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COURT CANNOT REVIVE AN INCOMPETENT APPEAL

Dictum

The inherent jurisdiction to regulate proceedings in this court does not arise until there is a lis extant upon which the inherent jurisdiction operates. There is no provision either in the Constitution, the Court of Appeal Act or Court of Appeal Rules vesting this court with jurisdiction to validate by rectifying defects in appeals which are otherwise incompetent. There is no power in this court to entertain any application for or grant any relief in respect of a putative or incompetent appeal.

— Salami, JCA. Ifeajuna v. Ifeajuna (1998) – CA/E/181/97

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INTERMEDIATE COURT WILL PROCEED TO LOOK AT THE CASE MERIT

While I am tempted to put an end to this petition at this stage, but realising that this Court is not the final Court on the matter, I am constrained to look at the merit of the petition. — H.S. Tsammani, JCA. APM v INEC & Ors. (2023) – CA/PEPC/04/2023

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APPEAL AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE

Mogaji and Ors. v. Odofin and Ors. (1978) 4 S.C. 91 at 93, Fatayi-Williams J.S.C. (as he then was) said: “When an appellant complains that a judgment is against the weight of evidence, all he means is that when the evidence adduced by him is balanced against that adduced by the respondent, the judgment given in favour of the respondent is against the weight which should have been given to the totality of the evidence before him. In other words, the totality of the evidence should be considered in order to determine which has weight and which has no weight at all.”

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AN APPEAL IS AGAINST A RATIO, NOT OBITER

It also has to be observed that an appeal is usually against a ratio not normally against an obiter except in cases where the obiter is so closely linked with the ratio as to be deemed to have radically influenced the latter. But even there, the appeal is still against the ratio.

— Oputa, JSC. Saude v. Abdullahi (1989) – SC.197/1987

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APPEAL: WHERE LEAVE IS REQUIRED BUT NOT OBTAINED, APPEAL IS INCOMPETENT

Consequently, in law an appeal which requires the prior leave of Court but was filed without the requisite leave of Court is wholly and completely incompetent. It would have no redeeming feature to be considered on the merit no matter how tempting the zeal to do substantial justice on the merit to the parties may be. See Sections 240; 243 (1), (2) and (4); 254C (5) and (6) 3(2) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). See also Skye Bank v. Iwu (supra).

— B.A. Georgewill, JCA. University of Lagos v. Mbaso (2018) – CA/L/775/2016

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APPELLATE COURT INTERFERENCE WITH TRIAL COURTS DISCRETION

It needs to be emphasised here that an appellate Court will usually not interfere with an exercise of discretion in its quest to obtain substantial justice except where it is satisfied that the discretion was exercised arbitrarily or illegally or without due regard to all necessary consideration having regard to the circumstances of the particular case. – Nweze JSC. Abdullahi v. Adetutu (2019)

Even then, it is well – established that an appellate Court will not, in principle, interfere with the exercise of discretion by the trial Court unless that discretion is shown to have been exercised upon wrong principles or that the exercise was tainted with some illegality or substantial irregularity. – Nweze JSC. Abdullahi v. Adetutu (2019)

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APPEAL FROM TRIAL COURT TO SUPREME COURT

It is elementary law that this court has no jurisdiction to consider the issue which was only decided by the trial court. – Musdapher JSC. Gbadamosi v. Dairo (2007)

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