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ONLY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE CAN CONTRADICT DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Dictum

However the conflict is not strong to hold his evidence is of no value when the documentary evidence speaks for itself. It is trite the best evidence to challenge documentary evidence is same Documentary evidence. – Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN AN APPELLATE COURT WILL EMBARK ON A RE-EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE

Suffice to say that an appellate court will not embark on a re-evaluation of the evidence led by the parties in the trial simply because a party made an allegation of improper evaluation of evidence and formulated an issue for determination from the complaint. An appellate court will only do so where a party visibly demonstrates the perversity of the findings made by the trial court by showing that the trial court:
(a) made improper use of the opportunity it had of seeing and hearing the witnesses, or
(b) did not appraise the evidence and ascribe probative value to it, or
(c) drawn wrong conclusions from proved or accepted facts leading to a miscarriage of justice.

– M.L. Shuaibu, J.C.A. Dekan Nig. Ltd. v. Zenith Bank Plc – CA/C/12/2020

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WHERE EVIDENCE NOT CHALLENGED ONUS IS DISCHARGED

Ajero & Anor. v. Ugorji & Ors (1999) LPELR – 295 (SC), where Onu JSC., had stated inter alia thus: “Indeed, the Court has by a host of decided cases stated that where evidence called by a Plaintiff in a civil case is neither challenged nor contradicted, the onus or proof on him is discharged on a minimum of proof.”

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EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE ENTAILS

In the case of Lafia Local Government –V- Executive Governor Nasarawa State & Ors (2012) LPELR – 2060, OLABODE RHODES VIVOUR, JSC at page 23 paras, E-F said: “Evaluation of evidence entails the trial judge examining all evidence before him before making his findings. This is done by putting all the evidence on an imaginary scale to see which side appears outweighs the other.”

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WHERE ORAL EVIDENCE IN PRIOR TRIAL MAY BE USED

Ariku v. Ajiwogbo (1962) All NLR (Pt. 4) 630, Ademola CJF (of blessed memory) delivering the judgment of the Supreme Court stated the law as follows:- “This court has frequently directed attention to the practice, now not uncommon of making use of evidence of a witness in another case as if it were evidence in the case on trial. As was pointed out in Alade v. Aborishade (1960) 5 FSC 167 at 171, this is only permissible under section 33 or 34 of the Evidence Act. Where a witness in a former case is giving evidence in a case in hand, his former evidence may be brought up in cross-examination to discredit him if he was lying, but evidence used for this purpose does not become evidence in the case in hand for any other purpose. There are also prerequisites to the making use of the former testimony of a witness; for example his attention must be called to the former case where such evidence was given and he would be reminded of what he had said on the occasion.”

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DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE WEIGHS ORAL TESTIMONY

The Documentary evidence lends weight to oral testimony. It serves as an action from which oral testimony is weighed for good measure. – Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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ADMISSION OF FRESH EVIDENCE ON APPEAL MUST BE BY CAUTION

The power to admit new, fresh or additional evidence must always be exercised sparingly and with caution. The Court must consider whether there are special circumstances to warrant the grant of the application and whether it would be in furtherance of the justice of the case. See: Uzodinma vs Izunaso (No.2) (2011) 17 NWLR (Pt. 1275) 30 @ 55 B-C.

— K.M.O. Kekere-Ekun, JSC. Williams v Adold/Stamm (2007) – SC.404/2013

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