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A VAGUE GROUND OF APPEAL IS INCOMPETENT

Dictum

I have taken a calm look at ground 6 and considered the submissions of counsel to the respective parties and it does appear to me that though the law is that a ground of appeal should not be considered in isolation of its particulars in order to understand its purports, yet it is also the law that a ground of appeal which defies understanding or is not particularized or indeed contains irrelevant particulars is simply a vague ground of appeal and thus incompetent. See CBN and Anor v. Okojie and Ors (2002) LPELR- 836 (SC).

— B.A. Georgewill JCA. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc V. Longterm Global Capital Limited & Ors. (CA/L/427/2016, 9 Mar 2018)

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ISSUE MUST ARISE FROM A GROUND OF APPEAL

It is trite law that an issue for determination in an appeal must relate to and arise from the grounds of appeal filed. Therefore any issue which is not related to any ground of appeal is not only vague but also incompetent and liable to be ignored in the determination of the appeal or struck out.

– Mahmud JSC. Ogiorio v. Igbinovia (1998)

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COUNSEL SHOULD INDICATE WHAT GROUND AN ISSUE WAS RAISED FROM

As can be observed, the issues formulated in the Appellant’s brief are indicated to have distilled from grounds 2 and 8 of the Appellant’s Notice of Appeal while there is no indication by the Respondent’s Counsel, from which of the grounds of the appeal, since there is no cross appeal here or a Respondent’s notice, the additional issue was raised. The requirement of diligent of brief writing in the appellate Courts is that counsel should indicate from which grounds of an appeal every issue/s submitted for determination in an appeal, was/were distilled.

– Garba, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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GROUNDS OF APPEAL MUST ARISE FROM THE JUDGEMENT

In Bello v Aruwa (1999) 8 NWLR (Pt.615) 454 it was held that grounds of appeal are not formulated in abstract. They must arise from the judgment in the same way as the issues arise from the grounds of appeal. And however meritorious a ground of appeal may be, it must be connected with the controversy between the parties at the trial court.

In Abiola v Abacha (1997) 6 NWLR (pt.509) 413 it was held that the grounds of appeal must stem from the decision of the court below.

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GROUND OF APPEAL CANNOT ATTACK OBITER DICTUM

A ground of appeal must arise from the judgment appealed against and must be an attack on a ratio decidendi of the judgment and not an obiter dictum. – Ekanem JCA. C.O.P. v. Doolor (2020) – CA/MK/182/2017

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WHEN GROUNDS OF APPEAL ARE ONE OF LAW

In NNPC v. FAMFA OIL LTD. (2012) 17 N.W.L.R. (Part 1328) S.C. 148, this Court, while faced with a similar objection to the grounds of appeal, went ahead to deal extensively with the criteria for identifying when a ground of appeal is one of law, of fact, or of mixed fact and law. Rhodes-Vivours J.S.C., at Pp. 175 – 176, Paragraphs C – H, as follows: “…. In Nwadike v. Ibekwe (Supra), this Court explained further that: (a) It is an error in law if the adjudicating Tribunal took into account some wrong criteria in reaching its conclusion. (b) Several issues that can be raised on legal interpretation of deeds, documents, terms of arts and inference drawn there from are grounds of law. (c) Where a ground deals merely with a matter of inference, even if it be inference of fact, a ground framed from such is a ground of law. (d) Where a tribunal states the law in point wrongly, it commits an error in law. (e) Where the complaint is that there was no evidence or no admissible evidence upon which a finding or decision was based, same is regarded as a ground of law. (f) If a Judge considers matters which are not before him and relies on them for the exercise of his discretion, he will be exercising same on wrong principles and this will be a question of law…..”

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ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION MUST BE FORMULATED FROM GROUNDS OF APPEAL

For issues for determination formulated by the respondent to be valid, they must be distilled from the grounds of appeal. In the instant case, as the respondents’ re-formulated issues are not shown to be tied to any of the grounds of appeal filed by the appellant they are discountenanced. [Ondo State University v. Folayan (1994) 7 NWLR (Pt.354) 1; Federal College of Education v. Anyanwu (1997) 4 NWLR (Pt.501) 533 at 560 referred to].

— Adeyemo v. Ida & Ors. (1998) – CA/1/6/92

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