Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

EVIDENCE ON MATTER NOT PLEADED

Dictum

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)

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

COMPETENCY IS A MATTER OF UNDERSTANDING

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)

Was this dictum helpful?

IN LAND CASES THE PLAINTIFF MUST SUCCEED ON ITS OWN CASE

In land cases that the plaintiff when claiming a declaration of title must succeed on the strength of his case. The onus lies on the plaintiff to satisfy the court that he is entitled on the evidence brought by him to the declaration of title claimed. The plaintiff must rely on the strength of his case and not on the weakness of the defendant’s case. If this onus is not discharged, the weakness of the defendant’s case may not generally help him and the proper judgment will be for the defendant. Where, however, the case of the defendant lends support to the case of the plaintiff, it is recognised that the court cannot ignore it in arriving at a conclusion as to which side to believe.

– Iguh, JSC. Clay v. Aina (1997)

Was this dictum helpful?

WHERE EVIDENCE NOT CHALLENGED ONUS IS DISCHARGED

Ajero & Anor. v. Ugorji & Ors (1999) LPELR – 295 (SC), where Onu JSC., had stated inter alia thus: “Indeed, the Court has by a host of decided cases stated that where evidence called by a Plaintiff in a civil case is neither challenged nor contradicted, the onus or proof on him is discharged on a minimum of proof.”

Was this dictum helpful?

AVERMENTS IN PLEADINGS WITHOUT EVIDENCE TO SUBSTANTIATE ARE USELESS

Mere averments in pleadings, no matter how impressive they may be are useless if no evidence is led to prove them. Such averments in the pleadings unless, they are admitted, are regarded as mere suggestions of counsel and if they are not proved by evidence of witnesses are deemed to have been abandoned. [Adegbite v. Ogunfaolu (1990) 4 NW1,11 (Pt.146) 578; Balogun v. Amubikanhun (1985) 3 NWLR(Pt.11)27; Obmiami BrickAND Stone (Nig.) Ltd. v. A.C.B. Ltd. (1992) 3 NWLR (Pt.229) 260;Ayeniv. Sowemimo (1982) 5 SC 60; Idesoh v. Ordia (1997) 3 NWLR (Pt.491) 17 referred to].

— Adeyemo v. Ida & Ors. (1998) – CA/1/6/92

Was this dictum helpful?

PLEADINGS ARE TO CONTAIN THE MATERIAL FACTS, NOT THE LEGAL RESULT

Lord Denning in Re Vandervell s Trusts (No.2) (supra): “Mr. Balcanbe for the executors stressed that the point taken by Mr. Mills was ‘not covered by the pleadings. He said time and again: This way of putting the case was not pleaded. No such trust was pleaded.” And so forth. The more he argued, the more technical he became. I began to think we were back in the bad old days before the Common Law Procedure Acts 1852 and 1854, when pleadings had to state the legal result; and a case could be lost by the omission of a single averment. See Bullen and Leake’s precedent of pleadings, 3rd ed. (1868), P. 147. All that has been long swept away. It is sufficient for the pleader to state the material facts. He need not state the legal result. If, for convenience, he does so, he is not bound by, or limited to, what he has stated. He can present in argument any legal consequence of which the facts permit. The pleadings in this case contained all material facts. It does not appear that Mr. Mills put the case before the Judge; but this does not entail any difference in the facts only a difference in stating the legal consequences. So it was quite open to him.”

Was this dictum helpful?

ORAL EVIDENCE CANNOT CONTRADICT DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Having regard to the provisions of section 132(1) of the Evidence Act, oral evidence cannot be admitted to contradict, alter, add to or vary a contract or document unless such evidence falls within any of the matters that may be proved by such oral evidence by virtue of the provisos thereto. The provisos only permit evidence which will not be inconsistent with the terms of the relevant contract or document.

– Uwaifo JSC. Fortune v. Pegasus (2004)

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.