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READING TWO DOCUMENTS TO GET SUFFICIENT MEMORANDUM

Dictum

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.’

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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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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...

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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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EXCEPTION TO DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE BEING TENDERED BY THE MAKER

The general rule as to who can tender documentary evidence is that documentary evidence should be tendered through its maker. This is because the maker of such documents can validly answer the questions put forward with regards to the documents so his attendance may be necessary to facilitate cross-examination. See Section 91 of the Evidence Act 2011. See also the cases of Statoil Nig. Ltd v. Inducon Nig. Ltd [2014] 9 NWLR (Pt 1411) (P. 94, Paras, A-B). It is not however, at all times that documentary evidence must be tendered by the maker, as the person to whom it is made can also produce it in Court. If it can be shown to the Court by the person seeking to tender same that the maker of the document is dead or unfit by reason of his body or mental condition; that the presence of the maker of the document may also be excused if he is overseas or if it is not reasonably practicable to call him to tender the document in view of attendant expense.

— O. Oyewumi, J. Aseidu v Japaul (2019) – NICN/AK/01/2016

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THE MERE REGISTRATION OF A DOCUMENT DOES NOT IPSO FACTO GIVES POWER TO IT

Thus, mere possession of a Power of Attorney does not tantamount to valid title to the land. I am not discounting the fact that the said Exhibit P1 was registered as No. 3 on Page 3 in Volume 221 of the Lands Registry in Awka. However, the registration of a document does not confer any...

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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...

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