Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

AN ISSUE IS THE QUESTION FOR RESOLUTION WHICH DETERMINES THE DISPUTE

Dictum

That is to say the appellant having succeeded in establishing that the respondent’s application to register the foreign judgment was filed out of time, the need to rely on the other issues to arrive at the same result is quite necessary. An issue is the question in dispute between the parties necessary for determination of the suit or appeal. An issue, which is normally raised by way of a question, is usually a proposition of law or fact in dispute between the parties necessary for determination by the court, a determination which will normally affect the result of the suit or appeal. See Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.110) 417; Okoromaka v. Chief Odiri (1995) 7 NWLR (Pt.408) 411 and Olafisoye v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) 4 NWLR (Pt.864) 580 at 641-642 … As the determination of the five issues in the appellant’s brief of argument will not affect the result of this appeal, the issues have ceased to be the real issues for determination between the parties in this appeal. This is because courts of law are not established to deal with hypothetical and academic questions. Courts are established to deal with life issues which relate to matters in difference between the parties. See National Insurance Corporation v. Power and Industrial Engineering Co. Ltd. (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt.14) 1 at 22; Akeredolu v. Akinremi (1986) 2 NWLR (Pt.25) 710 at 728; Ekperokun v. University of Lagos (1986) 4 NWLR (Pt.34) 162 at 179; Titiloye v. Olupo (1991) 7 NWLR (Pt.205) 519 at 534; Bamgboye v. University of Ilorin (1999) 10 NWLR (Pt.622) 290 at 330 and Macaulay v. R.Z.B. of Austria (2003) 18 NWLR (Pt.852) 282 at 300.

— M. Mohammed, JSC. Marine Co. v Overseas Union (2006) – SC.108/2001

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

PROLIFERATION OF ISSUES IS CONDEMNED

The appellants formulated eight issues for determination, while the respondents formulated four issues. I will not reproduce the twelve issues here. I do not have such space. But I have enough space to ask what are eight issues doing in an appeal that has only five grounds of appeal? This Court has condemned proliferation of issues. As a matter of procedure, issues should not outnumber grounds of appeal. This is because issues are framed from one or more grounds of appeal, preferably more than one ground of appeal. The reverse position is the practice and it is that grounds of appeal outnumber issues. See generally Attorney-General Bendel State v. Aideyan (1989) 4 NWLR (Pt. 118) 646; Ugo v. Obiekwe (1989) 1 NWLR (Pt. 99) 566; Adelaja v. Farouk (1990) 2 NWLR (Pt. 131) 137; Anonk Lodge Hotels Ltd, v. Mercantile Bank of Nigeria Ltd (1993) 3 NWLR (Pt. 284) 72.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Mozie & Ors. v. Mbamalu & Ors. (2006) – S.C.345/2001

Was this dictum helpful?

ISSUE MUST ARISE FROM GROUNDS OF APPEAL

It suffices to state, firstly, that an appellate court can only hear and decide on issues raised on the grounds of appeal filed before it and an issue not covered by any ground of appeal is incompetent and will be struck out. – Iguh, JSC. Oshatoba v. Olujitan (2000)

Was this dictum helpful?

ISSUE CANVASSED BELOW CAN BE DECIDED BY SUPREME COURT EVEN IF NOT APPEALED

There is however an aspect which offends against the provisions of our Constitution relating to the guaranteed freedom of association. There is no ground of appeal before us by the appellant or a cross-appeal by the respondent covering this point. However, the issue was canvassed in the court below. Unfortunately, the court below expressed no opinion on it. This Court can in exercise of its powers under Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, Cap. 424 decide the issue.

– Karibe-Whyte JSC. Agbai v. Okogbue (1991) – SC 104/1989

Was this dictum helpful?

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)

Was this dictum helpful?

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…”

Was this dictum helpful?

COURTS OF LAW HAS A DUTY TO PRONOUNCE ON ALL ISSUES RAISED

The Apex Court had occasion to emphasize the essentiality of lower courts pronouncing on all issues properly raised before them. It held, in the case of C.N. Okpala & Sons Ltd v Nigerian Breweries PLC (2018) 9 NWLR Part 1623 Page 16 at 28 Para G-H per Okoro JSC, as follows: “In several decisions of this court, it has been repeatedly held that all lower courts, as a general rule, must pronounce on all issues properly placed before them for determination in order, apart from the issue of fair hearing, not to risk the possibility that the only issue or issues not pronounced upon are crucial, failure to pronounce on them will certainly lead to a miscarriage of justice. There is therefore need for every court or tribunal to make findings and pronounce on material and fundamental issues canvassed before it by the parties because failure to do so, as I said earlier, may result in a miscarriage of justice.”

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

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.