Alie Abess Trading v Sierra Leone Road Transport Authrity (CC128/2011) [2011] SLHC 67 (01 January 2011);



CCl28/201 I                                                  2011                                      A No 22

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In  compliance  \\ith  Order  or  the  Judgment  dated   I"  Fehruar).  2013.  R.  ll.  l<.,ma  Counsel  li,r the




Plaintiff  in the  presence  01· i\ls.  Omo-1.isk.  Counsel  for  the  Delcndant.  on l 'i1

Fehruary.  21113  lead the


Plaintiff  in evidence  to give  details or his  loss suffered  as a result  of the  unlm\ ful  detention  nr    hi,

commercial  vehick-Rcgistration number  ACN   379    from  the  6,h  otJune.  2011  tot1,c  .:'..-)11t  lIa)                          ol ·.Januan·

-'II 11.

The Plaintiff gave cv iclence to the elfrct that:

lie o,, ns the :'vlcrccdcs  Ben;  bu:-. ACN  379.  a  5V  ton  \'chicle  liccw,ed  to  caJT)   35  pas cngcrs including

their  tugagcs, that a       return  trip  entitles  him   to  70   passengers.   [ hat  the   vehicle':-,  routim  1110,    L'tllL'lll

schedule  i   a return trip per day. ic. 70 passengers and their lugagcs  rcr  day.

that this vehicle plies the routes 1-"reetown- Konn, Konn-Freetown on a ,,eek!) basis. alternated h: a1wthcr 1-'rectown-K.encma. K.cnerna  -Frecto,, n the  foIlo\\'ing ,, eek.

The cost per passenger on the above mentioned routes \\'t.'rc stated as:

Ia)        l.d 5.000 .00 per passenger-Freclll\\ 11-l<.0110. l<.<>n o-1· rectown.

I h)        I.e25.000.011 per passenger-I reet,m n - Kenema1 l<.encma-F reet,rn n  ( cJ            lhat the average  income  realised  Ii-om the lugagcs  is  l.e200.000.00.

!"hat the said vehicle ,,as in foril;  good  shape,  being  subjected  to a regular t,,u houri:  111aintc1E1ni.:T  pn day ,,ith llC\\    t;res.  A-;  uci1.  no  special  da;  ,,as  put  aside  for  maintcnann:.   I IL' also maintained  th:it  twt e, en  the Sahhath  da,   IV as observed.

With regards the dail,  c,penditure  incurred. he stated  thus:

fuel: (a) l·reet<mn-Kono. Kono-l·rcetmvn (Return  trip) .H gallon, at  l.el-1.000.00pcr  gallon.

(b)       Freelll\vn-Kenema. Kenema-Frecto1V11 (return trip) 30 gallons at l.c14.000.00 per gallon.

(e)        Fur e,-cry  ten  return  trips. there  is a change of oil appro.,irnately 14 litres at   I .e] 'i.01111.llllpcr li1r,: including change ol' l'uel lilter at l.c-10.000.00 and oil  l1ltcr at  l.d5.(JOO.OIJ

(d)       On  ever)  suecesslttl  return  trip  the  Driver  receives  an all,"' anee  ol' I c60.0IJII.OO ,,,,  a di1ih  h,isi·, and a nwnthlv  salary ol' l.c350.0IJO.OII                                                                      ·

I hat he stupped paving the Driver as soon as the vehicle was detained h:- SI RI,\.

There  \\'as  no cross  e,amirution  h: dekmbnt'  Counsel  rwr  \\a...: thne  an,  rC-L'\.amitiatilrn h,  Plai1iti!-i ,..,











  • Thi.':-. i:,., an assessment of special damages hased on a finding  of  an  unlawful  Lk:tenli(1n  b:  SLlfl A  or vehicle  registration  number  J\CN  379 which  they  failed  to return  on demand ..

The measure of special damages "ill be asse"ed based on the relative economic loss  the  Plaintiff  ha, suffered as a result of being deprived of the use of the ,chicle. The Plaintiff gets special damages based on  his loss. it hcing assumed in his favour as against the Del'endant 1h,1t had he had ACN .17{) in  hi:-. possession alter he had licensed same on the 10'" June 2011 he \\mild have used  it  for  commercial purro:-,cs,  plying   the  routes ofFrccto\,n-Kencma.  Frceto,,n-Kono  011 a dail: as  it ,,crL'  their patlL'rn

or operation.

1-'rom the L:vidcncc adduced. no reason had been  advanced.  why  the  Plaintiff  shuuld  not  1Tcovcr  as.; damages  such  intermediate  amount  '"hich  the  vehicle  ,,1rnld  have  earned.  had  the  Plaintiff  mitigated  hi:-.


In both co1ncrsion and detinuc. the plaintiff ma: recover special damages arising  from  being dcpri\'L'd  nr his chattel. thus where a carpenter whose tools were converted by the Del'cndant w,is thereb, rendered  unahle to wurk, he recovered  in conversion  his loss ur\,ages a:-. special damages.

llodlcy  V  Reynulds ( 18"16)  8 Q B 779.  In strand  Electric  Co  V llrisl,,rd !'ntertainmcnh ( l 9:i2) 2 ()  ll  2-1 2

the Plaintiff "ho sued in dctinue  for  the  return  of  some  switchboards  \\ hich  they  had  hired  to  the Defendants were allo\\'cd tn recover as special  damages  a  hiring  charge  for  the  equipment  dnring  th...:  period  or detention  (despite  the foct that the  Plainti!T could  not  h,we  hired out all of the cquipmrnt    during

this period I

I hold the ,·i:\, that similar umsideration applies in this case. There seems no reason \\hy. similar a\\ards should not be granted the l'laintilT in this e.ise. the Dclcndant having unlawful!) detained a wmmcrcial vehicle for an inordinate period. 18 months.

In  an  attempt  to arrive  at a  ligurc that\\ ill  represent  the  norminal  e.\.tcnt  of economic  damage  su!h.·rcd h:

the Plaintiff as a  result  of  the  above  mentioned  unlm, rul  detention.  the  court  is  being  g.ui<led  b:  the rollo\\ ing consideratirn1:-

  1. !'hat  due  to the Plaintiffs  inabilit:   to mitigate  his loss: ie disclosing  at the earliest  npportunit)   \(l

SI.RTA nfficiab \\ho \\'l'l"I.? obstructing him from accessing 'rcrusing  return o!'his Lktaincd ,l'11iL·k the relevant ducuments obtained ie the lisccnsc. one third of the assessed special damages ,hall he discountenanced. The rational being to prevent the Plaintiff taking advantage ol'the  \Hong  melted  on tn him. He o\\cd himself a duty to mitigate his loss,\\ hich  he failed to   do.

.\C'.\ 37'! shall he attributed the 1,,IILl\\ing  for the purpose of this  e.,crci,e

  1. AYcragL' number ol",H1rking days per month --2()  d1.1ys
  2. Four (4) days a month are set aside ror the purpose of maintenance, servicing   de.


( c)                                                                     Return:-..   trip-.;   ire  even!)   di:-..tributed   lx:t\\CCtl   FrcetU\\11-Kuno   .   Ktrno-l·rcetm\11   111d 1-'t·ccto\\ 11-Kenerna Kenema  h\.'etO\\ n.

(d)            Period nfa_..,,:s.L':s.:-..ment sh:111 cti\er the  ti11lL' r inge. 1' 1  Ju!:,. 201 ! to 31< lkcL'lllher. 2012 :1

total 01· 18 111011ths

{c)           Nine (9) mnnths of plying FreetO\\·n-Kono. Konu-1-'rcctu\\ll route.  1\'inc 111oillh-; n!'pl:-,in!,'.

FrcetO\\ n Kd1ema. Kene111 1  1-'J·ecto\\ n.

(fl        .-\\·cragL' number nr full: p iid-up passenger:-.. per chi) is 1:-..:-..c:-..:-..1...'d at O pa:-..:-..engLT'> per rdurn

trip-on either routes.

  1. l·:arnings !'rorn  lugagcs shall  he discountenanced  for  lac!,. or certaint).  Furthermore the)

shall comprise of \\'orkmanship ·\\·hich was not costed.



ll  \II  Y LXl'I  :s;[JII l  RI.

  1. .\('\l .)79 i.-. prL·sumccl  tn ch.inge nil three(. ) times C\Cr)  lll(111th  ic:

I -l  I itrc, at  I  c  I :i.II IJ O 00             I  c 2 I IJJJ00. 00

h1cl i.iltcr al lc30.00(J.(JII Oil hltcr al  I c\:i.000.1111

ic.  I c27:i.111111.IIIJ,  3 .\  I 811w11th,      


( i I            Fuc·I:

FrcctO\\ 11-Kono

3-l gallrn1' 21, cb,s \ 9 11w1111ls, g,dl"n    I US-l.000.011





311 ga[l<111, ., 2/, days, lJ 111"111h,, Lcl-l.OOIJ.')111111/gallon       I c'J8.281Ulllll.1111

(ii         l)ri\Cr, cbih  allowance  "r I e/,11.000.00  p,:r  return  trip\  2(,days a  lll<llllh   I   I cJ,IJ.00111111 per 11w11th ([ c[.<J[(l.0011.1111) \ 18 montl1'                                 l.d-l.381J.llllll.1111

(k)           !>rocced_..,, frt1m .50 J'ull) p:1id-up pa'.'-.'.'-.Cngcr_..,, pi...·r return trip from:

hTct0\\11-Kono  at   l,c3:\000.00/passengcr:  )()passengers\.    (J    days.imnnth    \.  t)   month_..,,\ I .d:i.111111.1111 1.c-lll'J.:illlJ.IIIJ0.00

h'l.'L'h)\\ 11  h:.L'llenw  c1t I c2 _000.00 p:1:-..-.engL·r

:iO l"'"Cll!cCr,  .\ 26 Ja"        llWlllh .\ 9 111()1lths, I c2:i.0011.1111      I I 29::'.:illll.lllJl)IIII 1·otal earnings  mim1:-.. total expenditure                     sum  total of  I\. minus :--um lnt il  ul'  h I  I·

ic ( I c-llJ'J.500.111111.1111 · I c292.:i01J.IIIIIJ.IJIJ)

- I le  1-l.8:i0.011111111 ·  1 lc'JS.2811.1111.1111 ·  le  I I U8-l.111111.IJO  ) ·   I c3-l.381J.000.01Ji I c7112.IJOO.OOO.IJII-  I .c2:i8.89-l.lJIIIJ.IIIJ

le"'!, nl'Lc443, I 11/i.llOIJ.00 (duet" l'laintilr, l'ailurc to mitigate his i<lss) (- I -17.7112.IIIJIJ.IIIJ I

2'!'.-l11-l .111111.111 I


I I)        re fC'rs

,\s· scs·"sc·(spc.c1al  (_I·cl.lll,l().l'.S              [                                                                                 1

-    - :,<-))_. 404.0110.00  \('               .        Ill t   lC  ACN.',7() cause  is:  [cl<J- -1

I   , 1  -                             '    'I .1l'J  cause is·                                        -        ·       ll-1.000.00

.e   9 ).404.01111 OIi                              .      . .    dl/9:     · =r--

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