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SAFEST THING IS TO APPLY FOR MIXED LAW & FACT

Dictum

It is usually difficult to out rightly determine whether a ground of a law is purely one of law alone or is of mixed law and fact. Where a counsel is confronted with such difficulty, the safest thing for him to do, is to apply for leave on the ground or grounds of mixed law and facts.

— P.A. Galinje JSC. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc V. Longterm Global Capital Limited & Anor. (SC.535/2013(R), 23 June 2017)

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ISSUE MUST HAVE A GROUND OF APPEAL SUPPORTING IT

Issues for determination numbers (1), (3), (4) and (6) are based on no grounds of appeal at all or upon grounds 4 and 5 which had already been struck out. This should not be. Counsel will do well to remember that issues for determination must arise from and relate to the grounds of appeal filed, and no more. Conversely, any issue for determination which has no ground of appeal to support it is worse than useless: See on this Osinupebi v Saibu & ors. (1982) 7 S.C. 104 at pp. 110-111; also Western Steel Works Limited & Anor. v. Iron & Steel Workers Union of Nigeria (1987) 1N. W.L.R. (Part 49) 284, at p. 304.

— Nnaemeka-Agu, JSC. Ugo v Obiekwe (1989) – SC.207/1985

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GROUNDS OF APPEAL DISMISSED WHERE NO ISSUE DRAWN

Indeed, there is no disputing the submission of the respondent that grounds 4 and 5 of the grounds of appeal are abandoned, no issues really having been drawn from those grounds. – Peter-Odili JSC. Chemiron v. Stabilini (2018)

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GROUND WILL BE ABANDONED WHERE NO ARGUMENT SUBMISSION FOR SAME

I have to observe that learned counsel for the appellants did not make any submission in relation to issue No C as formulated by him in the brief of argument and is consequently deemed to have been abandoned.

– WS Onnoghen, JSC. Calabar CC v. Ekpo (2008)

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GROUNDS OF APPEAL MUST BE BASED ON THE CONTROVERSY / DISPUTE

In all cases, the subject matter for determination must be an issue in controversy between the parties. The decision appealed against must have decided the issue. In every appeal, the issue or issues in controversy are fixed and circumscribed by a statement of the part of the decision appealed against. Hence, the grounds of appeal must ex necessitate be based on such issues in controversy – See Niger Construction Co. Ltd v. Okugbeni (1987)4 NWLR. (Pt.67) 787. Where a ground of appeal cannot be fixed and circumscribed within a particular issue in controversy in the judgment challenged, such ground of appeal cannot justifiably be regarded as related to the decision. A fortiori, no issue for determination can be formulated therefrom.

— A.G. Karibe-Whyte, JSC. Saraki v. Kotoye (1992) – S.C. 250/1991

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INELEGANT GROUND OF APPEAL DOES NOT MAKE AN APPEAL INCOMPETENT

I would want to say in this appeal that where the presentation of the particulars are not elegantly presented that would not be used to punish a litigant to get the ground of appeal struck out for incompetence in a situation where the ground of appeal in substance is valid. See Ogboru v Okowa (2016) 11 NWLR (Pt.1522) 84, 146; Omisore v Aregbesola (2015) 15 NWLR (Pt.1482) 205; Dakolo v Dakolo (2011) 16 NWLR (Pt.1272) 22.

— Tanko Muhammad, JSC. Berger v Toki Rainbow (2019) – SC.332/2009

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PARTICULARS NOT NECESSARY WHERE COMPLAINT OF GROUND IS CLEAR

Where the complaint on a ground of law is clear and succinct, particulars may equate to repetition which is undesirable. Substantial justice must now have pre-eminence over technicality. See: Odoniyi v. Oyeleke (2001) SC 194 at 198; Nwosu v. Imo State Environmental Sanitation Authority (1990) 2 NWLR (pt. 688) 717.

— Fabiyi, JSC. Best Ltd. v. Blackwood Hodge (2011) – SC

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