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APPEALS ARE NOT WON BASED ON PROLIFERATION OF ISSUES

Dictum

As is the practice, briefs were duly filed and exchanged. The 1st Appellant formulated eight issues for determination, the 2nd to 6th appellants, four and the 1st respondent, five. This Court and the Supreme Court have said it times without number that appeals are not won by the quantity of issues but by their quality. It is not by formulating large number of issues as it is in this case, that appeals are won. With respect, I do not see the place of eight issues in this appeal. They are prolix and repetitive. It is not my intention to reproduce the issues formulated by the parties.

— Niki Tobi, JCA. Nnamdi Eriobuna & Ors. V. Ikechukwu Obiorah (CA/E/77/99, 24 May 1999)

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SUPERFLUOUS AND OVERLAPPING ISSUES ARE NOT NECESSARY

The issues formulated by the parties are needlessly overlapping and superfluous in several aspects. The Appellants formulated twelve (12) issues for determination when in actual fact the contention in this appeal appears straightforward. On their part, the Respondents formulated seven (7) issues with inelegant verbosity. This is not necessary in a Court as busy as the Supreme Court, perhaps any Court at all.

— S.D. Bage, JSC. Onyekwuluje v Animashaun (2019) – SC.72/2006

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APPEAL COURT CAN FORMULATE ISSUES

This Court and indeed an Appeal Court has the power to adopt or formulate issues that in its view would determine the real complaints in an appeal.

– Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Ukeje v. Ukeje (2014)

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ISSUE MUST ARISE FROM A GROUND OF APPEAL

I scarcely need to repeat that every issue in an appeal must arise from one or more grounds of appeal. It is usual for one, two or more grounds of appeal to constitute an issue, not the other way round. The reverse could not have arisen if counsel had done well to remember what an issue in an appeal really is.

– Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Petroleum v. Owodunni (1991)

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WHEN IS AN ISSUE ON APPEAL EXTRANEOUS

An issue is said to be extraneous, when it was neither raised nor canvassed at the trial court on pleadings and in the evidence of the parties.

– Ogbuagu JSC. Ogundele v. Agiri (2009) – SC

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AN APPEAL COURT CAN FORMULATE AN ISSUE – RELATEABLE TO THE GROUND OF APPEAL

From the furore of the complaints of the appellant which seem more academic than based on legal principles, it needs be restated that the Court of Appeal has a wide unfettered discretionary power to formulate its own issues in the interest of Justice, provided they relate to the grounds of appeal and flow therefrom. Stated in other words, an Appeal Court can formulate its own issues where in its opinion, the issues formulated by the parties would not justify or equitably dispose off the appeal before it. Further still, an Appeal Court can also with in the same manner, prefer or adopt the issue or issues formulated by any of the parties to an appeal where same would enable it do justice to the appeal.

– M. Peter-Odili, JSC. Makanjuola v. State (2021)

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DUTY OF APPELLATE COURT TO CONSIDER ALL ISSUES

Generally, it is the duty of an appellate court to consider all issues placed before it for determination. But where the court is of the view that a consideration of one of the issues is enough to dispose of the appeal, it is not under any obligation to consider all the other issues posed for determination. See Onochie V. Odoewu (2006) 2 SCM 95, (2006) 2 SCNJ 1.

— O. Ariwoola, JSC. African Intl. Bank Ltd. v Integrated Dimensional System (2012) – SC.278/2002

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