Anon Lodge Ltd v Mercantile Bank
Udousoro, G.A.;Ofem, J.I.
Breach of Contract Offer and acceptance Issues of jurisdiction
The plaintiff took out a writ of summons on 17 February, 1986 at the Calabar High Court against the defendants for the sum of N1,508,630.15 being the amount of loan./overdraft given them by the plaintiff together with accrued interest thereon. In the writ of summons and particulars of claim upon which the writ was issued, and also the Statement of Claim which was later filed, the address of the defendants was given as No 157/159 Aba Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Indeed, the defendants were served by substituted service. In paragraph 7 of the affidavit which was sworn by one Francis Willie Oden, an employee of the plaintiff at its Head office in Calabar in support of the application, it was suggested that the only method through which the defendants could be served was by advertising the said processes meant for them in the Newspaper called the Nigerian Chronicle. it was then deposed in paragraph 8 of the said affidavit as follows:- “”That the said newspaper circulates within and outside the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and within the Vicinity of Port Harcourt Rivers State where the defendants reside and carry on business”” It was after the defendants had been so served that they filed an application to raise a preliminary objection that the court in Cross River State had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the suit. A copy of the letter of approval was exhibited before the court as Exhibit E. The trial Judge held that he had jurisdiction to entertainment.