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HOW TO DETERMINE IF AN AFFIDAVIT CONTAINS ARGUMENT OR CONCLUSIONS

Dictum

Bamaiyi V. State (2001) 8 NWLR (Pt 715) 270 at 289 that “The test – – is to examine each of the paragraphs deposed to in the Affidavit to ascertain whether it is fit only as a submission, which counsel ought to urge upon the Court. If it is, then it is likely to be either an objection or legal argument, which ought to be pressed in oral argument; or it may be conclusion upon an issue, which ought to be left to the discretion of the Court either to make a finding or to reach a decision upon through its process of reasoning. But if it is in the form of evidence, which a witness may be entitled to place before the Court in his testimony on oath and is legally receivable to prove or disprove some fact in dispute, then it qualifies as a statement of facts and circumstances, which may be deposed to in an Affidavit. It, therefore, means that prayers, objections and legal arguments are matters that may be pressed by counsel in Court and are not fit for a witness either in oral testimony or in affidavit evidence; while conclusions should not be drawn by witnesses but left for the Court to reach.”

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MORE OFTEN THAN NOT THE STATEMENT OF OATH IS A REPLICA OF THE PLEADINGS; THE COURT RELIES ON THE QUALITY OF THE EVIDENCE

It must be borne in mind, and very crucially too, that in trials under new regime of front loaded evidence, more often than not the statement on oath of a witness is the replica of the pleadings of the party on whose behalf the evidence is given. The written deposition of a witness is thus...

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WHERE WITNESS DEPOSITION IS SIGNED IN A LAWYER’S OFFICE

Under cross-examination, DW3 admitted that he signed his deposition in the chambers of his counsel. However, there is no evidence before me that DW3 did not present himself before the Commissioner for Oaths to be sworn. The name and signature of the Commissioner for Oaths is on the deposition together with the date it was sworn. There is therefore a presumption of regularity in the statement on oath by virtue of Section 168 of the Evidence Act 2011. See Auta v Olaniyi [2004] 4 NWLR (Pt 863) 394.

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

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AFFIDAVIT SHOWING CAUSE TO DEFEND MUST DISCLOSE A DEFENCE

Furthermore, an affidavit showing cause why a defendant should be granted leave to defend an action must disclose a defence on the merit setting out the details and particulars of the defence. The popular expression is that the affidavit must “condescend upon particulars.” The affidavit showing cause must disclose facts which will at least throw...

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AFFIDAVIT FOR INTERLOCUTORY MOTION IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF MAIN SUIT

The long and short of it is that the defendant’s submission that the Court should consider its counter-affidavit to the claimants’ motion for interlocutory orders, having been moved and ruled on, cannot be considered as the defence of the defendant to the substantive suit. The counteraffidavit had served its purpose i.e. as the defence to the motion for interlocutory orders. It is not the defence of the defendant to the substantive suit … All this said, the oral application to use the defendant’s counter-affidavit to the motion of interlocutory orders in this judgment is hereby refused. I so rule.

— B.B. Kanyip, J. FG v. ASUU (2023) – NICN/ABJ/270/2022

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UNCHALLENGED AVERMENTS IN AFFIDAVIT ARE DEEMED ADMITTED

Let me say that I agree with both counsels on their respective submissions that unchallenged averments in an affidavit are deemed to be established and admitted by the party whose duty it is to controvert same. Our judicial landscape is replete with authorities on the position that it is now elementary. In addition to the...

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AVERMENTS IN AFFIDAVIT NOT CHALLENGED ARE DEEMED ADMITTED

These averments were not challenged or denied by the Appellant. No further affidavit was filed by the Appellant to deny that it ever agreed to submit to the Jurisdiction of the English Court. The Appellant did not challenge the Judgment by way of appeal nor did it deny the averments in the Counter Affidavits. I...

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