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WHERE NO APPEAL AGAINST SPECIFIC FINDINGS, THOSE FINDINGS REMAIN UNASSAILABLE

Dictum

The excerpts above of the trial Court findings and conclusions were not appealed against at the lower Court which throws up the settled law that where there is no appeal against specific findings of fact made at the trial Court, those findings remain for all time unassailable and deemed accepted as representing the true state of affairs. It therefore becomes futile trying to smuggle those same issues at another level of appeal since they have in effect been conceded by the party against whom they were decided and remains valid and binding on all parties forever. I rely on Anyanwu v Ogunewe (2014) All FWLR (Pt. 738) 1012 at 1037; Nwankwo v Yar’Adua (2010) All FWLR (Pt.534) 1; L.A. & A.C. Ltd v U.B.A. Plc (2014) All FWLR (Pt.739) 1080 at 1094.

— M.U. Peter-Odili, JSC. MTN v. Corporate (2019) – SC.674/2014

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APPEAL: WHERE LEAVE IS REQUIRED BUT NOT OBTAINED, APPEAL IS INCOMPETENT

Consequently, in law an appeal which requires the prior leave of Court but was filed without the requisite leave of Court is wholly and completely incompetent. It would have no redeeming feature to be considered on the merit no matter how tempting the zeal to do substantial justice on the merit to the parties may be. See Sections 240; 243 (1), (2) and (4); 254C (5) and (6) 3(2) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). See also Skye Bank v. Iwu (supra).

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

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AN APPEAL ALLOWED SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED

The lower court cannot hold simultaneously that the appeal is allowed in part yet proceeded to dismiss the appellant’s claims in its entirety particularly when the part of the appeal allowed has to do with the award of the sum of N70,000.00 share of profit to the appellant. To hold as the lower court did was an obvious error which ought not to be allowed to stand. – Onnoghen JSC. Alade v. Alic (2010)

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JUDGEMENT NOT APPEALED IS BINDING

The learned counsel for the plaintiffs/respondents objected to the brief filed by the 1st defendant/respondent on the ground that she did not file an appeal against the judgment of the lower court and she cannot be heard in her brief to support the appellant.
In reply the learned counsel for the 1st defendant/respondent submitted that he was at liberty to argue the appeal as long as he does not go outside the grounds of appeal filed by the appellant.
It should be noted that the 1st defendant/respondent did not defend the suit in the lower court. She also did not appeal against the judgment of the lower court. It will therefore be outrageous to allow her to argue her brief in favour of the appellant before this court. The whole case revolved on her in the lower court. She chose to do nothing before that court and did not appeal against the judgment of the lower court. The implication is that she is satisfied with the judgment of the lower court and cannot be allowed to argue the contrary in this court. The brief filed on her behalf is hereby discountenanced and struck out.

– Ogebe JCA. Ohiaeri v. Yusuf (2003)

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WHEN FINDINGS OF FACT OF TRIAL COURT ARE NOT APPEALED, THERE NO NEED FOR APPELLATE COURT TO REVIEW THEM

There was, with the greatest respect, no earthly reason for the Court of Appeal to review the pleadings and the evidence in view of the findings of fact of the trial Court at p.160 that EXS.D and E were not loan receipts but receipts for the sale of land and the conclusion of law at p.161 “that all the plaintiff got by virtue of the receipts Exhibits D and E was an equitable interest”. There was no cross-appeal by the 2nd Defendant challenging the above findings. What the Court below should have then concentrated on would have been the legal effect of the above findings on the relationship of the Plaintiff and the 2nd Defendant.

— Oputa, JSC. Osagie v. Oyeyinka & Anor. (1987) – SC.194/1985

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APPEAL STANDS OR FALL ON POINTS APPEALED AGAINST

MICHAEL V. THE STATE (2008) LPELR – 1874 (SC); where my lord MUSDAPHER (JSC, CJN) (of blessed memory) said as follows: “It is the law that where there is an appeal on some points only on a decision, the appeal stands or falls on those points appealed against only while the other points or decision not appealed remain unchallenged.”

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PARTY CANNOT RAISE NEW ARGUMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME ON APPEAL WITHOUT LEAVE

A counsel cannot make out a case not pleaded by a litigant in his address before the court. Where the appellant did not predicate her case on customary law before the lower court, she cannot raise same here afresh before this court. The simple answer is that an appeal is not a new action but a continuation of the matter which is the subject – mater of the appeal. Hence an appellant cannot be allowed to set up a case different to that which was made out at the court below. This is because the appellate court would not have had the benefit of the opinion of the lower court on the issue. Eze V. A- G Rivers State (2001) 18 NWLR pt, 746, pg. 524 Ejiofodomi V. Okonkwo (1982) II SC 74 Dwege V. Iyamahan (1983) 8 SC 76 A-G Oyo State V. Fairlakes Hotels Limited (1988) 5 NWLR pt. 92, pg. 1 FRN V. Zebra Energy Limited (2002) 3 NWLR pt. 754, pg. 471.

— O.O. Adekeye, JSC. Agboola v UBA (2011) – SC.86/2003

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