Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE IS THE BEST FORM OF EVIDENCE

Dictum

Tritely, the best form of evidence for the resolution of election matters are documentary evidence. A complaint that a candidate did not score the majority of lawful votes at the election is an invitation to compare and contrast figures. See the case of ANOZIE VS OBICHERE (2008) 8 NWLR (PT. 981) 140 AT 155 PARAS. H. In election petition cases the decision of the Court, particularly when the issue is as to who had the majority of lawful votes, is based largely on documentary evidence, mainly election result forms. See the case of NGIGE VS OBI (2006) 14 NWLR (PT. 2006) 14 NWLR (PT. 999) 1 AT 233. It is trite that results of election declared by an independent electoral commission are presumed correct, authentic and genuine. See SECTION 168 (1) OF THE EVIDENCE ACT (AS AMENDED) 2022. Thus, in order to rebut the presumption of regularity in favour of the election results declared by INEC, the admissibility, inadmissibility and the probative value of Forms EC8As, EC8Bs, EC8Cs, EC8D, EC8E, etc, will be seriously contested. On the veracity of documentary evidence, it has been held that a Court is right to place a greater value on documentary evidence than oral testimony. As the most reliable if not the best evidence, is documentary evidence. It is certainly more reliable than oral evidence. When tendered and admitted in Courts are like words uttered and speak for themselves, on the strength of which the tribunal has powers to add to the votes found to have been wrongly excluded to the score by the affected candidate. See the following cases: SAM V. EKPELU (2001) 1 NWLR (PT. 642) 582 – 797, FAYEMI VS. ONI (2009) 7 NWLR (PT. 1140) 223, AIKI VS. IDOWU (2006) 9 NWLR (PT. 984) 47 AT 65. Therefore, in the resolution of this issue, it will be on the dissection of the principles governing election result forms and documents and the admissibility of the same.

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

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

ORAL EVIDENCE CANNOT CONTRADICT DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Can this evidence pass for its content of oral agreement of a yearly tenancy to vitiate the termination of the lease in 1980? Can the bare ipse dixit of a witness of the existence of oral evidence turn around in his favour in the face of clear documentary evidence to the contrary? I have a...

This content is for PAYMENT - 1-DAY and PAYMENT - 1-MONTH members only.
Login Join Now

READING TWO DOCUMENTS TO GET SUFFICIENT MEMORANDUM

Long v. Millar (1879) 4 CPD 450, said Russel, J., in Stokes v. Whicher (1920) 1 Ch 411, 418, comes to this; that, if you can spell out of the document a reference in it to some other transaction, you are at liberty to give evidence as to what that other transaction is, and, if that other transaction contains all the terms in writing, then you get a sufficient memorandum within the statute by reading the two together.’

Was this dictum helpful?

ORAL EVIDENCE IS TESTED BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Documentary evidence always serves as a hanger from which to assess oral testimony. – Rhodes-Vivour, JSC. Cameroon v. Otutuizu (2011) – SC.217/2004 Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

This content is for PAYMENT - 1-DAY and PAYMENT - 1-MONTH members only.
Login Join Now

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE WEIGHS ORAL TESTIMONY

The Documentary evidence lends weight to oral testimony. It serves as an action from which oral testimony is weighed for good measure. – Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

This content is for PAYMENT - 1-DAY and PAYMENT - 1-MONTH members only.
Login Join Now

FAIR HEARING NOT BREACHED WHEN A DOCUMENT IS EXPUNGED BY TRIAL JUDGE

I have seen in recent times counsel forcing into cases the principles of fair hearing even when they are so distant from the case. The principles of fair hearing will not be invoked in favour of a party where the trial Judge correctly expunges an exhibit earlier admitted. It is only when the document is...

This content is for PAYMENT - 1-DAY and PAYMENT - 1-MONTH members only.
Login Join Now
No more related dictum to show.