The law, as I understand it, is that when a court, for any compelling reason finds it necessary, and particularly in the interest of justice, to raise a point or issue suo motu, the parties must be given an opportunity to be heard on such a point or issue, particularly the party that would be prejudiced as a result of the point raised without the prompting of any of the litigants in the case, Adegoke v. Adibi (1992) 5 NWLR (pt.242) 410; Atanda v. Lakanmi (1974) 3 SC 109; Odiose v Agho (1972) 3 SC 71; Kraus T. Org. Ltd v UNICAL (2004) 25 WRN 1, 17. The rationale for this inflexible rule is that it is not competent for any court to make a case for either or both of the parties suo motu and then proceed to give judgment in the case so formulated contrary to the case of the parties before it, Adeniji v Adeniji (1972) 4 SC 10; Commissioner for Works, Benue State and Anor v Devcom Development Society Ltd (1988) 3 NWLR (pt 83) 407; NHDS Ltd Anor v. Mumuni (1977) 2 SC 57; (1977) NSCC65. The rule that has crystallised from this position is that when an issue is not placed before a court, such a court has no business whatsoever to deal with it. This is because decisions of a court of law must not be founded on any ground in respect of which it has neither received argument from or on behalf of the parties before it nor even raised by or for the parties or either of them, Shitta Bey v. FPSC (1981) 1 SC 40; Saude v. Abdullahi (1989) 4 NWLR (pt 116) 387; Kraus T. Org. Ltd v. UNICAL (supra) 16-17. This rule is so fundamental that its abuse has been characterised as a flagrant breach of the aggrieved party’s right to fair hearing as entrenched in the Constitution, Oje v Babalola (1991) 4 NWLR (pt 185) 267; Ugo v Obiekwe (1989) 1 NWLR (pt 99) 566: a breach that amounts to a miscarriage of justice, Owoso v Sunmonu (2004) 30 WRN 93, 106-107. That is, failure of justice, Ojo v Anibire (2004) 5 KLR (pt 177) 1205, 1207 or justice which is not according to law, Wilson v Wilson (1969) ALR 191 approvingly adopted in Ojo v Anibire (supra) 1214. Such a flagrant breach must, therefore, not be allowed to desecrate the precincts of the hallowed temple of justice. As such, the proceedings resulting from such an exercise, no matter how brilliantly conducted, must be vacated as a travesty of justice, Owoso v Sunmonu (supra).
— C.C. Nweze, JCA. Ayorinde v Ayorinde (2010) – CA/IL/45/2008