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NEGLIGENCE INGREDIENT

Dictum

In AGBONMAGBE BANK LTD. v. C.F.A.O 1966 ANLR S.C. 130, the Supreme Court on what a plaintiff suing for Negligence must establish held that plaintiff must show that the Defendant owed him a duty of care and that he suffered damage in consequence of the Defendant’s failure to take care.

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TORT OF NEGLIGENCE AND THE ISSUE OF DAMAGES

The tort of negligence is a civil wrong consisting of breach of a legal duty to care which results in damage. Thus, three things must be proved before the liability to pay damages for tort of negligence and these are:- (a) That the defendant owned the plaintiff a duty to exercise due care. (b) That the defendant failed to exercise due care, and (c) That the defendant’s failure was the cause of the injury in the proper sense of that term.

– Shuaibu JCA. Diamond Bank v. Mocok (2019)

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NEGLIGENCE IS A QUESTION OF FACT

The learned trial Judge on issue of Negligence rightly stated that Negligence is a question of fact and not law. Therefore each case must be decided in the light of its own facts. – Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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MEANING OF NEGLIGENCE

Negligence is the omission or failure to do something which a reasonable man under similar circumstances can do, or the doing of something which a reasonable or prudent man would not do. More often than not, Negligence in civil matters occur in form of a breach of duty to take care.

— O. Oyewumi, J. Aseidu v Japaul (2019) – NICN/AK/01/2016

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NEGLIGENCE IS A MATTER OF FACT, NOT LAW

This position of the law is inevitable because what amounts to negligence is not law but a question of fact which must be decided according to the facts and circumstances of a particular case. See: KALLZA v. JAMAKANI TRANSPORT LTD. (1961) ALL NLR 747; NGILARI V. MOTHERCAT LIMITED (1999) LPELR SC; (1999) 13 NWLR (PT. 636) 626.

— U. Onyemenam, JCA. P.W. Ltd. v. Mansel Motors (2017) – CA/J/240/2016

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PLAINTIFF MUST PLEAD THE PARTICULARS OF NEGLIGENCE TO SUCCEED

To succeed in an action for negligence, the law is settled as to the standard of pleading and proof required. As a matter of law therefore; a plaintiff who intends to be victorious in negligence action must plead the particulars of negligence alleged and give cogent and credible evidence at the trial in line with the detailed pleadings. lt is not sufficient pleading for a plaintiff to make a blanket allegation of negligence against the defendant without giving detailed particulars of the items of negligence relied on as well as the duty of care the defendant owes him. See: DIAMOND BANK LTD. V. PARTNERSHIP INVESTMENT CO. LTD. & ANOR (2009) 18 NWLR (PT. 1172) 67; UNIVERSAL TRUST BANK OF NIGERIA V. FIDELIA OZOEMENA (2007) 3 NWLR (PT. 1022) 448; 1-2 SC (PT. 11) 211 KOYA V. UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA LTD (1997) LPELR 1711; (1997) 1 NWLR (PT. 481) 251; MTN NIGERIA COMMUNICATIONS LTD V. MR. GANIYU SADIKU (2013) LPELR 27705 CA.

— U. Onyemenam, JCA. P.W. Ltd. v. Mansel Motors (2017) – CA/J/240/2016

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NEGLIGENCE IS A MATTER OF FACT

In all cases in which damages is being claimed for negligence the Court is to bear it in mind that negligence is a matter of or question of fact and not law and thus a finding as of fact of the act of omission or commission of the defendant must first be made before damages could be assessed. See also M. O. Kanu & Sons Co. Ltd v. First Bank of Nigeria Plc (2006) LPELR 1797 (SC).

— O. Oyewumi, J. Aseidu v Japaul (2019) – NICN/AK/01/2016

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