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COURT CANNOT PRONOUNCE ON ISSUE NOT RAISED

Dictum

Nnaemeka-Agu, J.S.C., expressed similar views in a recent case Niger Progress Ltd. v. North East Line Corporation (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.107) 68 at p. 100 viz: “In the instant case whether or not the writ was duly indorsed… is not only new, but one which should have been resolved one way or the other in the Court of trial. It ought to have occurred to learned counsel that this Court cannot make any pronouncement on the endorsement or Service of the Writ when such an issue was never placed before the lower Court … even a notice to raise a point not raised in the Court below … can never serve as a licence for introducing new and separate issues.”

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REASON FOR THE FORMULATION OF ISSUE IN AN APPEAL

It cannot be over-empahsised that the object of the formulation of issues for determination in an appeal is to enable the parties narrow the issues arising from the grounds of appeal filed in the interest of clarity, brevity and accuracy, thus enabling the court to consider together a number of associated and related grounds of appeal within the issue to which they are related in the determination of the appeal.

– Iguh, JSC. Clay v. Aina (1997)

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ISSUE MUST ARISE FROM A GROUND OF APPEAL

I scarcely need to repeat that every issue in an appeal must arise from one or more grounds of appeal. It is usual for one, two or more grounds of appeal to constitute an issue, not the other way round. The reverse could not have arisen if counsel had done well to remember what an issue in an appeal really is.

– Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Petroleum v. Owodunni (1991)

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APPEALS ARE NOT WON BASED ON PROLIFERATION OF ISSUES

As is the practice, briefs were duly filed and exchanged. The 1st Appellant formulated eight issues for determination, the 2nd to 6th appellants, four and the 1st respondent, five. This Court and the Supreme Court have said it times without number that appeals are not won by the quantity of issues but by their quality. It is not by formulating large number of issues as it is in this case, that appeals are won. With respect, I do not see the place of eight issues in this appeal. They are prolix and repetitive. It is not my intention to reproduce the issues formulated by the parties.

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

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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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WHEN IS AN ISSUE ON APPEAL EXTRANEOUS

An issue is said to be extraneous, when it was neither raised nor canvassed at the trial court on pleadings and in the evidence of the parties.

– Ogbuagu JSC. Ogundele v. Agiri (2009) – SC

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AN ISSUE IS A POINT IN DISPUTE BETWEEN TWO PARTIES – COURT CAN REFORMULATE ISSUE

What then is “an issue”? An issue is a point in dispute between two or more parties. In an appeal, it may take the form of a separate and discrete question of law or fact or a combination of both. In other words, an issue is a point that has arisen in the pleadings of the parties which forms the basis of the dispute or litigation which requires resolution by a trial court. See Black’s Law Dictionary. Ninth (9) Edition, page 907, Metal Construction (WA) Ltd. V. Milgliore & Ors (Vice Versa) (1990) 1 NWLR (pt.126) 299; (1990) 2 SCNJ 20; Egbe V. Alhaji & 2 ors (1990) 1 NWLR (Pt.128) 546 (1990) 3 SCNJ 41, Ishola V. Ajiboye (1998) NWLR (Pt.532) 91. However, where a court finds that there is proliferation of issues or the issues formulated or posed for determination are clumsy or not clear, a court is empowered to reformulate issues in an appeal. This is to give the issue or issues distilled by a party or the parties precision and clarity. See; Okoro V. The State (1988) 12 SC 191, (1988) 12 SCNJ 1911 Latinde & Anor V. Bella Lajunfin (1989) 5 SC 59, (1989) 5 SCNJ 59, Awojugbagbe Light Industries Ltd. V. P. N. Chinukwe & Anor (1995) 4 NWLR (pt.390) 379, (1995) 4 SCNJ 162, Lebile V. The Registered Trustees of Cherubim & Seraphin Church of Zion of Nigeria, Ugola & 3 Ors (2003) 2 SCM 39, (2003) 1 SCNJ 463.

— O. Ariwoola, JSC. African Intl. Bank Ltd. v Integrated Dimensional System (2012) – SC.278/2002

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