IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
On Thursday, the 8th day of February, 1973
Before Their Lordships
GEORGE BAPTIST AYODOLA COKER….. Justice, Supreme Court
DANIEL O. IBEKWE….. Justice, Supreme Court
AYO GABRIEL IRIKEFE….. Justice, Supreme Court
PANALPINA WORLD TRANSPORT (NIG.) LTD
THE NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY
ESTOPPEL – “FORMER RECOVERY” – Whether operates as estoppel
Per G. B. A. COKER, J.S.C. at P. 1, Para. A.
The learned trial judge held, rightly in our view that having got the same type of declaration before the Arbitration Board as their claim postulates, they are estopped by the principle of “former recovery” from asking for the same remedy in his court.: There is no substance in this appeal. The appellants, who were the plaintiffs in the court below, are by their claim No. 1 and first alternative seeking in effect a declaration to rubber-stamp a purported finding in their favour by an Arbitration Board set up pursuant to the provisions of Decree No. 55 of 1969.
We think the judge was right in this approach and we see nothing wrong with the refusal of the principal claims and the first alternative claim. The second alternative claim is for an injunction. The learned trial judge thought, as we do ourselves, that in view of paragraph 13 of the appellants’ statement of claim, which states that the defendants have not threatened any invasion of their rights, an order of injunction is clearly misconceived.
On these grounds, it is manifest that the appeal fails on all the grounds on which it is sought to impugn the judgment of the learned trial judge. We point out that learned counsel did argue before us the competence or propriety of the decision of the Arbitration Board but we are clearly of the view that these are, in the circumstances of this case, irrelevant and do not consider them.
The appeal fails and it is dismissed. The appellants will pay the costs of the appeal fixed at ‘a 3120.
Dr M. Odje for the appellants……For Appellant
Chief F. R. A. Williams (A. L. A. L. Balogun with him) for the respondents……For Respondent