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|If A Company Can Sue & Be Sued, Can You Enforce It's Fundamental Human Right? by litigator(m): 4:52pm On Nov 22|
I have always wondered if one can excercise, defend, protect and preserve the fundamental right of a company, as though it were human.
A company is considered at law as a juristic person clothed with rights as though it were human, that can sued and be sued. But does a company have fundamental human right as contained in Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended 2010)?
Can the company enforce or protect these rights from encroachment?
What is the position of the court?
In this piece, we shall considered the above and matters connected therewith.
|Re: If A Company Can Sue & Be Sued, Can You Enforce It's Fundamental Human Right? by FirstCounsel(m): 5:40pm On Nov 22|
Very well. Would follow this thread
|Re: If A Company Can Sue & Be Sued, Can You Enforce It's Fundamental Human Right? by uboma(m): 7:18pm On Nov 22|
I am here to learn.
|Re: If A Company Can Sue & Be Sued, Can You Enforce It's Fundamental Human Right? by litigator(m): 9:03pm On Nov 22|
" The 1st Respondent is a juristic person and would not be entitled to damages, as it does not have fundamental rights to vindicate and be compensated in damages thereof."
In this piece, we shall consider the reasoning of the very learned Justices of the Court of Appeal in the case of Heritage Bank Plc v. S&S Wireless Limited.
In this case, one of the main issue for determination before the court was;
"Whether the rights enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic extended to, and can be enforced by an artificial entity, though, same is clothed, legally, with the garment of juristic personality?"
In this case the Respondents were debtors to the Appellant (the bank). The bank offered the Respondents a facility which was not repaid as and when due. The loan contract thus went bad and in the course of recovery, the Appellant involved the law enforcement agency.
The fundamental rights of the Respondents were allegedly breached, as the 2nd and 3rd Respondents were arrested and detained in the name and partly for the sins of the 1st Respondent, who is a company.
The 2nd and 3rd Respondent sued for the enforcement of their fundamental human right and the 1st Respondent, being the principal debtor was joined in the action as the 1st Respondent.
The trial court in a well decided judgement held for the Respondents and awarded judgement in their favour. The bank was not satisfied with the judgement of the court, and, therefore, appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The 1st Respondent was a company, and thus, one of the question of law before the court was:
" whether or not a company, being an artificial entity, though, clothed with the powers to sue and be sued, also had fundamental rights that could be protect?
And if the answer was in the negative, whether it was , therefore , entitled to damages?"
The learned justices of the Court of Appeal held that even though the 1st Respondent ( the company) is a juristic person, and is clothed with the rights to sue and be sued, but I'm this case, the 1st Respondent would not be entitled to damages, as it does not have fundamental rights to vindicate and be compensated in damages thereof.
This simply put, means that the express provision of Chapter 4 of the Constitution is limited to human being and not artificial entities. This is without prejudice to other rights vested on the company such as the right to sue and be sued, and own properties.
What do you think? Do you agree with the court?
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