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WHAT IS AN ISSUE?

Dictum

In the case of Olafisoye v. FRN (2004) LPELR-2553 (SC), the Supreme Court per Tobi, JSC, held that: “An issue is the question in dispute between the parties necessary for the determination of the Court, see Chief Ejowhomu v. Edok-Eter Mandalis Limited (1986) 5 NWLR (Pt. 39) 1. An issue which is usually raised by way of a question is usually a proposition of law or fact in dispute between the parties, necessary for the determination by the Court; a determination of which will normally affect the result of the appeal. See Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt. 110) 417. Issues for determination of appeal, are short questions raised against one or more grounds of appeal and are meant to be a guide to the arguments and submission to be advanced in support of the grounds of appeal. It is a succinct and precise question either of law or of fact for determination by the Court, see Imonikhe v. The Attorney-General of Bendel State (1992) 6 NWLR (Pt. 311) 370. An issue is a disputed point or question to which parties in an action have narrowed their several allegations and upon which they are desirous of obtaining either decision of the Court on question of law, or of the Court on question of fact. See Chief Okoromaka v. Chief Odiri (1995) 7 NWLR (Pt. 408) 411”.

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ISSUES OF DETERMINATION ARISE FROM APPEAL GROUNDS

It is settled law that issues for determination must be distilled from grounds of appeal which ground(s) must attack the ratio decidendi of the judgment not anything said by the way, or obiter dicta or be formulated in vacuo , as issue 5 in the instant case. – Onnoghen JSC. Chami v. UBA (2010)

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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)

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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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THE ISSUES ADOPTED BY THE APPELLANT IS TO BE ADOPTED

The issues formulated for determination of this appeal by the parties are similar. However, it is the appellant that is aggrieved by the decision of the lower Court. It is his grievances that are being addressed in this appeal. The respondents duty is to reply to those grievances. This being so, I will adopt the issues formulated by the appellant in the determination of this appeal.

— P.A. Galumje, JSC. Compact Manifold v Pazan Ltd. (2019) – SC.361/2017

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PURPOSE OF ISSUE FORMULATION IN AN APPEAL

It is necessary to emphasise the purpose of formulating issues for determination in briefs. Like pleadings to a litigation between the parties the issues formulated are intended to accentuate the real issues for determination before the Court. The grounds of appeal allege the complaints of errors of law, fact or mixed law and fact against the judgment appealed against. The issues for determination accentuate the issues in the grounds of appeal relevant to the determination of the appeal in the light of the grounds of errors alleged. Hence the issues for determination cannot and should not be at large, but must fall within the purview of the grounds of appeal filed.

— Karibe-Whyte, JSC. Adebanjo v Olowosoga (1988) – SC 134/1986

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