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ISSUES ARE ARGUED NOT GROUNDS OF APPEAL

Dictum

I think I ought to stress in the first place that it is the issues distilled from all appellant’s grounds of appeal that may be argued in the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court and not the grounds of appeal.

– Iguh, JSC. Oshatoba v. Olujitan (2000)

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GROUNDS OF APPEAL SHOULD NOT BE LESS THAN THE ISSUES FORMULATED

A principle of formulation of issues in appeal is that the grounds of appeal should in no circumstance be less than the issues for determination. While the Court may tolerate equal number of grounds of appeal and issues framed therefrom, as in this case, a situation where there are less grounds of appeal than issues for determination will not be tolerated. See Agu v. Ikewibe (1991) 3 NWLR (pt. 180) 385; A-G Bendel State v. Aideyan (1989) 4 NWLR (pt. 118) 646; Ugo v. Obiekwe & Anor (1989) 1 NWLR (pt. 99) 566.

— N.S. Ngwuta, JSC. Odogwu v State (2013) – SC.122/2009

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APPEALING MIXED LAW AND FACT REQUIRES LEAVE OF COURT

Where the law or rule prescribed the procedure to be taken in the performance of an act is not complied with, the performance of the act in the circumstance is a nullity. Section 233 (3) (a) provides that subject to the provisions of “Subsection (2) of this section, an appeal shall lie from the decisions of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court with leave of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court.” In other words, a party desiring to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court on mixed law and facts or facts is required to obtain the leave of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court to file the notice and grounds of appeal.

— W.S.N. Onnoghen, JSC. SPDC v Agbara (2019) – SC.731/2017(R)

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LEAVE IS TO BE SOUGHT FOR SUPREME COURT TO DETERMINE AN ISSUE NOT RAISED AT LOWER COURT.

Now, any party to an appeal who seeks the determination of an issue that was never raised at and determined by the trial and/or lower Court must show that it has sought and obtained the leave of the Court earlier. It is long settled that where no leave was sought and obtained, and one is required, the appeal is incompetent and liable to be struck out. See EHINLANWO V. OKE & ORS (2008) LPELR – 1054 (SC) and METUH V. F.R.N (2017) 4 NWLR (PT 1554) 108 at 121.

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

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APPEAL COURT CAN FORMULATE ISSUES

This Court and indeed an Appeal Court has the power to adopt or formulate issues that in its view would determine the real complaints in an appeal.

– Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Ukeje v. Ukeje (2014)

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APPEALING FACTS IN DEATH SENTENCE IS OF RIGHT

The right of appellant to appeal as of right on the 4 grounds complaining on facts is secured by Section 233 (2) (d) of the Constitution, the Court of Appeal having affirmed his death sentence.

— E. Eko, JSC. Lawali v State (2019) – SC.272/2017

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