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COURT WILL EXPUNGE INADMISSIBLE EXHIBIT RECEIVED IN EVIDENCE

Dictum

The law is that where a Court has received evidence that is inadmissible, the proper thing is to expunge such evidence from the records; see Zenith bank Plc v. Ekereuwem (2012) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1290) at 213 214. Consequently, I make an Order expunging Exhs. PW1-A1 PW1-A7 from the record of this Court in this case.

— I.E. Ekwo J. Mbah v. NYSC, Ibrahim Muhammad (FHC/ABJ/CS/611/2023, 10-NOV-2023)

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DEMEANOR PLAYS LITTLE ROLE WHERE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE HAS BEEN ADMITTED

The Supreme Court in Ohijinle vs. Adeagbo (1988) 2 NWLR (Pt. 75) 238 held that where documentary evidence have been admitted in evidence, demeanour plays an insignificant if any role. The documents tendered in the case should be used as a hanger with which to assess oral testimony. Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No...

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COMPLAINT ON WRONGFUL ADMISSION IS A GROUND OF LAW

It is settled law that a complaint about wrongful admission of evidence is a ground of law alone, a ground of appeal complaining that there was no evidence or no admissible evidence upon which a decision was based, is a ground of law. And an issue on legal interpretation of documents will be a ground...

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APPEAL ON WRONGFUL ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE

If the error of law is the wrongful admission of evidence, the appellant must show that, without the admission of the evidence, the decision would have been otherwise. – Adio, JSC. UBN v. Ozigi (1994) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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DOCUMENTS MADE WHILE ELECTION IS PENDING – SECTION 83(3) EA; ALSO EXCEPTION

In resolving this issue, it is necessary to have recourse to section 83(3) of the Evidence Act, 2011, provides thus: “Nothing in this section shall render admissible as evidence any statement made by a person interested at a time when proceedings were pending or anticipated involving a dispute as to any fact which the statement might tend to establish” The import of this section, is that before a document could be rejected as inadmissible, it must not only be made when litigation was pending or anticipated, but the person making it must be interested. It is not in dispute, from the dictates of the letters and their annexure updated membership lists, that exhibits P163 and P163(a) were made and dated the 28 th day of April, 2023 and June 9, 2023 and were submitted and received by the 1 st Respondent on the 3 rd day of May, 2023 and 6 th of July 2023 respectively. Both Exhibits P163(b) and 2R20(x), (which as said by this tribunal are the same, as one is an extract of the other), are not dated nor signed. The position of the law generally speaking, in relation to documents prepared in anticipation of impending litigation, is that such documents are not admissible in evidence, although there are exceptions to this general rule. See the cases of ANISU VS OSAYOMI (2008) 15 NWLR (PT. 110) PAGE 246 AT 275, ABDULLAHI VS HASHIDU (1999) 4 NWLR (PT. 600) 638 AT 645, ANYANWU VS UZOWUAKA (2009) 13 NWLR (PT. 1159) 445 AT 476. The exception to this general rule, excludes documents made in anticipation of litigation, by a person who is not personally interested in the outcome of the litigation. The operative words, as far as the exceptions are concerned, are “persons not personally interested in the outcome of the litigation”. In other words, it relates only to a situation, where such a person relying on such documents, has no personal interest in the matter, as against mere interest in an official capacity. In the instant case, the exceptions do not apply here. This is because the maker of exhibit P163, P163(a) and exhibit 2R20X is the 3rd Respondent, who is a party in this Election petition and clearly has exhibited her interest in the ultimate result of the proceedings for the simple reason that the temptation to protect her interest is clearly overwhelming. See the following cases: ALIYU VS ADEWUYI (1996) 4 NWLR (PT. 442) 284, GBADAMOSI VS KANO TRAVELS LTD (2000) 8 NWLR (PT. 608) 243, GAMJI NIG. COMP. LTD VS NIG. AGIP OIL. COMP. LTD (2018) LPELR- 49215 (CA).

— A. Osadebay, J. APC v INEC & Ors. (EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023, 20th Day of September, 2023)

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COURT CAN ONLY ACT ON ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE

There is no doubt, however, that a court is expected in all proceedings before it to admit and act only on evidence which is admissible in law (i.e. under the Evidence Act or any other law or enactment relevant in any particular case) and so if the court should inadvertently admit inadmissible evidence it has...

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