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COURT DOES NOT DETERMINE ISSUES THAT ARE INCOMPETENT

Dictum

The law is that once a preliminary objection succeeds in respect of some issues for determination in an appeal, there will be no need to go further to consider the arguments proffered on those issues formulated for determination which have been found to be infirmed and incompetent. See: Mosoba v. Abubakar (2005) 6 NWLR (Pt. 922) 460; NEPA v. Ango (2001) 15 NWLR (pt. 737) 627 at 645-6 46; Ralph Uwazurike and Ors v. Attorney General of the Federation (2007) 2 SCNJ 369 at p.380; B.A.S.F. Nig. Ltd v. Faith Enterprises Ltd (2010) 1 SCNJ 223 at P.249.

— T.S. YAKUBU, JCA. Fayose v ICN (2012) – CA/AE/58/2010

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PARTIES ISSUES ARE TO BE CONSIDERED

It is trite that issues raised by parties ought to be considered and determined. – Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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ISSUES OF DETERMINATION ARISE FROM APPEAL GROUNDS

It is settled law that issues for determination must be distilled from grounds of appeal which ground(s) must attack the ratio decidendi of the judgment not anything said by the way, or obiter dicta or be formulated in vacuo , as issue 5 in the instant case. – Onnoghen JSC. Chami v. UBA (2010)

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ARGUMENT SHOULD BE BASED ON THE ISSUE NOT GROUND OF APPEAL

But he should know that once the issues for determination have taken full account of the grounds of appeal filed, he ought not to abandon those issues and base his arguments on the grounds of appeal one by one. Quite apart from the intendment of the Rules, that argument in a brief shall be based on the issues, the advantage of this is that whereas a successful argument of a ground of appeal does not necessarily result in the appeal being allowed.

– Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989)

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ISSUE: NATURE OF ISSUE & GROUNDS OF APPEAL

It is trite that a Respondent may not formulate issues outside the grounds of appeal contained in the Appellant’s Notice of Appeal, in this case contained in Pages 337 – 346 of the printed records of Appeal. Issues for determination must be based on and correlate with the grounds of appeal and should be an answer to the grounds of appeal. An issue may encompass one or more grounds of appeal, it is incompetent where the issues are not based on the grounds of appeal, they are irrelevant. Issues for determination in an appeal is akin to pleadings in the lower Court, hence adherence to the strict observance of the rules on formulating issues for determination. If all the above constituent elements or requirements of the doctrine are not fully established, the plea of estoppel per rem judicatam can not be sustained.

– Nwaoma Uwa, JCA. NOGA v. NICON (2007)

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ISSUES RAISED BUT NOT RESPONDED TO IS ADMITTED

The consequence of failing to respond to the adversary’s submissions on pivotal issues was amply stated by this Court, in Alhaji M. K. Gujba V. First Bank Of Nigeria Plc & Anor (2011) LPELR 8971 (CA) per Obande Ogbuinya JCA at Pages 42-43 Para B-A, where His Lordship held: “The learned Counsel for the Respondents, in his infinite wisdom, did not respond to the submissions of the learned counsel for the Appellant on this point. In law, that is a costly failure. The telling effect of that failure to answer to the Appellant’s counsel’s submissions is that the Respondents are deemed to have admitted them. On this principle of law, I draw on the case of NWANKWO v. YAR’ADUA (2010) 12 NWLR (pt.1209) 518 at 586, where Onnoghen, JSC, held:- ‘It is clear from the issues formulated and argued by learned senior counsel for the 1st and 2nd Respondents in their brief of argument do not include argument on appellant’s said issue No. 8. It is settled law that where an opponent fails or neglects to counter any argument or issue validly raised in the brief of argument or during oral presentation, the issue not so contested is deemed conceded by the defaulting party. I therefore, in the circumstance, hold that the 1st and 2nd Respondents by not reacting to the issue in question, have conceded the issue as formulatedand argued by the learned counsel for the Appellant.’ It follows that the Respondents played into the hands of the Appellant, on this issue, when they failed to join issues with the arguments of the Appellant therein. This omission, whether intention or inadvertent, makes the appellant hold an ace on this issue.”

— O. Adefope-Okojie, JCA. Kanu v FRN (2022) – CA/ABJ/CR/625/2022

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PROLIFERATION OF ISSUES IS DEPLORABLE

Undoubtedly, the Appellants have disposed themselves to the unpardonable practice of proliferation of issues. Proliferation of issues is highly deplorable. In drafting grounds of appeal and issues for determination, counsel must at all times avoid proliferation of issues and this is done by distilling a sole issue from one or more grounds of appeal, thereby avoiding multiplicity of issues from the same ground.

– Saulawa, JSC. Oko v. Ebonyi State (2021)

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