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WHEN AN APPEAL IS ENTERED, THE APPEAL COURT IS SEISED OF THE WHOLE PROCEEDING

Dictum

As observed earlier, there is a finding by the court below that there was a pending appeal before it as Appeal No. CA/L/133/93 which was entered on May 2, 1995. Now, in accordance with the provisions of the Court of Appeal Rules, 1981 (as amended) an appeal is said to be entered in the court when the record of proceedings in the trial court has been received in the Registry of the court. See: Order 1 Rule 22, Court of Appeal Rules (1981) (as amended); Order 4 Rule 10, Court of Appeal Rules, 2007 (as amended). Once it is so entered, an appeal is then said to be pending. The Rule governing the control of proceedings during pendency of an appeal is that after an appeal has been entered and until it has been finally disposed of, the court shall be seised of the whole of the proceedings as between the parties thereto and except as may be otherwise provided in the Rules, every application therein shall be made to the court and not to the court below (i.e. the trial), but any application may be filed in the trial court for transmission to the court below. See Order 4, Rule 11. Thus, in pursuance of the above provisions of the Court of Appeal Rules, the trial court will have no competence or jurisdiction to decide on any application whether on notice or ex-parte in relation to an appeal which the trial court has become FUNCTUS OFFICIO. If the trial court takes any step thereon, except for the purposes of transmitting the processes so filed to the Court of Appeal, that step taken will be declared a nullity.

— T. Muhammad, JSC. VAB Petroleum v. Momah (2013) – SC.99/2004

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APPEAL FROM TRIAL COURT TO SUPREME COURT

It is elementary law that this court has no jurisdiction to consider the issue which was only decided by the trial court. – Musdapher JSC. Gbadamosi v. Dairo (2007)

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COURT CANNOT REVIVE AN INCOMPETENT APPEAL

The inherent jurisdiction to regulate proceedings in this court does not arise until there is a lis extant upon which the inherent jurisdiction operates. There is no provision either in the Constitution, the Court of Appeal Act or Court of Appeal Rules vesting this court with jurisdiction to validate by rectifying defects in appeals which are otherwise incompetent. There is no power in this court to entertain any application for or grant any relief in respect of a putative or incompetent appeal.

— Salami, JCA. Ifeajuna v. Ifeajuna (1998) – CA/E/181/97

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WHERE APPEAL COURT MAY INTERFERE IN THE DECISION OF THE LOWER COURT

Once an appellate Court finds that the conclusion reached by a lower Court is correct, it has no duty to interfere. Thus, the duty of an appellate Court to interfere will arise only where the finding, conclusion and/or decision of the lower Court is wrong and/or perverse. In law, a finding or conclusion of a Court is said to be perverse when such finding does not flow from the proved evidence or was arrived at wrongly or was anchored on extraneous matters. In all such circumstances, an appellate Court will interfere to set it aside and make appropriate finding as justified and borne out by the evidence in the printed record of appeal.

– Abdu Aboki, JSC. Chukwu v. State (2021)

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WHERE NO ISSUE ARISES FROM A GROUND OF APPEAL

In law, a ground of appeal from which no issue for determination was distilled is deemed abandoned and liable to be struck out without much ado. Consequently, Ground 7 in the Notice of Appeal are hereby stuck out.

— B.A. Georgewill, JCA. General Telephone v. Asset (2017) – CA/L/336/2015

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REQUIREMENTS TO SUCCEED IN AN APPEAL

In order to succeed in this appeal, the appellant must show that the decision of the lower Court affirming the judgment of the trial Court is perverse, either because the evaluation of evidence and findings of fact were not based on a proper and dispassionate appraisal of the evidence on record, or the trial Court did not make proper use of the opportunity of seeing and hearing the witnesses testify, or that the findings were reached as a result of a wrong application of substantive law or procedure, or that there was a miscarriage of justice manifest on the face of the record. See: Igbi Vs The State (2000) 3 NWLR (Pt. 648) 169; Shehu Vs The State (2010) 8 NWLR (Pt. 1195) 112; Itu Vs The State (2016) 5 NWLR (Pt. 1506) 443.

— Kekere-Ekun, JSC. Ogunleye Tobi v The State (2019) – SC.714/2017

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APPEAL AGAINST A NONEXISTENT DECISION

I need only add that an appeal against a phantom or non-existent decision is an abuse of the Court’s process.

– Ejembi Eko, J.S.C. Mekwunye v. Emirates (2018) – SC.488/2014

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