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FINDING NOT APPEALED IS BINDING ON PARTY

Dictum

It is settled law, however, that a finding of a court or tribunal not appealed against is deemed accepted by the party against whom the finding was made in the instant case, the appellants. However, if the appellants had sought and obtained the leave of the courts to appeal against the findings of facts or mixed law and facts or to raise fresh issues not raised in the court below, it would have been sufficient to sustain ground 1 of the grounds of appeal. Since no such leave was sought and obtained the affected ground is doomed to be struck out for being incompetent.

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

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APPELLATE COURT IS CONCERNED MORE WITH THE DECISION REACHED, THAN REASON FOR DECISION

As rightly, submitted by learned counsel for the respondent, an appellate Court is more concerned with whether the decision reached by the lower Court is correct and not necessarily whether a wrong reason was given for reaching a right decision. See: Arisa Vs The State (1988) 3 NWLR (Pt. 83) 386; Ojengbede vs Esan & Anor. (2001) 18 NWLR (Pt. 746) 771. If the decision is right, it will be upheld notwithstanding the fact that a wrong reason was given for the decision. It is only where the misdirection has caused the Court to come to a wrong decision that it would be material. See: Oladele & Ors Vs Aromolaran II & Ors. (1996) 6 NWLR (Pt.453) 180.

— K.M.O. Kekere-Ekun, JSC. MTN v. Corporate (2019) – SC.674/2014

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TRIAL COURT DECISION WILL NOT BE SET ASIDE IF FINDING IS SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE

The decision of a trial Court would not be set aside merely because this Court would have employed a different procedure for the evaluation of the evidence, drawn different inferences and reached different conclusion on some or even all of the facts. The important thing is that the decision of a trial Court can be apparently supported by the evidence placed before it.

– M.L. Garba JCA. Odogwu v. Vivian (2009) – CA/PH/345/05

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APPELLATE COURT IS ONLY CONCERNED WITH DECISION OF COURT NOT REASONS GIVEN

Ndayoko & Ors. V. Alhaji Dantoro & Ors (2004) 13 NWLR (Pt. 889) 187 @ p. 198, where Edozie JSC., had pronounced with finality on this vexed issue, thus: “An appellate Court is only concerned with whether the judgment appealed against is right or wrong not whether the reasons given are right or wrong. Where the judgment is right but the reasons given are wrong, the appellate Court does not interfere. It is only where the misdirection has caused the Court to come to a wrong conclusion that the appellate Court will interfere….”

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A COURT HAS INHERENT POWERS TO SET ASIDE ITS OWN ORDER MADE WITHOUT

In sum, I hold firmly that where a judgment of this court or an order thereof is adjudged a nullity, a party affected thereby is entitled to have it set aside ex debito justitiae. The court has inherent jurisdiction or power to set aside its own order or decision made without jurisdiction if such order or decision is in fact a nullity or was obtained by fraud or if the court was misled into granting same by concealing some vital information or facts. See Igwe v. Kalu (supra), Vulcan Gases Ltd v. G.F. Ind. AC (2001) 9 NWLR (pt.719) 610 at 644 – 645 paras H – A.

— J.I. Okoro JSC. Citec v. Francis (SC.116/2011, 21 February 2014)

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AS LONG AS A DECISION HAS NOT BEEN SET ASIDE, THE JUDGEMENT OF COURT MUST BE OBEYED

The point must be rammed home that an order issuing from any court, a fortiori an order of the Court of Appeal, the penultimate court in the judicial ladder, must be obeyed to the letters. It is of no moment that such order is wrongly made as long as it has not been set aside by an appellate court. Obedience to order of court is part and parcel of rule of law, which, in turn, is sina qua non for orderliness and development of democracy in any society. Contrariwise, disobedience of court order, as amply demonstrated by the respondent’s unrepentant conduct, is capable of igniting chaos and anarchy in any country. The respondent, erroneously, think that the court is a toothless bulldog which can bark without biting. By his aberrant desecration of the order of this court, made on 10/06/2010, he has insulted the law and he must incur its wrath.

— O. Ogbuinya, JCA. Ogunleye v. Aina (2012) – CA/IL/22/2011

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DECISION OF COURT WHICH APPEARS SUBSTANTIALLY REGULAR IS PRESUMED TO BE CORRECT

The duty of every appellant is to show and or establish that the decision he has appealed was wrong or unreasonable. Every decision of a Court of law, a judicial act, done in a manner substantially regular is presumed to be correct and that formal requisites for its validity were complied with. The presumption of regularity under Section 167(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011 is all about this.

— E. Eko, JSC. Kassim v. State (2017) – SC.361/2015

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