Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

WHAT IS AN ISSUE FOR DETERMINATION

Dictum

I may here repeat what I said in the case of Standard Consolidated Dredging & Construction Company Limited v. Katonecrest Nigeria Limited (1986) 5 N.W.L.R. (Pt.44) 791, at p.799 where I said: “The above manner of wording the issues for determination in both briefs raises two necessary questions, namely:- (i) what is the meaning of “issues arising for determination” in a Brief and (ii) what are its objects and purpose? As for the meaning of ‘Issue” I cannot do better than borrow the words of Buckley, L.J., in Howel v. Dering & Ors. (1915) 1 K.B. 54, at p.62 thus: “The word can be used in more than one sense. It may be said that every disputed question of fact is in issue. It is in a sense, that is to say, it is in dispute. But every question of fact which is “in issue” and which a jury has to decide is not necessarily “an issue” within the meaning of the rule”. Later he continued: “An issue is that which, if decided in favour of the plaintiff, will in itself give a right to relief, or would, but for some other consideration, in itself give a right to relief; and if decided in favour of the defendant will in itself be a defence.” So it is in an appellate brief, mutatis mutandis. It is not every fact in dispute or indeed every ground of appeal that raises an issue for determination. While sometimes one such fact or ground may raise an issue, more often than not it takes a combination of such facts or grounds to raise an issue. The acid test is whether the legal consequences of that ground or fact, or a combination of those grounds or facts as framed by the appellant, if decided in favour of the appellant, will result in a verdict in his favour. For as Lord Diplock put it in Fidelitas Shipping Co. Ltd. v. V/O Ex-portchleb (1966) 1 Q.B. 630, at p. 642: “But while an issue may thus involve a dispute about facts, a mere dispute about facts divorced from their legal consequences is not “an issue.”

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

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

JUDGEMENT MUST BE CONFINED TO PARTIES ISSUES

This is because it is a fundamental principle of the determination of disputes between parties that judgment must be confined to the issues raised by the parties and it is not competent for the court to make a case for either or both of the parties and then proceed to give judgment on the case so formulated contrary to the case of the parties.

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

Was this dictum helpful?

ISSUE DISTILLED FROM COMBINED GROUNDS WILL BE SAVED WHERE ONE GROUNDS SUPPORTS IT

However, issue four which was partly distilled from grounds 6 and also from ground 7 and 8 should in my view be saved by the competent grounds 7 and 8 and is thus not liable to be struck out along with the incompetent ground 6. See Order 7 Rule 3 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2016. See also CBN and Anor v. Okojie and Ors (2002) LPELR – 836(SC).

— B.A. Georgewill JCA. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc V. Longterm Global Capital Limited & Ors. (CA/L/427/2016, 9 Mar 2018)

Was this dictum helpful?

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

Was this dictum helpful?

WHERE FRESH ISSUE IS TO BE RAISED LEAVE OF COURT MUST BE SOUGHT

Need I remind the Appellant’s counsel that it is still a valid general principle that where a party seeks to raise a fresh issue on appeal, as he tried to do in this appeal, he must seek the leave of Court. Where he fails to do so, the issue, which ipso facto is rendered incompetent, would be liable to be struck out.

– A. Aboki JSC. Obi v. Uzoewulu (2021)

Was this dictum helpful?

A DOUBLE BARRELED ISSUE

Let me take the first issue, which looks to me a double – barrelled one. I say this because it involves both adjectival law as well as substantive law.

— Tobi, JCA. Abraham v Olorunfunmi (1990) – CA/L/83/89

Was this dictum helpful?

WHAT AMOUNTS TO PROLIFERATION OF ISSUES IN AN APPEAL

Now, what would in law amount to proliferation of issues in an appeal is no longer a vexed issue as it has been pronounced upon severally by the appellate Courts, including the apex Court. While it is true that an issue for determination must flow from the ground(s) of appeal and that this Court has the power to formulate issues for determination in appropriate and deserving circumstances or to re-formulate or modify the issues formulated by the parties, it is well settled law that an Appellant, as well as a Respondent, is not permitted or allowed to raise issues in excess of the grounds of appeal and that where the number of issues formulated are more than the number of the grounds of appeal it amounts to nothing but a proliferation of issues, which in law is not acceptable. See Dr. Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo & Ors. v. Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua & Ors. (2010) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1209) 518. See also Unilorin v. Oluwadare (2003) 3 NWLR (Pt. 808) 557;Padawa v. Jatau (2003) 5 NWLR (Pt. 813) 243; Sogbesan v. Ogunbiyi (2006) 4 NWLR (Pt. 969) 19; Agu v. Ikewibe (1991) 3 NWLR (Pt. 130) 385;Adelusola & Ors v. Akinde & Ors (2004) 12 NWLR (Pt. 887) 295.

— B.A. Georgewill, JCA. University of Lagos v. Mbaso (2018) – CA/L/775/2016

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.