From the Court

Brief court decision on civil wrongs by Safi Jimba

General Principle of Liability (III)

In my opinion, the defendant cannot claim to come within these dieta. There was no sudden rise in the wind or sudden rolling. The sea was rough… but before and after the accident, goods ere transshipped safely. It is not good for the defendant to say the state of the sea was that day such as to bring him within the dieta, for even if that were so, he by his agents willfully and deliberately of his own rashness encountered the danger.” Appeal dismissed.

Statutory Authority

Where there is a statutory authority the doing of a particular act, which would inevitably involve a nuisance, all remedy, whether by indictment or by action resulting from damage there from is taken away, provided that every reasonable precaution consistent with the exercise of the statutory powers has been taken to prevent the nuisance from occurring. The burden of proving that a nuisance was inevitable lies on the person having the statutory authority.

  1. A. A. Ajayi v. Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (1961) W.N.L.R 107 High Ct. – Adeyinka Morgan J.

The plaintiff claimed  (1) 12,000 pounds damages against the defendants for nuisance and/or trespass alleged to have been committed on his land as a result of the construction by the defendants of high voltage transmission lines over his building in such a way that they constituted a very grave danger to the plaintiff and the other occupiers of the building; and (2) an injunction to restrain the defendants and their  servants from continuing the alleged acts of nuisance and trespass.

According to the plaintiff, on November 6, 1958, he got a permit to erect a house in Itire, and building was commenced on that day. The ground floor was ready for occupation in January 1959, and the senior health superintendent issued a permit stating that the house had been inspected and that it was fit for human habitation. The following September, the plaintiff saw that electricity poles had been set up near his land, and in October he wrote the defendant’s District Engineer expressing concern at the possible danger of electric wires which would presumably pass through his house. He claimed that he received no reply to this letter, but he continued building. The defendants thereupon asked him to demolish part of the house, but the plaintiff refused and alleged that as a result of the energising of the lines, he had been compelled to move his family to other houses.  To be continued

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