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UNCHALLENGED EVIDENCE IS GOOD EVIDENCE IN WHICH A COURT CAN ACT ON

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I bear in mind in doing so that in law unchallenged evidence is good evidence on which a Court should act to make findings of facts. See Nwabuoku v. Ottih (1961) 1 All NLR 487 @ p. 490. See also Odulaja v. Haddad (1973) 11 SC 357; Isaac Omoregbe v Daniel Lawani (1980) 3 – 4 SC 108 @ p. 117; Oluhunde & Anor v. Prof. Adeyoju (2000) 14 WRN 160.

— B.A. Georgewill, JCA. Anyi & Ors. v. Akande & Ors. (2017) – CA/L/334/2014

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AN UNDATED DOCUMENT HAS NO EVIDENTIAL VALUE

Exhibit C3 is a letter to the Honorable Minister for Sports by Joe McCormack, Business Development Manager – Lagos of the defendant requesting an appointment with the Honourable Minister for 26th February 2013. It is not dated. An undated document has no evidential value. See Global Soaps & Detergent Ind. Ltd v. NAFDAC [2011] All FWLR (Pt. 599) 1025 at 1047 and Udo & ors v. Essien & ors [2014] LPELR-22684(CA). Accordingly, Exhibit C3 has no evidential value and so would be discountenanced for purposes of this judgment.

— B.B. Kanyip, J. Awogu v TFG Real Estate (2018) – NICN/LA/262/2013

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THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT CAN DEPART FROM THE EVIDENCE ACT

“In any event, section 12(2)(b) of the National Industrial Court Act, 2006 and Order 5 Rule 6 (b) of the Rules of this Court 2017 allows this court to depart from the Evidence Act in the interest of justice, fairness, equity and fair-play. See the case of Mr. Victor Adegboyu V. United Bank for Africa (unreported) Appeal No. CA/IL/20/2021, a decision of the Court of Appeal Ilorin Judicial Division delivered on the 14th day of April, 2022, where the Court of Appeal applied section 12(2) of the National Industrial Court Act 2006 and departed from the provisions of the Evidence Act 2011.”

— P.I. Hamman, J. per para. 2.6. FRN v ASUU (2022) – NICN/ABJ/270/2022

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ANY AGENT OF THE COMPANY CAN GIVE EVIDENCE FOR THE COMPANY

Saleh v. B.O.N. Ltd (2006) NWLR (Pt. 976) 316 at 326-327 thus: “A company is a juristic person and can only act through its agents or servants. Consequently, any agent or servant can give evidence to establish any transaction entered into by a juristic personality. Even where the official giving the evidence is not the one who actually took part in the transaction on behalf of the company. Such evidence is nonetheless relevant and admissible and will not be discountenanced or rejected as hearsay evidence…”

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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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PRINCIPLES TO GUIDE WHETHER NEW EVIDENCE SHOULD BE ALLOWED

In Comfort Asaboro v. M.G.D. Aruwaji and Anor. (1974) 4 SC 87 at 90-91 (Reprint) this court had cause to consider the principles which are to be taken into consideration in an application to call additional evidence on appeal. The court per Coker JSC said:- “The decision also evidently applied the principles which time honoured practice has established and the matters which the courts have always taken into consideration in the judicious exercise of powers to grant leave to adduce new evidence, namely:- The evidence sought to be adduced must be such as could not have been with reasonable diligence obtained for use at the trial; The evidence should be such as if admitted, it would have an important, not necessarily crucial, effect on the whole case; and the evidence must be such as apparently creditable in the sense that it is capable of being believed and it need not be incontrovertible. See for these observations Roe v. R McGregor and Sons Ltd. (1968) 1 WLR 925 where the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal in Ladd v. Marshall (1954) 3 All ER 745 was considered and applied. Strictly speaking, under our own rule, the discretion to grant leave to adduce new evidence is properly exercised for the “furtherance of justice”. The exercise must however be judicious and it is in this respect that the guidelines set out above have been followed and applied. We are not unmindful of the fact that it would be a dangerous precedent to allow a person who did not call evidence in the lower court, or who, for one reason or another, had called insufficient evidence at the trial, with comparative ease, to bring forward for the first time before this court the evidence which could and should have been adduced before the trial Judge. Such an attitude would be disastrous to the principles of seeing an end to litigation. The stand taken by the Privy Council in the case of Edie Maud Leeder v. Nnance Ellis (1953) at 52 (sic) also illustrates this point. However one looks at the problem, it seems to be generally accepted that the guiding principles have always been applied to the special facts or circumstances of each application before the Court of Appeal, and in every case the question whether or not sufficient diligence has been put into the quest for such evidence has been decided as a matter of fact.”

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SILENCE COULD AMOUNT TO ACCEPTANCE

It is a settled principle of law that where an adversary or a witness called by him testifies on a material fact in controversy in a case, the other party should, if he does not accept the witness’s testimony as true, cross-examine him on that fact, or at least show that the he does not accept the evidence as true, where, as in this case, he fails to do either, a court can take his silence as an acceptance that the party does not dispute the facts.

– Nnaemeka-Agu JSC. Amadi v. Nwosu (1992)

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