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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 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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WHERE NO APPEAL, DECISION IS DEEMED ACCEPTED BY THE PARTY

The settled position of the law applicable in the given circumstance is as straight forward as it comes and that is to the effect that a decision of Court against which no Appeal has been filed is deemed accepted by the party against whom the decision was entered and therefore binding. In the same token, the law is trite that a decision or conclusion or finding not appealed against is deemed correct and binding between the parties. See the cases of ODIASE v. AGHO and ORS (1972) 1 ALL NLR (Pt. 1) 170 AT 176; MELIFONWU v. EGBUJI (1982) 9 SC. 145 AT 165; BIARIKO v. EDEH-OGWUILE (2001) 12 NWLR (Pt. 726) 235; IYOHO v. EFFIONG (2007) 11 NWLR (Pt. 1044) 31; and S.P.D.C. v. X.M. FED. LTD (2006) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1004) 189 where the Supreme Court per ONNOGHEN, JSC had this to say on the subject: “It is settled law that a decision of a Court not Appealed against remains valid, subsisting, and binding between the parties and is presumed acceptable to the parties.”

— F.O. Oho, JCA. Nasiru v State (2016) – CA/S/78C/2015

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WHAT DOES “APPEAL” MEANS?

The word “appeal” is simply to make a formal request to somebody in authority “for a decision to be changed” Oxford Learners Dictionary. In an Appeal, the lower Court’s decision is submitted to a higher Court “for review and possible reversal” see Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Ed.

— A.A. Augie, JSC. Usman v The State (2019) – SC.228/2016

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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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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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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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