A Lagos High Court has dismissed an appeal by Coscharis Motors Ltd and Jaguar Land Rover Ltd seeking to stay execution of a lower court judgment ordering them to replace a car bought by Olusola Sofola SAN.
Justice Ganiyu Safari held that the appellants/judgment debtors/applicants’ application was without merit and the applicants did not establish any special circumstance to warrant the grant of the application.
A Lagos State Chief Magistrate’s Court in Igbosere on November 28, 2019, in Suit No. MCL/1096/2017, ordered Coscharis and Jaguar to replace a Jaguar XJ 2.0 Sedan bought for N24m by Sofola, with a brand new one.
The court, in a judgment by Mrs M.O. Osinbajo, upheld Sofola’s claim that the vehicle he purchased as brand new in December 2016 came with factory defects.
The magistrate dismissed Coscharis’ defence that the faults developed by the car within three months of the purchase were due to the SAN’s carelessness.
Coscharis, the 1st Defendant was also ordered to refund to the claimant the sum of N148,335 being the excess sum on the sum of N1,097,035.17 paid by the claimant for the purchase of a replacement of the cracked windscreen.
Both defendants were also ordered to pay to the claimant the sum of N1million as general damages resulting from the inconvenience suffered by the claimant as a result of the defective supposedly brand new Jaguar Car sold and delivered to the Claimant by the Defendants.
Dissatisfied, the Applicants filed their Notice of Appeal dated the 3rd day of December 2020 through their counsel Osita Mbamalu.
The applicants argued, among others, that the lower court lacked jurisdiction, erred in law when it concluded that a brand new Jaguar XJ. 2.0 sold to the Respondent was not fit for purpose, and that it erred when it ordered the applicants to refund N145,000 to the respondent.
But Sofola, who represented himself, opposed him. The judge agreed with the SAN.
Justice Safari held: “I agree with the Applicants’ submission that the special circumstance in the nature of the Res of this case is that if the Applicants in the guise of a stay of execution are allowed not to give the Respondent a new car as a replacement now, the nature of the Res is such that by the time the appellate court affirms the judgment of the lower Court if it eventually did, such brands of the Jaguar X0 2.0 would not only be out of production but would be out of stock and so the Judgment of giving a brand new Jaguar X 2.0 car to the Respondent will be nugatory and on enforceable.
“I also agree with the submission of the Respondent’s Counsel that the facts stated in paragraphs 12, 13, and 14 of the Respondent’s Counter Affidavit is a call upon this Court not to grant a stay of execution but to safeguard the Res from going into extinction and rendering the Judgment if the Respondent wins, nugatory and a mere academic exercise.
“I agree also that in the event that this Motion for stay of Execution is refused and the Applicants wins the appeal, the Applicant could be compensated in damages whereas if the Motion for stay is granted and the Respondents eventually wins the appeal, he would have been permanently deprived of the enjoyment of the luxury car which he had in mind when he contracted to purchase a Jaguar XJ 2.0 as it would then be impossible to replace the car with the same brand and even if the Applicants are able to replace the car with the same brand, it would not serve the central purpose of the contract anymore as what Respondent will be then would be an outdated old model car.”