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

Dictum

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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CONTENT OF DOCUMENT BINDING ON PARTIES

It is an established principle of law, that the contents of a document are binding on the party who being of full capacity appends his signature to it. He cannot thereafter resile from it or choose an alternative course. – Augie JSC. Bank v. TEE (2003) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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RELEVANCY AND ADMISSIBILITY DISTINCTION

Relevancy and weight are in quite distinct compartments in our law of evidence. They convey two separate meanings in our adjectival law and not in any form of dovetail. In the order of human action or activity, in the area of the law of evidence, relevancy comes before weight. Relevancy, which propels admissibility, is invoked...

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ADMISSIBILITY VERSUS FROM PROBATIVE VALUE

There is a clear dichotomy between admissibility of document and placing probative value on it. While admissibility is based on relevance, probative value depends not only on relevance but on proof. An evidence has probative value if it tends to prove an issue. — Niki Tobi, JSC. Buhari v. INEC (2008) – SC 51/2008 Was...

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THERE NEED NOT BE REFERENCE TO OTHER DOCUMENT TO CONSTITUTE A SUFFICIENT MEMORANDUM

Timmins v. Moreland Street Property Co. Ltd. (1958) Ch. 110 which shows the relaxation of the earlier rules and that there need not be a specific or express reference from one document to the other document in order to constitute a memorandum required under the Statute of Frauds as is sufficient if by necessary implication there should be reference from one to the other. Jenkins L.J., (as he then was), said at page 130: “The rule has no doubt been considerably relaxed since Peirce v. Corf LR. 9 QB. 210 was decided in 1874, but I think it is still indispensably necessary, in order to justify the reading of documents together for this purpose, that there should be a document signed by the party to be charged, which, while not containing in itself all the necessary ingredients of the required memorandum, does contain some reference, express or implied, to some other document or transaction. Where any such reference can be spelt out of a document so signed, then parol evidence may be given to identify the other document referred to, or, as the case may be, to explain the other transaction, and to identify any document relating to it. If by this process a document is brought to light which contains in writing all the terms of the bargain so far as not contained in the document signed by the party to be charged, then the two documents can be read together so as to constitute a sufficient memorandum for the purpose of Section 40.”

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ONLY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE CAN CONTRADICT DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

However the conflict is not strong to hold his evidence is of no value when the documentary evidence speaks for itself. It is trite the best evidence to challenge documentary evidence is same Documentary evidence. – Nwodo, JCA. OLAM v. Intercontinental Bank (2009) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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