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AFFIDAVIT SHOWING CAUSE TO DEFEND MUST DISCLOSE A DEFENCE

Dictum

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 some doubt on the plaintiff’s case. See U.B.A. Plc Vs Jargaba (Supra); Macaulay Vs NAL Merchant Bank Ltd (1990) 4 NWLR (Pt. 144) 283: Nishizawa Ltd Vs Jethwani (1984) 12 SC 234.

— K.M.O. Kekere-Ekun JSC. B.O. Lewis v. United Bank for Africa Plc. (SC.143/2006, 14 January 2016)

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AFFIDAVIT WHICH CONTAINS ARGUMENT WILL BE STRUCK OUT

In this case, the first part of the said paragraph 7c [of Applicants’ affidavit], reads as follows – “The condemnation of the Appellant’s Counsel as unprofessional, disrespectful, dishonest, discourteous, without hearing him is contrary to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and thus null and void. See the Supreme Court case of BELLO V. INEC & ANOR. (2010) LPELR-767 (SC), page 78, paras. D-F, the Court held that ‘A court has inherent power to set aside its judgment or order where it has become so obvious that it was fundamentally defective or given without jurisdiction. In such a case, the Judgment or Order given becomes null and void, thus liable to be set aside’.
Is this paragraph 7c in the Applicants’ Affidavit in the form of evidence? Obviously not; it is a legal argument or conclusion, which offends against Section 115 (2) of the Evidence Act 201, and it is, therefore, struck out.

— A.A. Augie, JCA. Elias v Ecobank (2016) – CA/L/873/2013

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AFFIDAVIT NOT DENIED OR POSITIVELY CONTROVERTED IS DEEMED ADMITTED

The law is now quite clear on the fact that, an affidavit not denied or positively controverted, is deemed to be admitted by the adverse party. And to deny an affidavit, the adverse party does not have to speak in tongues or in subterfuge, as he is required to deny the averment frontally and positively, leaving the court or any reader of his denial not in doubt of his adverse position to the one advanced or canvassed in the supporting affidavit. See the case of Hon. Maryati Audu Dogan & Ors. vs. A.G. Taraba State, an unreported decision of this court in CA/J/243/2010, delivered on 25/5/2011, pages 35 – 36 thereof. It is settled law that an affidavit evidence constitutes evidence and any deposition not challenged is deemed admitted. H.S. Engineering Ltd. vs. A.S. Yakubu Ltd. (2002) 175 LRCN 134, ratio 2, Ajomale vs. Yaduat (1991) 5 SCNJ 178, Nzeribe vs. Dave Engineering Co. Ltd. (1994) 2 SCNJ 161; Oyewole vs. Akande (2009) All FWLR (Pt.491) 813.

— I.G. Mbaba, JCA. Ogunleye v. Aina (2012) – CA/IL/22/2011

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CONCLUSION DRAWN IN AFFIDAVIT NEED NOT BE LEGAL CONCLUSION FOR STRIKING OUT

Besides, I do not think that view has any merit either by way of the interpretation of the said Section 87 of the Evidence Act or by looking broadly at the word “conclusion” which covers any conclusion based on fact or law as a result of a process of reasoning. It is the same process by which opinion or deduction is arrived at or inference drawn. Therefore to say that the conclusion meant under Section 87 is legal conclusion is restrictive and misleading.

— Uwaifo, JSC. Bamaiyi v State (SC 292/2000, Supreme Court, 6th April 2001)

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FACTS NECESSARY FOR GRANTING PRAYERS SHOULD BE STATED IN AFFIDAVIT

An application or motion on the other hand is usually supported by an affidavit or affidavits with or without exhibits, depending on the nature of the application. It is necessary for an applicant to state fully in an affidavit or affidavit, the facts he intends to rely upon in seeking the prayers or order contained in the motion paper because except with the leave of court, he will not be heard in respect of facts not contained in the affidavit.

– Kutigi JSC. Magnusson v. Koiki (1993) – SC.119/1991

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FAILURE OF COURT TO CONSIDER AFFIDAVIT IS A BREACH OF FAIR HEARING

In Order 6 Rules (2) and (4) of the Rules of this court, in an application for leave to appeal or for enlargement of time within which to seek leave to appeal, a respondent may, if he so desires, file in reply a counter affidavit. It follows that in considering the application for leave to appeal, the court has a duty to also consider the counter affidavit of the Respondent before arriving at a decision. Failure to consider the counter affidavit, as was done in this case is not only an irregularity but a clear denial of fair hearing to the Respondent/Applicant herein.

— J.I. Okoro JSC. Citec v. Francis (SC.116/2011, 21 February 2014)

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A PARTY IS FREE TO CROSS-EXAMINE ON AN AFFIDAVIT ADMITTED IN EVIDENCE

I am in grave difficulty to agree with the submission of learned Senior Advocate. First, the first leg of his submission implies that an affidavit admitted as an exhibit is not open to cross-examination. This conclusion is drawn from his argument that the difference between an affidavit and a deposition which is a written testimony is that the latter is open to cross-examination. That is not my understanding of the law. A party is free to cross-examine on an affidavit admitted in evidence, particularly where there is a counter-affidavit. Where there is no counter-affidavit, then the deposition will be generally deemed to be correct. In the circumstances a blanket statement such as the one by Counsel, cannot be correct.

— Niki Tobi, JSC. Buhari v. INEC (2008) – SC 51/2008

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