APPEAL – APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT – Whether the Supreme Court can entertain an appeal directly from the decision of the High Court:


“The Respondent adopted the Appellant’s two issues, but it noted that issue 2 is distilled from Ground 2 of the Grounds of Appeal, which says “the judgment of the trial Court is against the weight of evidence”, and cited State V. Ekanem (2016) LPELR-41304(SC), wherein this Court held that such a Ground of Appeal is improper and incompetent, and it is absolutely right; the said Ground of Appeal is clearly incompetent. The complaint in the said Ground 2 is targeted at the trial Court; it is a ground of appeal that is fit for the Court of Appeal; not this Court, which only entertains appeals from the Court of Appeal – see Idagu V. State (2018) LPELR-44343(SC). Put in simple terms, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), did not make provision for appeals to go directly from High Court to Supreme Court. There is an intermediate Court, Court of Appeal, which serves as “a clearing house”, so to speak, between both Courts. It hears appeals from the trial Court, and the trial Court’s findings must be affirmed or reversed by the Court of Appeal, before its decision gets to this Court, therefore, this Court would only entertain an appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal, and not directly against that of the High Court – Akibu & Anor V. Oduntan & Ors (2000) 13 NWLR (Pt. 685) 446 SC. In the circumstances, the said Ground 2 is incompetent and must be struck out. The Appellant’s issue 2 distilled there-from is ipso facto incompetent, as an issue for determination derives its support from a ground of appeal, and cannot exist independently of the said ground; “it automatically collapses when the ground of appeal ceases to exist” – see Agbaka & Ors V. Amadi & Anor (1998) 11 NWLR (Pt. 572) 16 SC. The effect thereof is that Ground 2 of the Grounds of Appeal and issue 2 formulated there-from are incompetent, and are struck out.” Per. AUGIE, J.S.C. in FEMI AYOADE v. THE STATE (2020-LCER-39149-SC) (Pp. 7 – 9).

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