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THE PEPT CONSIDERED EVIDENCE DESPITE DISCARDING THEM

Dictum

We, however, wish to state that, despite our conclusions above on the objections raised by Respondents to documents tendered by the petitioners, I am still minded to the evaluate evidence adduced and consider the merits of the petition. The only evidence I shall not revisit are Exhibits PBD, PBD1A, PBD1B, PBD1C, PBD1D, PBD1A, PBD2A, PBD3, PBD4, PBE1, PBE2, PBE3, PBE4, PBE5, PBE6, PBF1, PBF2, PBF3 and PBF4 relating to 2nd Respondent’s alleged non-qualification that were tendered by P.W.27, Mr. Mike Enahoro-Ebah, the said documents in our view being bereft of pleadings to sustain them as elaborately stated earlier in this judgment.

— H.S. Tsammani, JCA. Atiku v PDP (CA/PEPC/05/2023, 6th of September, 2023)

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EVIDENCE ADMITTED IS SUBJECT TO BE TESTED AND EVALUATED

The class of witnesses described as expert witnesses is well settled. It is imperative to state that every piece of evidence that has been admitted in the course of proceedings is subject to be tested for credibility, weight or cogency by the trial court before it becomes acceptable. In effect it is not merely acceptable because the witness is described as an expert and his evidence not challenged. The primary duty of the trial court is to evaluate the evidence before it is accepted whether given by an expert or not.

– Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009)

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QUALITY OF EVIDENCE IS MORE RELEVANT THAN THE QUANTITY

The first point that must be made is that a court of law needs not take into account the number of witnesses for each side to a dispute as a relevant factor in deciding which side to succeed. What is primarily relevant is the quality of the evidence adduced before the court. In this regard, Section 179(1) of the Evidence Act provides as follows:- “179(1) Except as provided in this section, no particular number of witnesses shall in any case be required for the proof of any fact.”

— Iguh, JSC. Oguonzee v State (1998) – SC.131/97

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COMPETENCY IS A MATTER OF UNDERSTANDING

And, apart from this, there is a long line of authorities establishing that competency is not a matter of age but of understanding and that if a child understands the nature of an oath, the provisions in question are completely out of place. See Reg. v. Perkins (1840) 9 C. & P. 395 (or 173 E.R.884); also R. v. Michael Moscovitch (1924) 18 CAR 37. – Coker JSC. Okoye v. State (1972)

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EXTRINSIC EVIDENCE CANNOT VARY A WRITTEN CONTRACT

The general rule is that where the parties have embodied the terms of their contract in a written document, extrinsic evidence is not admissible to add to, vary, subtract from or contradict the terms of the written instrument.

– Adio, JSC. UBN v. Ozigi (1994)

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EXTRINSIC EVIDENCE NOT TO CONTRADICT WRITTEN INSTRUMENT

Generally, where parties to an agreement have set out the terms thereof in a written document, extrinsic evidence is not admissible to add to, vary from, or contradict the terms of the written instrument.

– Augie JSC. Bank v. TEE (2003)

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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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