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A DOUBLE BARRELED ISSUE

Dictum

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

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WHAT A PARTY MUST DO TO RAISE FRESH POINT ON APPEAL

Where a party seeks to raise a fresh point in the Supreme Court, he must: (a) obtain leave of the Supreme Court (b) ensure that the new points sought to be so raised involve substantial issues of substantive or procedural law which need to be allowed to prevent an obvious miscarriage of justice. (c) show that no further evidence is required to resolve the issue for determination.

– Musdapher, J.S.C. Pinder v. North (2004)

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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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COURT SHOULD NOT DETERMINE ISSUES MEANT FOR THE SUBSTANTIVE CASE AT THE PRELIMINARY STAGE

It is the settled position of the law that a court should not comment on or decide at preliminary stage matters or issues which are supposed to be decided in the substantive case. See: NWANKWO & ORS v YAR’ADUA & ORS (2010) LPELR-2109(SC), at page 71, paras. B-F, per Commassie, JSC; and OCHOLI ENOJO JAMES, SAN v INEC & ORS (2015) LPELR-24494(SC) at page 92, para. G, per Okoro, JSC.

— H.S. Tsammani, JCA. Peter Obi & Anor. v INEC & Ors. (2023) – CA/PEPC/03/2023

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COURT IS TO CONSIDER ALL ISSUES PLACED BEFORE IT

There is no doubt, that, generally, the court below ought to have considered all issues placed before it for determination not being the final court on the matter. But a litigant can only be heard to complain if the issue not so considered is material and substantial in the particular circumstance. See Onifade V. Olayiwola (1990) 7 NWLR (Pt.161) 130 at 159 and if the appellant had suffered any miscarriage of justice. See; State V. Ajie (2000) FWLR (Pt.15) 2831 at 2842.

— O. Ariwoola, JSC. African Intl. Bank Ltd. v Integrated Dimensional System (2012) – SC.278/2002

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COURT DEALS WITH LIVE ISSUES

This court deals with live issues and there is no need beating a dead horse as it will never rise again.

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

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AN ISSUE IS THE QUESTION FOR RESOLUTION WHICH DETERMINES THE DISPUTE

That is to say the appellant having succeeded in establishing that the respondent’s application to register the foreign judgment was filed out of time, the need to rely on the other issues to arrive at the same result is quite necessary. An issue is the question in dispute between the parties necessary for determination of the suit or appeal. An issue, which is normally raised by way of a question, is usually a proposition of law or fact in dispute between the parties necessary for determination by the court, a determination which will normally affect the result of the suit or appeal. See Adejumo v. Ayantegbe (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt.110) 417; Okoromaka v. Chief Odiri (1995) 7 NWLR (Pt.408) 411 and Olafisoye v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) 4 NWLR (Pt.864) 580 at 641-642 … As the determination of the five issues in the appellant’s brief of argument will not affect the result of this appeal, the issues have ceased to be the real issues for determination between the parties in this appeal. This is because courts of law are not established to deal with hypothetical and academic questions. Courts are established to deal with life issues which relate to matters in difference between the parties. See National Insurance Corporation v. Power and Industrial Engineering Co. Ltd. (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt.14) 1 at 22; Akeredolu v. Akinremi (1986) 2 NWLR (Pt.25) 710 at 728; Ekperokun v. University of Lagos (1986) 4 NWLR (Pt.34) 162 at 179; Titiloye v. Olupo (1991) 7 NWLR (Pt.205) 519 at 534; Bamgboye v. University of Ilorin (1999) 10 NWLR (Pt.622) 290 at 330 and Macaulay v. R.Z.B. of Austria (2003) 18 NWLR (Pt.852) 282 at 300.

— M. Mohammed, JSC. Marine Co. v Overseas Union (2006) – SC.108/2001

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