Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

REPLY BRIEF TO ATTACK NEW ISSUE(S)

Dictum

The purpose of Reply Brief is to tackle new issues or argument raised in the respondents’ Brief of Argument and not dealt with in the appellant’s Brief of Argument otherwise a Reply Brief would be tantamount to a repetition of the appellant’s main Brief. In other words, it should not serve as a forum for reopening the appellant’s case over again. And where it is coterminous in every respect with the appellant’s main Brief, it should be discountenanced.

– Chukwuma-Eneh JSC. Yaro v. Arewa CL (2007)

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

NEW FACTS CANNOT BE INTRODUCED VIA A PETITIONER’S REPLY

It is therefore clear that paragraph 16(1) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act does not permit a Petitioner in his Reply to introduce or bring in any new issue or fact which ought to have been raised in the petition itself. In other words, a Petitioner cannot in the guise of a Reply to a Respondent’s Reply, introduce a new issue of fact which was never raised in his Petition nor raised by the Respondent. To do that will amount to amending or adding to the petition, and also taking the Respondent by surprise because at that stage, the Respondent will not be in a position to react to such new issue or fact. It will therefore breach the Respondents fundamental right to fair hearing. Therefore, the Petitioner is not permitted to repair or rehash his averments in the Petition in such a way that it will amount to an amendment or reconstruction of the petition. See Dingyadi v. Wamako (2008) 17 NWLR (pt. 116) 395.

— H.S. Tsammani, JCA. APM v INEC & Ors. (2023) – CA/PEPC/04/2023

Was this dictum helpful?

FUNCTION OF A REPLY BRIEF

In Ecobank Plc v. Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (2018) LPELR 45124 (SC), it was held: I need to emphasize that the function of a Reply Brief is to answer the arguments in the Respondents brief which were not taken in the Appellants brief. It is not meant to be a repetition of the arguments in the Appellants brief. It is not an opportunity to re-emphasize the arguments in the Appellants brief.

Was this dictum helpful?

IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR A PLAINTIFF TO FILE A REPLY

In the cited case ofAli v. Salihu (2011) 1 NWLR (Pt.1228) 227 at 253, this Court, per Shadipe JCA stated thus – “The law is no doubt settled that a reply is not filed to a statement of defence as of course. Further pleadings by way of reply is to be filed for the purpose of bringing parties to an issue. It is not necessary for a plaintiff to file a reply if the only purpose to be so achieved is to deny any of the allegations the defendant may have made in the statement of defence. This is because if no reply is filed all the material allegations/facts in the statement of defence are in issue. A reply to merely join issues is therefore not permissible. See paragraph 18.06 of the Practice and Procedure of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts of Nigeria by T. A. Aguda. The purpose of filing of a reply to a statement of defence has been succinctly stated by Kawu, JSC; in the case of Akinremi (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.108) 164 at page 172, paras, F-G as follows:- “Now, the rule of practice is that where no counter-claim is filed, a reply is generally unnecessary if its sole object is to raise, in answer to the defence, any matters which must be specifically pleaded, which make the defence not maintainable or which otherwise might take the defence by surprise or which raise issues of facts not arising out of the defence – Bullen and Leake and Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings, 12th Edition, p.107 (Also see Williamson v. London and North Western Railway Company (1879) 12 Ch. D 787, 794). Reply is the proper place for meeting the defence by confession and avoidance. Hall v. Eve (1876) 4 Ch.D 341.”

Was this dictum helpful?

REPLY BRIEF IS FOR ANSWERING NEW POINTS RAISED

In Longe v. First Bank of Nig. PLC. 2010 2-3 SC p.61, It was held inter alia that: “… A Reply Brief is necessary and usually filed when an issue of Law or argument raised in the Respondents Brief calls for a Reply. Where a Reply Brief is necessary, it should be limited to answering new points arising from the Respondent’s Brief. Although, an Appellant’s Reply Brief is not mandatory, where a Respondent’s Brief raises issues or points of law not covered in the Appellant’s Brief, an Appellant ought to file a Reply Brief. It is not proper to use a Reply Brief to extend the scope of the Appellant’s Brief or raise issues not dealt with in the Respondent’s Brief.”

Was this dictum helpful?

REPLY BRIEF IS NOT FOR CORRECTING ERRORS IN MAIN BRIEF

In Nyesom v. Peterside & Ors. (2015) 11 – 12 SCM, 139, (2016) 1 NWLR (Pt. 1492) 71 this Court held that “The purpose of a reply brief is to reply to new points raised in the respondent’s brief of argument and not fill any error in appellant’s brief.”

Was this dictum helpful?

ESSENCE OF A REPLY BRIEF

The essence of a reply brief is not to reopen argument already canvassed. It is to reply to new issues that have arisen in the respondents brief of argument. — P.A. Galumje, JSC.

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.