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ASSESSMENT OF WITNESS IS WITHIN THE PROVINCE OF THE TRIAL COURT

Dictum

In the case of Afolalu v. The State (2012) vol. 10 LRCNCC 30 at 40, ratio 13; (2010) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1220) 584, when this court held, inter alia, that: “The assessment of credibility of a witness is a matter within the province of the trial court as it is the only court that has the advantage of seeing, watching and observing the witness in the witness box. The court also has the liberty and privilege of believing him and accepting his evidence in preference to the evidence adduced by the defence. On the issue of credibility of witnesses, the appraisal of evidence and the confidence to be reposed in the testimony of any witness, an appellate court cannot on printed evidence usurp the essential function of the trial court which saw, heard and watched the witnesses testify.”

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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...

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ALL MEMBERS OF PANEL MUST PARTICIPATE IN TRIAL

The LPDC is not an appellate body but an adjudicator of first instance, all the members who delivered the Directions must have participated in the full trial after utilizing the opportunity of seeing the demeanor of witnesses, etc. – Ogunwumiju JSC. Gbenoba v. LPDC (2021) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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A RETRIAL WILL NOT BE MADE WHERE THE PLAINTIFF FAILS TO PROVE HIS CASE

There are two options open to this court. 1. to remit the case to the trial court to be heard de novo by another judge, or 2. for this court to put itself in the shoes of the trial court and do what that court ought to have done after hearing arguments on the admissibility...

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VARIATIONS IN LPDC PANEL MEMBERS AFFECTS ITS’ FINAL DECISION

In Adeigbe & Anor v. Salami Kusimo & Ors (1965) LPELR -25226 (SC) this issue was properly explained by Ademola JSC (as he then was) as follows: “The complaint against a hearing that was not always before the same bench does not pertain to any matter that goes to the jurisdiction of the Court. It...

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WHAT IS A SUMMARY TRIAL IN CRIMINAL CASES?

A summary trial is therefore a short proceeding that does away with the rigours of a full trial, hearing of witnesses or tendering of documents. It is a proceeding that settles a controversy or disposes of a case in a relatively prompt and simple manner. It entails immediate action without following the rigmarole in normal...

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WHERE ABSENT PANELIST RELIES ON REPORT OF OTHER COLLEAGUES

In Nwalutu v. NBA & Anor (2019) 8 NWLR Pt.1673 Pg.174 at Pg.195. wherein his Lordship stated thus: “It appears to me, and I so hold, that when an absent panelist relies on the colleague present when a witness (es) testified to render an opinion that such opinion is premised on hearsay evidence and it is perverse. A Decision in the circumstance is nothing but travesty of justice. In such circumstance also, it cannot be said that the person tried by the LPDC had received fair trial. Fair hearing, as this Court has consistently held, involves a fair trial and a fair trial of a case consists of the whole hearing. There is no difference between the two.”

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