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DISTURBED FINDING OF FACT

Dictum

The trite position of the law is that where the Court of Appeal wrongly disturbed any finding of fact of a trial court, the Supreme Court will not hesitate in restoring that finding, See: Board of Customs and Excise v. Barau (1987) 10 SC 48.

— T. Muhammad, JSC. VAB Petroleum v. Momah (2013) – SC.99/2004

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WHERE CONCURRENT FINDINGS OF FACT IS PERVERSE

It is trite law that where the findings of trial court and indeed the concurrent findings of the Judge and the Court of Appeal are perverse, this court can interfere and give the correct findings as the evidence in the record show. See Ajeigbe vs. Odedina (1988) 1 NWLR (Pt. 72) 584; Okonkwo vs. Okolo (1988) 2 NWLR (pt. 79) 632; lbhafidon vs. 1gbinosun (2001) FWLR (pt. 49) 1426, (2001) 8 NWLR (Pt. 716) 653.

— N. Tobi, JSC. Ezennah v Atta (2004) – SC.226/2000

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COURT IS TO RECORD WHAT SIDE HE BELIEVES BEFORE RECORDING FINDING OF FACT

My only quarrel with the judgment of the learned trial Judge is that he recorded his findings before indicating what side he believed. This is a very wrong approach. After a review of the evidence of witnesses who gave conflicting accounts, the trial Judge ought to have indicated what side he believed before recording his findings because it is on the credibility of those witnesses that proper findings can be made. If a witness is not believed no finding of fact can be founded on his evidence.

— Oputa JSC. Onwuka & Ors. V. Ediala & Anor. (SC.18/1987, 20 January 1989)

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WHAT APPELLATE COURT CONSIDERS WHERE FINDING OF FACT IS CHALLENGED

An appellate court in its primary role in considering a judgment on appeal in a civil case in which the finding or non-finding of facts is questioned will seek to know:- The evidence before the trial court. Whether it accepted or rejected any evidence upon the correct perception. Whether it correctly approached the assessment of the evidence before it and placed the right probative value on it. Whether it used the imaginary scale of justice to weigh the evidence on either side and Whether it appreciated upon the preponderance of evidence which side of the scale weighed having regard to the burden of proof.

– ADEKEYE JCA. Anyafulu v. Agazie (2005)

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WRONG FACT FINDING CANNOT SET ASIDE AN ARBITRAL AWARD

In arbitration proceedings, the general principle is that facts finding by an Arbitrator is not a ground for setting aside an award on the ground that it is wrong nor on the ground that there is no evidence on which the facts could be found because that would be mere error of law.

– Garba, JCA. Dunlop v. Gaslink (2018)

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WRONGFUL EXERCISE OF DISCRETION MUST BE SHOWED FOR COURT TO INTERFERE IN FINDING OF FACT

On the other side which is that of the respondents is that this Court should affirm the Ruling of the Court of Appeal and dismiss the appeal as frivolous and unmeritorious. This appeal throws up very interesting facets as one is mindful of the fact that an appellate Court will not easily interfere with the exercise of discretion by a lower Court such as presented in the case in hand. To interfere, this Court has to be satisfied from the showing of materials that a wrongful exercise of that discretion has been made such as where the Court below acted under a misconception of the law or under a misapplication of fact such that it is seen that the lower Court gave weight to irrelevant or unproved matters or it omitted to take into account issues that are relevant or where it exercised or failed to exercise the discretion on wrong or insufficient materials and so it behoves the appellate Court the duty in the interest of justice to disturb that earlier decision. I rely on Enekebe v Enekebe (1964) 1 All NLR 102 at 106; Demuren v Asuni (1967) All NLR 94 at 101; Mobil Oil v Federal Board of Inland Revenue (1977) 3 SC 97 at 141; Sonekan v Smith (1967) 1 All NLR 329; Solanke v Ajibola (1968)1 ALL NLR 46 at 52.

— M.P. Odili, JSC. County Dev. Co. v Hon. Min. Env. Housing Urban Dev. (2019) – SC.239/2011

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MEANING OF A PERVERSE FINDING

A perverse finding is a wrong, unreasonable or unacceptable finding, having due regard to the evidence before the court. A perverse finding is one not supported by the evidence before the court. It is a finding raised on a wrong assessment of the evidence before the court. A finding of fact based on exaggerated or bloated evidence on the part of the trial court could be perverse. So too finding of fact borne out from addition or subtraction from the evidence before the court.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Buhari v. INEC (2008) – SC 51/2008

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