Exemplary damages are awarded with the object of punishing the defendant for his conduct in inflicting injury on the plaintiff. They can be made in addition to normal compensatory damages and should be made only: a) In a case of oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional acts by government, servants; b) Where the defendant’s conduct had been calculated by him to make a profit for himself, which might well exceed the compensation payable to the plaintiff, and c) Where expressly authorized by statute – CBN Vs Okojie (2015) 14 NWLR (part 1479) 231 at 242 243. See also Lagos State v Ojukwu (1986) 1 NWLR (part 18) 621 and Alele Williams Vs. Sagay (1995) 5 NWLR (part 396) 441. For exemplary damages to be awarded, it need not be specifically claimed, but facts to justify it must be pleaded and proved. Thus, once facts in the pleadings support the award of exemplary damages, the Court should award it since the adverse party is in no way taken by surprise.
— T.Y. Hassan, JCA. EMTS Ltd. (Etisalat) v. Godfrey Nya Eneye (2018) – CA/A/724/2014