LIMITATION LAW – LIMITATION PERIOD – Limitation period on action founded on contract; effect of bringing an action outside the limitation period


“Section 18 of the Plateau State Limitation Law No. 16, 1988 provides expressly that if action founded on contract shall be brought after the expiration of five years from the date on which the cause accrued. The provisions are clear and unambiguous. The Appellant, as the Plaintiff at the trial Court, founded his claims on the refusal of the Respondent, as the defendant, to pay, on his demand for refund, the refundable deposit as agreed in the contract he was enforcing. The Respondent, refusing to pay the refundable deposit, made its refusal to pay very clear in the letter dated 26th July, 1999. The right to the cause of action summarised in the following five claims the Appellant made against the Respondent at the trial Court, to wit – a. The sum of N4,400,000.00 (Four Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira) only being the refundable deposit the plaintiff has with the defendant. b. The sum of N1,936,919.54 (One Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Nineteen Naira Fifty Four Kobo) only being 1999 end of year and progress bonuses. c. 10% interest per annum therefrom 1999 till final payment of the entire sum. d. The sum of N112,500.00 per week as special damages from 1st January, 2000 to 26th January, 2001 i.e. for 55 weeks. e. The costs of this action. Accrued to the Appellant from the said refusal to pay and was duly communicated to the Appellant on 26th July, 1999. The five (5) years period for the purpose of the limitation, calculated from the said 26th July, 1999, ends in July, 2004. The suit commenced in 2007 was clearly statute barred, and right to enforce the cause of action extinguished against the Appellant, as the plaintiff.” Per. EKO, J.S.C. in ADAMU ABUBAKAR v. MICHELIN MOTOR SERVICES LTD (LCER-2020-39146-SC) at p. 20 – p. 22.

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