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ONLY ONE ISSUE CAN ARISE FROM A GROUND OF APPEAL

Dictum

It should, however, be noted that, Appellant had distilled their Issue one from grounds 1, 2 and 5 of the Grounds of the Appeal, and thereafter, distilled the Issue 3 (which the Respondent attacked, mistaking it for Issue 4) from the same ground one of the appeal. Appellants cannot do that, as it would amount to proliferation of issues. Having earlier used the ground one, together with grounds 2 and 5, to distill the issue one, the said ground one was no longer available to donate another issue for the determination of the appeal. We have held repeatedly, that a ground of appeal cannot be split to generate issues for determination, and that, once an issue has been distilled from a given ground of appeal, the said ground of appeal is no longer available to give birth to another issue for determination, either alone or in conjunction with other grounds of appeal. Where a ground of appeal has been used to formulate an issue for determination, using it again to formulate another issue will corrupt that other issue for determination and render it incompetent.

– Mbaba JCA. Aduba v. Aduba (2018)

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OMNIBUS GROUND OF APPEAL REQUIRES LEAVE OF COURT

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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PURPOSE OF FRAMING OF ISSUES

✓ In Unity Bank & Anor V. Edward Bonari (2008) 2 SCM 193 at 240, this court had opined thus: “It is now firmly settled that the purpose of reframing issue or issues is to lead to a more judicious and proper determination of an appeal. In other words, the purpose is to narrow the issue or issues in controversy in the interest of accuracy, clarity and brevity.” See also, Musa Sha (Jnr.) & Anor V. Da Ray Kwan & 4 ors (2000) 5 SCNJ 101 (2000) 8 NWLR (Pt 670) 685.

✓ In Sha V. Kwan (supra) at 705 this court has stated thus: “So long as it will not lead to injustice to the opposite side, appellate courts possess the power and in the interest of justice, to reject, modify or reframe any or all issues formulated by the parties…”

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RESPONDENT CANNOT RAISE ISSUES OUTSIDE THE GROUNDS OF APPEAL

It is settled law that issues for determination must relate to and arise from the grounds of appeal filed by the appellant and any issue that is not distilled from the grounds of appeal is incompetent and must be struck out. A respondent must formulate his issues from the grounds of appeal and he has no business to raise any issue outside them when he did not file a cross appeal or a respondent’s notice that the judgment of the court should be affirmed on other grounds. See:- “ Carlen (Nig.) Ltd. v. University of Jos and Anor (1994) 1 SCNJ 72 Agwundu and Ors v. Onwumere (1994) 1 SCNJ 106 Godwin v. C.A.C. (1998) 14 NWLR (Pt. 584) 162 Shitta Bey v. Attorney-General of the Federation (1998) 10 NWLR (Pt. 570) 392.

— Opene JCA. United Bank for Africa (UBA) v. Samuel Igelle Ujor (CA/C/134/99, 20 FEB 2001)

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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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ISSUE MUST BE GOTTEN FROM THE GROUNDS OF APPEAL

An issue is derived from a ground where the subject matter of the issue is the same as the subject matter of the complain in the ground. As this court has established in a long line of cases overtime, any issue raised for determination in an appeal that is not based on or covered by any ground of the appeal is not valid for consideration and must be struck out.

– Agim JSC. Pillars v. William (2021)

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ISSUE NOT RAISED AT THE TRIAL CANNOT BE RAISED ON APPEAL WITHOUT LEAVE

Learned counsel for the 1st respondent in a preliminary objection, raised the issue of filing the process on a public holiday. With respect, I entirely agree with learned Senior Advocate that that issue was not raised at the tribunal. It cannot therefore be raised on appeal without leave of this court. Unfortunately for the 1st respondent, no such leave was sought. And what is more, the tribunal did not advance the reason that the motion could not be taken because it was filed on a public holiday.

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

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