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MOTION ON NOTICE FOR OFFENDING GROUNDS

Dictum

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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WHAT IS A GROUND OF APPEAL?

It is settled law that a ground of appeal is basically a highlight of the error of law or fact or mixed law and fact made by the court in the decision sought to be set aside in the appeal. It is the sum total of the reason(s) why the decision on appeal is considered by learned counsel for the appellant to be wrong and liable to be set aside. It follows therefore that for a ground of appeal to be capable of achieving the purpose of setting aside the decision appealed against, it has to be very substantial and must relate to the ratio of the decision, not directed at the obiter dictum of the court or in the judgment.

– Mukhtar JSC. Nwankwo v. Ecumenical (2007)

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ISSUES SHOULD NOT BE MORE THAN THE GROUND OF APPEAL

The principle of law is that the grounds of appeal should in no circumstance be less than the issues for determination. Since the Respondent did not marry his issues with the grounds of appeal, I am left with one option – to strike out the Respondent’s third issue. Issue three in the Respondent’s brief is hereby struck out as it does not relate to any of grounds one or two of the appellant’s grounds of appeal. (See Omo v. JSC Delta State (2000) 7 SC (Pt. 11) page 1.

— N.S. Ngwuta, JSC. Henry Nwokearu V. The State (SC.227/2011, 24 MAY 2013)

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MANY GROUNDS OF APPEAL MAY MAKE ONE ISSUE

It is trite law that one issue can contain many consistent grounds of appeal, but a single ground of appeal cannot give rise to two or more issues.

– Denton West JCA. Salaja v. Salaja (2013)

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NO NEED TO APPEAL SPECIFIC FINDINGS WHEN WHOLE DECISION HAS BEEN APPEALED

It has been argued by the respondent’s counsel that the appellant did not appeal against this finding and some other findings made by the learned trial Judge, I must say that she was not given a fair hearing and has appealed against the whole judgment and does not need to appeal against everything said or every observation made by the learned trial Judge.

— Opene JCA. United Bank for Africa (UBA) v. Samuel Igelle Ujor (CA/C/134/99, 20 FEB 2001)

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GROUND AGAINST WRONGFUL ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE NEED NO LEAVE

A ground of appeal against wrongful admission of evidence or wrongful reliance on it in a final appeal is proper and arises from the judgment. It requires no leave of Court to raise it. – Ekanem JCA. C.O.P. v. Doolor (2020) – CA/MK/182/2017

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EASY WAY TO IDENTIFY A GROUND OF FACT FROM A GROUND OF LAW

In Enterprise Bank Ltd. v. Deaconess F. Bose Aroso & 5 ors. Suit No.166/2003 judgment delivered on the 12th of April, 2013: “Before making the distinction between grounds of law, mixed law and facts, and facts, first of all read carefully the ground of appeal and its particulars to understand thoroughly the substance of the complaint. Find out if the ground of appeal contests facts. If it does it can only be a ground of facts or mixed law and facts. Once facts are not in dispute. That is to say facts are settled, a ground of appeal can never be on facts or mixed law and facts. The ground of appeal can only complain of the wrong application of the law to settled facts and that is a ground of law. It is very easy to identify a ground of appeal on facts.”

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