KUPOLATI V. MTN (NIG.) COMMS. LTD: On whether or not the courtroom will be sure by the earlier resolution to train its discretion.
KUPOLATI V. MTN (NIG.) COMMS. LTD: On whether or not the courtroom will be sure by the earlier resolution to train its discretion. CITATION: 13 NWLR PT.1740 PG.. 2. Courtesy: Moruff O. Balogun Esq.
Abstract of Information:
The appellant, a authorized practitioner, was a post-paid buyer of the respondent on his GSM line No. 0803-720-0757. The appellant claimed that the respondent breached its contractual obligations to him when, for a cumulative interval of thirty-one days, it blocked/ disconnected the GSM line with none justification and that consequently, he suffered monumental frustration, hardship, inconveniences, lack of earnings and financial loss.
He instituted an motion towards the respondent on the Excessive Courtroom of Lagos State in search of a declaration that the blocking/disconnection of the GSM line by the respondent with out justification was wrongful and a breach of the respondent’s contractual obligation it owed him as a post-paid subscriber of the respondent’s community companies; and a declaration that the blocking/disconnection of the road with out justification foisted on him monumental frustration, hardship, inconveniences, lack of earnings and financial loss for which he must be assuaged by substantial award of normal and exemplary damages. He additionally claimed the sum of N50.00.000.00 as normal and exemplary damages.
After conclusion of listening to, the trial courtroom in its judgment held that the respondent was in breach of its contract with the appellant when it blocked/disconnected the GSM line. It then awarded the sum of N1, 000,000.00 as normal damages however refused the declare for exemplary damages.
Aggrieved by the quantum of normal damages awarded by the trial courtroom, the appellant appealed to the Courtroom of Enchantment
Held: (Unanimously permitting the attraction):
The next points have been raised and decided by the courtroom of attraction.
On whether or not the courtroom will be sure by the earlier resolution to train its discretion:
Judicial discretion is an important software within the administration of justice. It’s a sacred energy which inures to a Decide. It’s an armour which the Decide employs judicially and judiciously to be able to arrive at a simply resolution. In issues of judicial discretion, for the reason that info of two instances will not be at all times the identical, courts don’t make it a observe to put down guidelines and rules that may fetter the train of its discretion or the discretion of a decrease courtroom. It’s because in issues of discretion, nobody case is an authority for the opposite. A courtroom can’t be sure by a earlier resolution to train its discretion in a regimented manner as a result of that may be placing an finish to discretion. No onerous and quick guidelines will be laid down as to the train of judicial discretion by a courtroom. The second that’s carried out, the discretion is fettered. Within the on the spot case, for the Courtroom of Enchantment to accede to the appellant’s rivalry to willy-nilly assess the quantum of damages within the method carried out within the instances he relied upon can be to fetter the discretion of the courtroom since info are the fountainhead of regulation and the info of the instances will not be the identical because the info of the moment case.
On when appellate courtroom is not going to intrude with train of discretion by trial court-
The truth that an appellate courtroom would have exercised its discretion otherwise from that of the trial courtroom shouldn’t be adequate cause to intrude with the train of discretion by the trial courtroom. The appellate courtroom is not going to intrude with the train of discretion within the absence of proof that it was wrongly exercised.
On when appellate courtroom will intrude with award damages by trial court-
The truth that the quantum of damages is on the discretion of the courtroom doesn’t imply that there are not any circumstances when an appellate courtroom would intrude with the award of damages. An appellate courtroom will intrude with the award of damages by a trial courtroom in conditions which embrace:
the place the courtroom acted below incorrect rules of legal guidelines;
the place the courtroom acted in disregard of relevant rules of regulation;
the place the courtroom acted in misapprehension of info;
the place the courtroom took into consideration irrelevant issues and disregarded related matter whereas contemplating its award;
the place injustice will end result if the appellate courtroom doesn’t act;
The place the quantity awarded is ridiculously low or ridiculously excessive that it should have been an faulty estimate of the damages.
Within the on the spot case, the trial courtroom acted below incorrect rules of regulation and in disregard of relevant rules which didn’t place any burden on the appellant to particularly plead and show normal damages. It was on account of this that it took irrelevant issues of proof of normal damages into consideration and disregarded the related issues that normal damages needn’t be particularly proved and awarded as damages an quantity which was ridiculously low, thus lucently exhibiting that it was an faulty estimate of the damages. The Courtroom of Enchantment due to this fact interfered with the damages awarded to be able to obviate the injustice.
On Nature of normal damages and quantum want be pleaded and proved-
Normal damages are at all times made as a declare at giant. The quantum wants not be pleaded and proved.
The award is quantified by what, within the opinion of an inexpensive particular person, is taken into account satisfactory loss or inconvenience which flows naturally, as typically presumed by regulation, from the act of the defendant. It doesn’t rely on calculation made and determine arrived at from particular objects. The difficulty of award of damages in any given case is a matter based mostly on the discretion of the trial courtroom. In different phrases, the evaluation of the quantum of normal damages is on the discretion of the courtroom.
Normal damages needn’t be particularly pleaded and proved earlier than the identical will be awarded by the courtroom. They’re awarded to assuage a loss attributable to an act of the adversary. In different phrases, normal damages are the sort of harm which the regulation presumes to be the consequence of the act complained of and, in contrast to particular damages, a declare for normal damages doesn’t must be particularly pleaded and specifically proved by proof.
On Want for courtroom to contemplate proof on document in evaluation of damages-
In contemplating the suitable evaluation of damages and what can be thought of satisfactory within the opinion of an inexpensive particular person, due regard have to be needed to the proof on document. Within the on the spot case, the proof confirmed that the appellant, a authorized practitioner of twenty-five years post-call expertise on the time of the incident, had his GSM line wrongfully disconnected by the respondent in breach of contract on account of which he suffered frustration, hardship and inconvenience for a cumulative interval of thirty-one days.
On whether or not courtroom can re-formulate points for willpower formulated by events –
A courtroom can and is entitled to re-formulate points formulated by the events or counsel to be able to make for precision and readability. The aim of framing or re-framing a problem or points is to result in a extra considered and correct willpower of an attraction and to slender the difficulty or points in controversy within the curiosity of accuracy, readability and brevity.
Moruff O. Balogun Esq.
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