From the Court

Brief Court Decisions On Civil Wrongs


By Safi Jimba

General Principle of Liability (IX)

Simpson v. L. and N.W. Railway Co. (L.R. 1 Q.B.D. 274; (1876) 45 L.J.Q.B. 182) and Schulze v. G.E. Railway Co. (1887) 19 Q.B.D. 30.

A perusal of all these cases leaves no doubt in my mind that the word ‘loss’ in section 29(2) of the Railway Ordinance, 1915, means a loss to the railway of the articles consigned by them, i.e., an actual physical loss of possession of such goods or of control over them, or of knowledge of their whereabouts, so that they are quite incapable of delivering them….

The responsibility of the Nigerian Railway Corporation as carriers and warehousemen is now governed by part 13 (sections 68 to 79) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Ordinance, Cap. 139 of the Laws of Nigeria, 1958.

Immunity of Judicial and other officers

See Onitiri v. Ojomo (1954) 21 N.L.R. 19 (Post p.239)


A person accepting the risk of injury by the commission of some tort cannot recover damages in respect of such injury. Volenti non fit injuria.

The plaintiff wished to build a store and he obtained an annual sub-lease from the defendant who held the lease under a crown lease. The local authority gave the defendant a permit for a store or office to be put upon the land on condition that the structure would be removed on notice and in any case not more than two years after erection; and the plaintiff knew of this condition.

The plaintiff built a store. Less than six months before the third year would be up, the defendant wrote to the plaintiff, terminating the sub-lease. Soon afterwards, the local authority called on the defendant to pull down the structure, and he again asked the plaintiff to quit, but the plaintiff wrote to the council asking for a renewal of the permit. The council replied to the effect that the plaintiff should have made an application through the defendant, and they wrote to the defendant intimating that counter action would be taken if the building was not pulled down. The defendant accordingly took six men with him and demolished the plaintiff’s building.

To be continued next week


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