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

Dictum

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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COURT DOES NOT DETERMINE ISSUES THAT ARE INCOMPETENT

The law is that once a preliminary objection succeeds in respect of some issues for determination in an appeal, there will be no need to go further to consider the arguments proffered on those issues formulated for determination which have been found to be infirmed and incompetent. See: Mosoba v. Abubakar (2005) 6 NWLR (Pt. 922) 460; NEPA v. Ango (2001) 15 NWLR (pt. 737) 627 at 645-6 46; Ralph Uwazurike and Ors v. Attorney General of the Federation (2007) 2 SCNJ 369 at p.380; B.A.S.F. Nig. Ltd v. Faith Enterprises Ltd (2010) 1 SCNJ 223 at P.249.

— T.S. YAKUBU, JCA. Fayose v ICN (2012) – CA/AE/58/2010

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COURT SHOULD NOT DETERMINE ISSUES MEANT FOR THE SUBSTANTIVE CASE AT THE PRELIMINARY STAGE

It is the settled position of the law that a court should not comment on or decide at preliminary stage matters or issues which are supposed to be decided in the substantive case. See: NWANKWO & ORS v YAR’ADUA & ORS (2010) LPELR-2109(SC), at page 71, paras. B-F, per Commassie, JSC; and OCHOLI ENOJO JAMES, SAN v INEC & ORS (2015) LPELR-24494(SC) at page 92, para. G, per Okoro, JSC.

— H.S. Tsammani, JCA. Peter Obi & Anor. v INEC & Ors. (2023) – CA/PEPC/03/2023

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DUTY OF APPELLATE COURT TO CONSIDER ALL ISSUES

Generally, it is the duty of an appellate court to consider all issues placed before it for determination. But where the court is of the view that a consideration of one of the issues is enough to dispose of the appeal, it is not under any obligation to consider all the other issues posed for determination. See Onochie V. Odoewu (2006) 2 SCM 95, (2006) 2 SCNJ 1.

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

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COURT IS TO CONSIDER ALL ISSUES PLACED BEFORE IT

There is no doubt, that, generally, the court below ought to have considered all issues placed before it for determination not being the final court on the matter. But a litigant can only be heard to complain if the issue not so considered is material and substantial in the particular circumstance. See Onifade V. Olayiwola (1990) 7 NWLR (Pt.161) 130 at 159 and if the appellant had suffered any miscarriage of justice. See; State V. Ajie (2000) FWLR (Pt.15) 2831 at 2842.

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

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SUPREME COURT CANNOT CONSIDER ISSUE WHICH LOWER COURT DID NOT CONSIDER

There is no averment to that effect in appellants’ statement of claim in the Court of trial, and the issue was not even raised on appeal. None of the Justices of the Court of Appeal referred the issue in their judgments. Since we have not the benefit of the opinion of the Court below on the issue, it is inappropriate for this Court to consider it. – See United Marketing Co. v. Kara (1963) 1 WLR. 523; Ahamath v Umma (1931) A.C. 799.

— Karibe-Whyte JSC. Okoye v Dumez & Ors. (1985) – SC.89/1984

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PROLIFERATION OF ISSUES IS CONDEMNED

The appellants formulated eight issues for determination, while the respondents formulated four issues. I will not reproduce the twelve issues here. I do not have such space. But I have enough space to ask what are eight issues doing in an appeal that has only five grounds of appeal? This Court has condemned proliferation of issues. As a matter of procedure, issues should not outnumber grounds of appeal. This is because issues are framed from one or more grounds of appeal, preferably more than one ground of appeal. The reverse position is the practice and it is that grounds of appeal outnumber issues. See generally Attorney-General Bendel State v. Aideyan (1989) 4 NWLR (Pt. 118) 646; Ugo v. Obiekwe (1989) 1 NWLR (Pt. 99) 566; Adelaja v. Farouk (1990) 2 NWLR (Pt. 131) 137; Anonk Lodge Hotels Ltd, v. Mercantile Bank of Nigeria Ltd (1993) 3 NWLR (Pt. 284) 72.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Mozie & Ors. v. Mbamalu & Ors. (2006) – S.C.345/2001

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