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CIVIL SUIT IS DECIDED ON THE BALANCE OF PROBABILITIES

Dictum

Now, civil suits are decided on the balance of probabilities, on the preponderance of evidence. The burden of proof is not static but shifts and the onus of adducing further evidence is on the person who will fail if such evidence is not adduced. See Osuji v Eke [2009] 16 NWLR (Pt 1166) 81.

— O.A. Obaseki-Osaghea, J. Akinsete v Westerngeco (2014) – NICN/LA/516/2012

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STANDARD OF PROOF IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS

It was not for the appellant to prove that the stick he held did not and could not cause the injuries. It is for the prosecution to prove that its use caused the injuries. The burden does not shift. The standard of proof required is very high. On this point, Lord Diplock says – In...

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PLAINTIFF CANNOT RELY ON ADVERSARIAL CASE WEAKNESS

The law does not permit a plaintiff to rely on the weakness of his adversary’s case, unless same supports his claim. – Aderemi JCA. Irawo v. Adedokun (2004) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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APPELLANT MUST SUCCEED ON ITS OWN BRIEF – WHERE RESPONDENT FILED NO BRIEF

An issue may then be raised as to whether the non-filing of the Respondent’s Brief of Argument will make the Appellants appeal to succeed. All the some, the non-filing of the Brief of Argument in respect of this appeal by the Respondent to the issues ventilated by the Appellant in his Brief of Argument does...

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WAYS OF PROVING THE COMMISSION OF A CRIME

There are 3 ways to prove the commission of a crime as enunciated in the case of Lucky vs State (2021) LPELR 53541 (CA) page 88, which are: a. The confessional statement of the accused person; b. Through circumstantial evidence; c. Evidence of an eye witness to the crime. – PER I.S. BDLIYA, J.C.A. Barma...

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A PARTY IS FREE TO PROVE HIS CASE BY ANY MEANS HE DEEMS APPROPRIATE

“10. Defendant contended that the fact that the plaintiff did not’ testify himself or call witnesses to testify on his behalf amounts to a waiver of his claim as there is no substantiating evidence upon which judgment can be granted in his favour. Defendant urged the Court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim as it is unverified and unsubstantiated. With respect, this position canvassed by the defendant is not tenable at law. A plaintiff can prove his case either by relying on documents or by providing oral evidence or he could use a combination of both. A party is free to prove his case by any means he deems appropriate.”

— Ayika v Liberia (2012) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/09/12

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WHERE THE SCALES ARE EVENLY WEIGHTED, BURDEN IS NOT DISCHARGED

It is also the established law that in a declaration of title, the burden or proof on the plaintiff is not discharged even where the scales are evenly weighted between the parties. See Odiete and Ors. v. Okotie and Ors. (1975) 1 NMLR 178 applied in Saka Owoade and Anor. v. John Abodunrin Onitola and...

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