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OMNIBUS GROUND OF APPEAL REQUIRES LEAVE OF COURT

Dictum

It is also trite that an Omnibus Ground of appeal is a general ground of fact complaining against the totality of the evidence adduced at the trial, see IREJU NWOKIDU AND 3 ORS V MARK OKANU AND ANOR (2010) 1 SC (Pt. 1) 136, ODOEMENA NWAIGWE AND ORS V NZE EDWIN OKERE (2008) 5-6 SC (Pt. 11) 93. Put in another way, an Omnibus Ground of Appeal is a complaint on evaluation of evidence which encompasses a complaint that the trial Court failed to properly evaluate the evidence before the Court, see AJIBONA V KOLAWOLE (1996) 12 SCNJ 270.

— M.N. Oniyangi, JCA. Jos Met. Dev. v. Umealakei (2020) – CA/J/481/2019

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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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GROUND WILL BE ABANDONED WHERE NO ARGUMENT SUBMISSION FOR SAME

I have to observe that learned counsel for the appellants did not make any submission in relation to issue No C as formulated by him in the brief of argument and is consequently deemed to have been abandoned.

– WS Onnoghen, JSC. Calabar CC v. Ekpo (2008)

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GROUNDS WHERE NO ISSUES ARISE FROM ARE DEEMED STRUCK OUT

It is trite that by the rules of practice and procedure, in particular, of the appellate Courts, appeals are to be determined on the issues distilled from the competent grounds of appeal raised against the judgment being appealed. Therefore, any ground of appeal from which no issue has been formulated is deemed to have been abandoned and is liable to be discountenanced and struck out by the Court. Indeed, any such ground is lifeless and may not need a specific order to have it struck out yet should still be struck out. In this appeal, no issue has been formulated from grounds 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 of the Amended Notice of Appeal. Meaning that those grounds are deemed abandoned. Accordingly, the said grounds 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 are struck out.

— O. Ariwoola, JSC. Galadima v. State (2017) – SC.70/2013

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DEFINITION OF A COMPETENT GROUND OF APPEAL

Aregbesola v. Oyinlola (2001) 9 NWLR (Pt 1253) 627 which states “A ground of appeal is a statement by a party aggrieved with the decision of a Court, complaining that the Court from which the appeal is brought made a mistake in the finding of facts or application of the law to certain set of facts. A ground of appeal is the complaint of the appellant against the judgment of the Court. Such a complaint must be based on the live issue or issue in controversy in the suit once it is succinctly couched and the parties understood and appreciate the meaning of the contents thereof, such a ground of appeal will not be incompetent merely because it is technically defective.”

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CANNOT FRAME MORE ISSUES THAN THE NUMBER OF GROUNDS

The law is well settled that in practice, there should be no proliferation of issues. Therefore out of three grounds of appeal, an appellant cannot formulate or frame four issues. In other words, a party cannot frame more issues than the number of grounds of appeal.

– Adumein JCA. Adewoyin v. Executive Governor (2011)

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INELEGANT GROUND OF APPEAL DOES NOT MAKE AN APPEAL INCOMPETENT

I would want to say in this appeal that where the presentation of the particulars are not elegantly presented that would not be used to punish a litigant to get the ground of appeal struck out for incompetence in a situation where the ground of appeal in substance is valid. See Ogboru v Okowa (2016) 11 NWLR (Pt.1522) 84, 146; Omisore v Aregbesola (2015) 15 NWLR (Pt.1482) 205; Dakolo v Dakolo (2011) 16 NWLR (Pt.1272) 22.

— Tanko Muhammad, JSC. Berger v Toki Rainbow (2019) – SC.332/2009

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