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PARTY IS TO SHOW HOW THE PARAGRAPHS OF AN AFFIDAVIT ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THE EVIDENCE ACT

Dictum

However, where a party alleges that certain paragraphs offend the provisions of Section 115(2) of the Evidence Act, the responsibility is on that party to explain how the paragraphs of the affidavit are inconsistent with the section of the Evidence Act. It is not enough for a party to allege that certain paragraphs are inconsistent with the provisions of the Evidence Act. Learned counsel for the Respondent has failed to explain how paragraph 8 (c) and (d) constitute argument and conclusion. I therefore discountenance learned senior counsel’s argument on that score.

— P.A. Galinje JSC. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc V. Longterm Global Capital Limited & Anor. (SC.535/2013(R), 23 June 2017)

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MOTION – WHAT AN AFFIDAVIT SHOULD NOT CONTAIN

A motion for a stay of execution is usually accompanied by an affidavit deposing to facts (not law, not speculation) which will persuade and incline the court to grant a stay … Paragraphs 14, 15 and 17 reproduced above offend all known rules relating to affidavits. One of those rules is that “an affidavit shall not contain extraneous matter, by way of objection, or prayer, or legal argument or conclusion”.

– Oputa, JSC. Military Governor v. Ojukwu (1986) – SC.241/1985

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CALL ORAL EVIDENCE WHERE CONTRADICTIONS IN AFFIDAVIT & COUNTER-AFFIDAVIT

The learned counsel to the Appellant had argued that if there are contradictions in the affidavit and counter affidavit the court should not believe one side and reject the other but, call oral evidence to clear the contradictions. Yes, this is the correct position of the law when the affidavits evidence are from both sides but contradictory.

– Uwa, JCA. GTB v. Innoson (2014) – CA/I/258/2011

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DOCUMENT ATTACHED TO AFFIDAVIT FORMS PART OF THE EVIDENCE OF DEPONENT

I have already held that a document attached to or exhibited with affidavit forms part of the evidence adduced by the deponent and is deemed to be properly before the court and to be used, once the court is satisfied that it is credible. Being already an evidence before the court (on oath), the formality of certification for admissibility (if it required certification) had been dispensed with. Of course, the reason for this is easy to deduce, the first being that affidavit evidence is already an admitted evidence before the court, unlike pleading which must be converted to evidence at the trial at which time issues of admissibility of an exhibit is decided The second point is that an exhibited copy of a document attached to an affidavit evidence must necessarily be a photocopy or secondary copy (except where the document was executed in several parts or counter parts and the deponent has many of the parts to exhibit in original forms). It is therefore unthinkable to expect the exhibited photocopy to be certified by the adverse party before the court can attach probative value to it.

– I.G. Mbaba, JCA. Ilorin East v. Alasinrin (2012) – CA/IL/38/2011

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DISTINCTION BETWEEN WITNESS STATEMENT ON OATH & AFFIDAVIT

In Okpa v. Irek & Anor. [2012] LPELR-8033 (CA) held thus: This court has consistently held that a witness statement on oath is different from affidavit evidence. An affidavit is a statement of fact which the maker or deponent swears to be true to the best of his knowledge. It is a court Process in writing deposing to facts within the knowledge of the deponent. It is documentary evidence which the court can admit in the absence of any unchallenged evidence. Akpokeniovo v. Agas [2004] 10 NWLR (Pt. 881) 394. On the contrary a witness statement is not evidence. It only becomes evidence after the witness is sworn in court and adopts his witness statement. At this stage at best it becomes evidence in chief. It is thereafter subjected to cross examination after which it becomes evidence to be used by the Court. If the opponent fails to cross examine the witness, it is taken as the true situation of facts contained therein.

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ANY DEPOSITION NOT CHALLENGED IN AFFIDAVIT IS DEEMED ADMITTED

In the said suit leading to the instant appeal, there is the said counter-affidavit of the Respondent which is a part of the Records. It is now settled that affidavit evidence, constitutes evidence and any deposition therein not challenged, is deemed admitted. See the cases of Ajomale v. Yaduat & anor. (No.2) (1991) 5 NWLR (Pt.191) 226 @ 282-283; (1991) 5 SCNJ. 178 and Magnusson v. Koikoi (l993) 12 SCNJ 114.

— F. Ogbuagu JSC. Stephens Eng. Ltd. v. S.A. Yakubu (2009) – SC.153/2002

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CONTRADICTIONS IN APPLICANT’S OWN AFFIDAVIT

Based on the above findings, the applicant cannot be heard to contend that the court below did not exercise its discretion judicially and judiciously. With the inconsistent, dishonest and woolly averments in the affidavits of the applicant, no reasonable tribunal could have granted his application. The court below was even charitable to him to have gone into the merits of the application … The applicant having contradicted himself on very serious and important issues of fact in his application which bordered on dishonesty, should not have turned round to complain. He did not approach the court with clean hands and those averments disqualified him from the exercise of the court’s discretion in his favour.

— Ogwuegbu, JSC. Momah v VAB Petro (2000) – SC. 183/1995

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