The appellants were customers of the defunct City Express Bank Limited. The bank had extended a facility to the appellants and when it appeared to it that the appellants were unable or unwilling to repay the facility, the bank filed a suit at the Federal High Court against the appellants for the recovery of the debt. In the course of proceedings, the bank was substituted for the 1st respondent following the former’s liquidation and take-over by the latter. The suit was commenced via originating summons but the process was not properly signed in accordance with the Legal Practitioner’s Act. The appellants filed a counterclaim and after hearing the parties, the counterclaim was dismissed and the court held that the appellants were indebted to the 1st respondent to the tune of N47,135,498.15 (Forty Seven Million, One Hundred and Thirty Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety Eight Naira, Fifteen Kobo) including other reliefs.
The appellants were aggrieved and filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, Lagos division urging the court to set aside the decision of the trial court. One of the issues is whether the court was right to have held that the originating process was duly signed in accordance with the provisions of the law concerning the signing of process.
Held: (Unanimously allowing the appeal)