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ISSUE MUST BE DISTILLED FROM GROUND OF APPEAL

Dictum

The settled law is that an issue formulated for determination must be distilled from a ground of appeal, and where it has no ground of appeal to relate to, then it has no part to play in the determination of the appeal, and so the appellate court has no option than to disregard the said issue. Issue (1) in the appellant’s brief of argument also becomes incompetent and it is discountenanced.

– Mukhtar JSC. Nwankwo v. Ecumenical (2007)

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ALLEGING MISDIRECTION OF LAW

It is trite law that where a party alleged misdirection of law, he must show particulars of the misdirection related to a specific finding or observation or reasoning in the judgment of the trial Court. The particulars of the alleged misdirection must necessarily be stated because not every misdirection will be fatal to the decision of the trial Court or lead to setting same aside on appeal. See M/V CAROLINE MAERSK and ORS. v. NOKOY INV. LTD (2002) LPELR- 3182 (SC) and OKOTIE-EBOH v. MANAGER and ORS. (2004) LPELR.

— B.B. Aliyu, JCA. Oboh v. Oboh (2021) – CA/B/372/12

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GROUNDS OF APPEAL ARE EXPLANATORY NOTES OF WHAT IS IN CONTEST

In Waziri v Geidam (2016) 11 NWLR (Pt.1523) 230 at 256, I had in this Court stated that:- “The functions which particulars to a ground of appeal are required to perform are to highlight the grouse of the appellants against the judgement on appeal. They are specifications of errors and misdirection which show the complaint the appellants are screaming about and the line of thought the appellants are going to canvass in their brief of argument. What is fundamental is that the ground of appeal are really explanatory notes on what is in contest and the particulars which open and exposed so that there is no attempt at an ambush or giving of room to which the respondent would say he was left in the dark of what he was to defend on appeal or that they are unable to understand or appreciate the complaint in the said ground.”

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CANNOT FRAME MORE ISSUES THAN THE NUMBER OF GROUNDS

The law is well settled that in practice, there should be no proliferation of issues. Therefore out of three grounds of appeal, an appellant cannot formulate or frame four issues. In other words, a party cannot frame more issues than the number of grounds of appeal.

– Adumein JCA. Adewoyin v. Executive Governor (2011)

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ISSUE RAISED MUST BE RELATED TO A COMPETENT GROUND OF APPEAL

Issues arising for determination of an appeal are determined by the number of competent grounds of appeal filed by the appellant challenging the decision of the court being appealed against. The law is that neither a party nor a court is permitted to raise or deal with any issue which is not related to or does not arise from any ground or grounds of appeal. See Oniah v. Onyia (1989) 1 NWLR (Pt.99) 514; Nwosu v. Udeaja (1990) 1 NWLR (Pt. 125) 188 and Mark v. Eke (2004) 5 NWLR (Pt.865) 54 at 82. Therefore since the two issues formulated in the 1st respondent’s brief have the backing of the grounds of appeal filed by the appellants, they are relevant for the determination of this appeal. The remaining four issues in the appellants’ brief are equally potent having regard to the grounds of appeal in their support.

— Mohammed, JSC. C.S.S. Bookshops v. Muslim Community & Ors. (2006) – SC.307/2001

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A COMPETENT APPEAL ARISES FROM A LOWER COURT’S DECISION

A competent appeal to this Court from the Court of Appeal, the Court below, arises only from that Court’s decision. In the case at hand where an issue had not been heard and decided by the Court of Appeal, an appeal to this Court, by virtue of Section 233(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, does not enure. See THOR V. FIRST CITY MERCHANT BANK LTD (2002) LPELR – 8061 (SC) and OYAKHIRE V. STATE (2006) LPELR-2863 (SC).

— M.D. Muhammad, JSC. Friday Charles v. The State of Lagos (SC.CR/503/2020, Friday March 31 2023)

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MOTION ON NOTICE FOR OFFENDING GROUNDS

Where other grounds of appeal can sustain an appeal a Preliminary objection should not be filed, rather a Motion of Notice should be filed against the offending grounds of appeal. – Rhodes-Vivour JSC. Nwaolisah v. Nwabufoh (2011)

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