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AVERMENTS IN AFFIDAVIT NOT CHALLENGED ARE DEEMED ADMITTED

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These averments were not challenged or denied by the Appellant. No further affidavit was filed by the Appellant to deny that it ever agreed to submit to the Jurisdiction of the English Court. The Appellant did not challenge the Judgment by way of appeal nor did it deny the averments in the Counter Affidavits. I therefore agree with the submission of learned Senior Counsel for the Respondent that where facts in an affidavit are not challenged, they are deemed admitted.

— J.O. Bada, JCA. Conoil v Vitol (2011) – CA/A/213/2010

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NOT ALL UNCONTRADICTED AVERMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THE COURT

✓ In B.B.B. Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Vs A.C-Bc Ltd (2004} 2 NWLR (Pt. 858) 527@ 550551 F-A, per Pats-Acholonu, JSC as follows: although it is the general rule that uncontradicted evidence from which reasonable people can draw but one conclusion may not ordinarily be rejected by the court but must be accepted as true; it is also true to say that the court is not in all the circumstances bound to accept as true testimony an evidence that is uncontradicted where it is willfully or corruptly false, incredible, improbable or sharply falls below the standard expected in a particular case.

✓ It was held in R-Benkay (Nig) Ltd. v. Cadbury (Nig) Pie. (2012) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1306) 596 @ 624 C – per Peter-Odili, JSC, inter alia, as follows: “… it is not fl fait accompli that once there are averments in an affidavit which are not controverted the result would be a favourable disposition to the position of the party who had proffered the disposition. This is so because all averments must go under the surgical knife of evaluation which is done by the court as a matter of duty to see its acceptability as happened in this case. See also: Gonzee (Nig) Ltd Vs NERDC (2005) 13 NWLR (Pt. 943) 634@ 650 D, cited and relied upon.

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WHERE CONFLICT IN BOTH AFFIDAVITS, COURT WILL CALL FOR ORAL EVIDENCE

On the question of conflict of affidavit evidence placed before the lower court which appellant’s learned Counsel had submitted should be resolved by oral evidence in order to act on such evidence, our case law is replete with authorities that where a matter is being tried on affidavit evidence and the court is confronted with conflicting or contradictory evidence relied on by the parties on a material issue before the court; it is the law that the court cannot resolve such conflict by evaluating the conflicting evidence but is obliged to call for oral evidence in order to achieve resolution of the conflict. (See Falobi v Falobi (1976) 9 & 10 SC 1 and Akinsete v Akidutire (1966) All NLR 137).

— Achike JSC. Momah v VAB Petro (2000) – SC. 183/1995

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FAILURE TO FILE A FURTHER AFFIDAVIT IS ADMISSION OF THE COUNTER-AFFIDAVIT

I will therefore, pause here to state that it is now settled that failure to swear to a further-affidavit where there is a counter-affidavit which is unchallenged, it is deemed that the counter-affidavit, is admitted as being correct. In other words, where there is an unchallenged counter-affidavit evidence, the court is at liberty, to accept it as true and correct. See the cases of Jumbo Nwanganga & 5 ors. v. Military Governor of Imo State & 2 ors. (1987) 3 NWLR (Pt.59) 182 @ 193 C.A. and Attorney-General orPlateau State v. Attorney-General of Nassarawa State (2005) 4 SCNJ 120 @ 175; (2005) 4 S.C. 55.

— F. Ogbuagu JSC. Stephens Eng. Ltd. v. S.A. Yakubu (2009) – SC.153/2002

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AFFIDAVIT NOT CHALLENGED IS DEEMED ADMITTED

In Badejo V. Fed. Min. of Education (supra) at page 15; it was held by the Supreme Court that:- “where an affidavit is filed deposing to certain facts and the other party does not file a counter affidavit or reply to a counter affidavit, the facts deposed to in the affidavit would be deemed unchallenged and undisputed…they are therefore admitted.”

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MEANING OF AFFIDAVIT

Now, affidavit is simply a declaration on oath, a formal sworn statement of facts signed by the deponent and witnessed as to the veracity of the deposition’s signature by the taker of the oath such as the commissioner for oaths, notary public or even a magistrate. Thus, Affidavit evidence is a statement of fact which the deponent swears to be true to the best of his knowledge, information or belief. See Chief Chukwumeka Odumegu Ojukwu vs Miss Stella Onyeador (1991) 7 NWLR (pt 203) 286 at 317. A deposition literally means a formal, usually a written statement to be used in a law suit as evidence.

— A.A. Wambai, JCA. Aliyu v. Bulaki (2019) – CA/S/36/2018

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ANY DEPOSITION IN AFFIDAVIT UNCHALLENGED IS DEEMED ADMITTED

IN H.S. ENGINEERING LTD VS. AS. YAKUBU LTD (2009) 175 LRCN 134, ratio 2, it was held – ‘It is now settled law that an affidavit evidence constitutes evidence and any deposition therein not challenged is deemed admitted.’ See also the unreported decision of this court in CA/IL/83/2010 (Adebiyi v. Umar), delivered on 31/1/2012, page 11.

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