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THE ILLITERATE IS THE ONE TO PROTEST UNDER THE ILLITERATE PROTECTION LAW

Dictum

Further, it is pertinent to emphasize that it does not behove any other person to protest under the illiterate Protection Law or Act. It is trite that the illiterate protection Law was made for the protection of illiterate persons. It is the illiterate person that requires protection and he is the one who may seek the protection given by the law by complaining that the document prepared at his request and which was signed with his signature or his mark was not, prior to its being so signed, read over and explained to him. The Act is a law to protect and safeguard the illiterates from being exploited. It is not a law to penalize them.

– T.N. Orji-Abadua, JCA. Kabau v. Rilwanu (2013) – CA/K/179/2001

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DEFINITION OF AN ILLITERATE

In the case of Ntiashagwa V Amodu (1 509) WNLR 273 the word “illiterate” has been defined to mean “a person who is unable to read and understanding and to express his thoughts by writing in the language used in the document made or prepared on his behalf.” This definition was endorsed by Kutigi JSC, later CJN (of blessed memory), in the case of His Highness V.A. Otitoju vs Governor of Ondo State & Ors (1994) SCNJ (pt.II)224 at 234.

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ILLITERACY IS AN ISSUE OF FACT

It is necessary to recognize that the issue whether one is literate or illiterate is an issue of fact which cannot be presumed. It must be established by evidence.

– T.N. Orji-Abadua, JCA. Kabau v. Rilwanu (2013) – CA/K/179/2001

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THUMB-IMPRESSION IS PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF ILLITERACY

It is trite law that mere thumb-impression on a document tantamount to prima facie as in this instant case, is prima facie evidence that the person who appended his thumb-impression is/was an illiterate. In this case, the appellant has the burden to readily prove to the satisfaction of the court that he is an illiterate.

– Sanusi, JSC. Umaru Sunday v. FRN (2018) – SC.145/2013

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