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BURDEN TO PROVIDE RECORDS OF PENSION IS ON GOVERNMENT

Dictum

In the case of Registered Trustees of Association of Former Telecom Employees of Nigeria &17,102 Ors. V. Federal Republic of Nigeria & Ors; ECW/CCJ/JUD/20/19, when this court held that: “It follows therefore that once the claimant makes out a prima facie case of entitlement to pension, by proof of employment but lacks access to the key information needed to substantiate his claim same being in the control of Respondent, such claim cannot fail due to being unsubstantiated. It is a recognized fact that salary records and computations matrix are in the normal cause of events in the custody and preserve of the employer in this case the Respondent. The burden to provide records of the pension entitlement of the Applicant having shifted to the Respondent, the Applicants are exonerated from proving their entitlement.”

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BURDEN OF PROOF IN A CIVIL CASE – EVIDENTIAL BURDEN

Section 137 of the Evidence Act, 2004 provides for the burden of proof in civil cases. The burden of first proving the existence of a fact lies on the party against whom the judgment of the court could be given if no evidence were produced on either side, regard being had to any presumption that...

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BURDEN TO PROVIDE DOCUMENT IS IN THE PARTY WHO IS IN POSSESSION OF THE DOCUMENT

Para. 68: “It is trite law that when a document is in the custody of the adverse party, the burden of proof of same shifts from the claimant to the custodian of the document. It is common knowledge that information about pension benefits especially the matrix of calculation is domiciled with the employer. The employee, more often than not upon retirement is presented with the total entitlement due same having been calculated by the employer. Thus when the records and the metric of calculation are in the custody of the employer, as in this instant case, the Respondent, the onus lies on them to provide.”

— Boley v Liberia & Ors. (2019) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/24/19

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HOW COURT ARRIVES IN DETERMINING PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE

In determining either the preponderance of evidence or the balance of probabilities in the evidence, the court is involved in some weighing by resorting to the imaginary scale of justice in its evaluation exercise. Accordingly, proof by preponderance of evidence simply means that the evidence adduced by the plaintiff,(in our context the petitioner or appellant)...

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HE WHO ASSERTS A FACT HAS THE BURDEN TO PROVE THOSE FACTS

The appellants in their petition desired the Tribunal to give judgment to them granting them the reliefs they claimed on the basis that the facts they assert in their petition exist. Therefore, they had the primary legal burden to prove the existence of those facts by virtue of S.131(1) of the Evidence Act 2011 which...

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WHERE ACCUSED PLEADS GUILTY PROSECUTION BURDEN BECOMES LIGHT

OMOJU v. FRN (2008) LPELR – 2647 (SC), Tobi JSC (of blessed memory), considered the effect of an accused person’s plea of guilt on the burden placed on the prosecution where my noble Lord held thus: “The law is elementary that if an accused person pleads guilty, the burden of proof placed on the prosecution...

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HE WHO ASSERTS MUST PROVE

The burden of proving a particular fact is on the party who asserts it. See Okubule v. Oyagbola, (1990) 4 N.W.L.R. (Pt.147) 723; and Ike v. Ugboaja (1993) 6 N.W.L.R. (Pt.301) 539. That is the position in civil cases but the onus does not remain static. It shifts from side to side, where necessary, and...

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