HONOURABLE MINISTER FOR WORKS AND HOUSING V. TOMAS NIGERIA LIMITED & ORS.
CITATION: (2001) LPELR-CA/A/82/2000
   
new OTHER CITATIONS:
1 Min. for Works v. Tomas (Nig.) Ltd. (2002) 2 NWLR (Pt 752)740
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Nigerian Coat of Arms
In The Court of Appeal
(Abuja Judicial Division)
On Monday, the 16th day of July, 2001
Suit No: CA/A/82/2000
 
 Between
1. HONOURABLE MINISTER FOR WORKS AND HOUSING Appelants
 
 And
1. TOMAS NIGERIA LIMITED
2. DABIL NIGERIA LIMITED
3. STRAGREST INDUSTRIES NIGERIA LIMITED
4. A. B. NIGERIA LIMITED
5. SERF NIGERIA LIMITED
6. KEY WEST PROPERTIES LIMITED
7. A.I. P. LIMITED
8. GAVA CORPORATION LIMITED
9. WASA INVESTMENT NIGERIA LIMITED
10. KINDWAY ENTERPRISES LIMITED
11. MASUID NIGERIA LIMITED
12. BAFARAWA NIGERIA LIMITED
13. JIN VENTURES LIMITED
14. BEJIK NIGERIA LIMITED
15. TOGISCANI NIGERIA LIMITED
16. GOLOYE NIGERIA LIMITED
17. COSMOS ENG. NIGERIA LIMITED
18. BUSUTUM NIGERIA LIMITED
19. GENERAL LOGISTICS LIMITED
20. BELAWU NIGERIA LIMITED
21. PROSPECTORS MARKETING LIMITED
22. RANIFF INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
23. LABSON NIGERIA LIMITED
24. UMAR YUSUF NIGERIA LIMITED
25. HARDEL AND ERIC NIGERIA LIMITED
26. HONOURABLE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION AND MINSTER OF JUSTICE
27. INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE
Respondents
 
SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT 

The plaintiffs/respondents initiated an action against the defendants/appellants before the Federal High Court, Abuja in Suit 762 Nigerian No. FHC/ABJ/CS/194/2000 claiming the following reliefs:

1. A declaration that effective 4th April, 2000, the plaintiffs are entitled to a further and final term of five (5) years as operators of Toll Plazas nationwide vide their agreements with the 1st defendant dated 4th April, 1996 and 8th September, 1997 respectively as the case may be.

2. A declaration that actions of the 1st defendant to wit:-

(a) service of notices to terminate the subject-matter contract on the plaintiffs;

(b) use of tenderers and bidders to attack and disrupt the smooth operation of the plaintiffs at their respective Toll Plazas;

(c) other efforts to bring the subject-matter agreements to an end and remove the plaintiffs from the management of the Toll Plazas nationwide before the expiration of the final term of five(5) years in 4th day of April 2006 are illegal, unlawful void and invalid.

3. An injunction restraining the defendant by themselves, agents, privies and whosoever from interfering in any way whatsoever with the plaintiffs management and control of the Toll Plazas nationwide till the expiration of the final term of five (5) years in 4th April, 2006.

Upon the service of the writ of summons and the statement of claim on the defendant/appellant, the appellant filed a notice of preliminary objection on the grounds that the Federal High Court, Abuja lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter as it is based on contract and the issues and matters for determination in the suit are the same as the issues and matters for determination in Suit No. FRC/L/CS/1/99 then pending before the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The trial court after hearing arguments on the preliminary objection held that it had jurisdiction to determine the matter and that the subject matter and the parties on the two suits are different. The appellant being dissatisfied with the ruling has now appealed to this court.

   
Appearances
 
Chief Chike Chigbue, SAN (with him, C. Ezenduka, Esq.; Danladi Ochakpe, Esq.; A. Ekpe, Esq., V. F. Omage [Miss] and G. C. Ogwuneze, Esq. For the Appelants
 
T. E. Williams (with him, Chief E. Etudo) - for the 1st - 25th Respondents
26th and 27th Respondents absent and unrepresented
For the Respondents