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COMPETENCY IS A MATTER OF UNDERSTANDING

Dictum

And, apart from this, there is a long line of authorities establishing that competency is not a matter of age but of understanding and that if a child understands the nature of an oath, the provisions in question are completely out of place. See Reg. v. Perkins (1840) 9 C. & P. 395 (or 173 E.R.884); also R. v. Michael Moscovitch (1924) 18 CAR 37. – Coker JSC. Okoye v. State (1972)

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EVERY RELEVANT EVIDENCE IS ADMISSIBLE

Once a piece of evidence is relevant, it is admissible in evidence irrespective of how it was obtained.

– M.L. Garba JCA. Odogwu v. Vivian (2009) – CA/PH/345/05

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EVIDENCE IN EARLIER PROCEEDING NOT RELEVANT IN LATER TRIAL

Now it is settled law that the evidence of a witness taken in an earlier proceeding is not relevant in a later trial. except for the purpose of discrediting such a witness in cross-examination and for that purpose only.

– Kawu, JSC. Ogunnaike v. Ojayemi (1987)

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WHEN IS A PIECE OF EVIDENCE CREDIBLE

A piece of evidence is credible when it is worthy of belief, see Agbi v. Ogbeh (2006) 11 NWLR (Pt. 990) 1; Dim v. Enemuo (2009) 10 NWLR (Pt. 1149) 353, Eta v. Dazie (2013) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1359) 248; A. J. Inv. Ltd. v. Afribank (Nig.) Plc. (2013) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1359) 380; Emeka v. Chuba-Ikpeazu (2017) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1589) 345. In the same vein, a piece of evidence is conclusive if it leads to a definite result, .see Nruamah v. Ebuzoeme (2013) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1372) 474.

— O.F. Ogbuinya JCA. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc v. Longterm Global Cap. Ltd. & Ors. (September 20 2021, ca/l/1093/2017)

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EVIDENCE ON MATTER NOT PLEADED

It is settled that evidence led on any matter not pleaded goes to no issue and ought to be disregarded when giving judgment. – Kutigi JSC. Amadi v. Nwosu (1992)

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CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN AN APPELLATE COURT WILL EMBARK ON A RE-EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE

Suffice to say that an appellate court will not embark on a re-evaluation of the evidence led by the parties in the trial simply because a party made an allegation of improper evaluation of evidence and formulated an issue for determination from the complaint. An appellate court will only do so where a party visibly demonstrates the perversity of the findings made by the trial court by showing that the trial court:
(a) made improper use of the opportunity it had of seeing and hearing the witnesses, or
(b) did not appraise the evidence and ascribe probative value to it, or
(c) drawn wrong conclusions from proved or accepted facts leading to a miscarriage of justice.

– M.L. Shuaibu, J.C.A. Dekan Nig. Ltd. v. Zenith Bank Plc – CA/C/12/2020

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JUDGE MUST EVALUATE THE EVIDENCE

The justice of a case and statutory requirements will not be met if the trial Court considers only one side of a case. Adequate consideration must be given to both sides. In discharging this duty, the Judge must evaluate all the evidence. It is not the justice of a case if the Judge, without evaluating the evidence, holds that he believes one side and disbelieves the other. Only an evaluation of the evidence will logically lead to his reasons for believing or disbelieving. However, Judges differ in style. Nevertheless, whichever style a Judge uses or adopts, the important thing is that he considers all the evidence before him by evaluation before arriving at his conclusion which is the finding.

– Sankey JCA. Abdul v. State (2021)

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