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ISSUE: NATURE OF ISSUE & GROUNDS OF APPEAL

Dictum

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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ISSUE MUST FLOW FROM GROUND OF APPEAL

‘The law is that, an issue for determination must flow from and be supported by a ground of appeal. see Jimoh Garuba v. Isiaka Yahaya (2007) 1 SCNJ 352; Khaled Chami v. UBA Plc (2010) 2 SCNJ 23 at P.36.’

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

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ISSUES ARE ARGUED NOT GROUNDS OF APPEAL

I think I ought to stress in the first place that it is the issues distilled from all appellant’s grounds of appeal that may be argued in the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court and not the grounds of appeal.

– Iguh, JSC. Oshatoba v. Olujitan (2000)

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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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APPEALING FACTS IN DEATH SENTENCE IS OF RIGHT

The right of appellant to appeal as of right on the 4 grounds complaining on facts is secured by Section 233 (2) (d) of the Constitution, the Court of Appeal having affirmed his death sentence.

— E. Eko, JSC. Lawali v State (2019) – SC.272/2017

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PARTICULARS NOT NECESSARY WHERE COMPLAINT OF GROUND IS CLEAR

Where the complaint on a ground of law is clear and succinct, particulars may equate to repetition which is undesirable. Substantial justice must now have pre-eminence over technicality. See: Odoniyi v. Oyeleke (2001) SC 194 at 198; Nwosu v. Imo State Environmental Sanitation Authority (1990) 2 NWLR (pt. 688) 717.

— Fabiyi, JSC. Best Ltd. v. Blackwood Hodge (2011) – SC

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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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