INTEREST MUST BE COMMUNICATED

Any change in the rate of interest should be brought to the attention of the customer by the banker as a condition for the banker to change the agreed rate of interest. [Okolo v. U.B.N.Ltd (1998) 2 NWLR (Pt. 539) 618 referred to]

– L.A. Ayanlere v. Federal Mortgage Bank of Nig. Ltd. (1998) – CA/K/186/96

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CLAIM FOR INTEREST MUST BE SPECIFICALLY PLEADED

Also, the law is now clear that a claim for interest must be specifically pleaded. Some of the pleading requirements may be summarized as follows: If the claim for interest is under a contract, express or implied or under mercantile usage, the relevant contractual term or any other relevant facts and matters relied upon for the entitlement must be specifically pleaded. If the plaintiff claims interest under the equitable jurisdiction of the court, he must plead all the relevant facts and matters relied upon to support such claim (See Bullen and Leake and Jacobs, (13th Ed.) pp. 567 – 8). It is evident that the appellant had completely ignored these requirements.

— Ayoola, JSC. Saeby v. Olaogun (1999) – SC.261/1993

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PARTY WITHHELD MONEY DUE, INTEREST WILL FLOW

It is also trite in law that when in a business transaction like the one under discourse a party is found to have withheld money due to the other party for sometime after being due, it is a natural consequence that flows from the default that interest be paid for the period of default until liquidation. I rely on ACME Builders Ltd v Kaduna State Water Board (1999} 2 SC 1 at 9.

— M. Peter-Odili, JSC. Cappa v NDIC (2021) – SC.147/2006

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EVEN WHERE INTEREST IS NOT CLAIMED, COURT MAY AWARD INTEREST

It has been held in effect “that in purely commercial transactions a party who holds on to the money of another and keeps it for a long time without any justification and thus deprives that other of the use of funds for the period should be liable to pay compensation by way of interests.” See; Nigerian General Superintendence Co. Ltd. Vs Nigeria Ports Authority (1990) 1 NWLR (Pt.129) 71, Adeyemi V. Lan & Baker (Nig.) Ltd (2000) 7 NWLR (Pt.653) 33. However even where interest is not claimed in the Writ of Summons, the Court is entitled, in appropriate cases, to award interest in the form of consequential order. See; N.G.S.O. Ltd V. N.P.A. (supra) Ferrero & Co. Ltd. V. Henkel (Nig) Ltd. (2011) 8 SCM1 at 11.

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SUPREME COURT JUDICIAL NOTICE ON INTEREST RATE

The matter is not made easy by their claiming that they agreed on the interest rate of 13% when there was no such clause in the deed of legal mortgage and when it is a well-known fact which this court takes judicial notice of that interest rates are dependent of the policy on the Central Bank. No interest rate is static. It is not immutable. It varies depending on the nature of Government policy which follows the state of the economy.

– Pats-Acholonu, J.S.C. Pinder v. North (2004)

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INTEREST WILL BE AWARDED WHERE PROVED EVEN IF NOT CLAIMED

In fact, where interest is not even claimed on the Writ, but the facts are pleaded as did the Appellant in its amended Statement of Claim and evidence was given which showed entitlement thereto, the Court may award interest as a general rule. See EKWUNIFE V. WAYNE (W/A) LTD (1989) 5 NWLR (PT.122) 428.

— U.M. Abba Aji, JSC. Cappa v NDIC (2021) – SC.147/2006

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