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PLAINTIFF SUCCEEDS ON THE STRENGTH OF HIS CASE

Dictum

It was the appellants herein as plaintiffs that desired that the trial Court grant the reliefs they claimed for on the basis that the facts they assert in their pleadings exist and it is their case that will fail if they fail to adduce evidence to prove the existence of those facts. They can only secure the favourable Judgment they desire on the strength of their case as established by legal evidence and not on the weakness or absence of a defence. Therefore, the legal burden to prove the said facts upon which the success of their case depends rests squarely on them by virtue of S.s 131, 132 and 133 (1) and (2) of the Evidence Act 2011.

– Agim JSC. APC v. Obaseki (2021)

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ACCUSED PERSON HAS NO DUTY TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE

It is apposite to stress here too, that an accused person has no duty to prove his innocence in criminal cases. See Alabi v State (1993) 7 NWLR (pt.397) 511; Ariche vs State (1993) 6 NWLR (pt.302) 752.

— Amiru Sanusi, JSC. Ogunleye Tobi v The State (2019) – SC.714/2017

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DOCUMENT BEING ALLEGED MUST BE PROVED

While oral agreement has the legal capacity to re-order or change the contents of an earlier written agreement, to satisfy the basic requirements of an agreement, the party alleging such agreement must prove it. See sections 135, 136 and 139 of the Evidence Act.

– Tobi JSC. Odutola v. Papersack (2007)

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WHAT IS PROOF IN LAW

Proof in law, is a process by which the existence of facts is established to the satisfaction of the Court, see Section 121 of the Evidence Act, 2011; Olufosoye v. Fakorede (1993) 1 NWLR (Pt. 272) 747; Awuse v. Odili (2005) 16 NWLR (Pt. 952) 416; Salau v. State (2019) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1699) 399. (Pt. 1372) 474; APC v. Karfi (2018) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1616) 479; Ojobo v Moro (2019) 17 NWLR (Pt. 1700) 166.

— 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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BURDEN OF PROOF ALWAYS ON THE PROSECUTION; BURDEN FOR INSANITY ON THE ACCUSED

The law is trite, that in all criminal cases in common law countries like Nigeria which operates from time immemorial, common law jurisprudence, the burden of proof is always on the prosecution. This notion is entrenched in Section 135 of the Evidence Act which further put the standard of such proof to be beyond reasonable doubt. SeeOgundiyan Vs The State (1991) 3 NWLR (pt.181)519 or (1991)4 SCNJ 44 or (1991)3 SC 100. It needs to be emphasized however, that the burden of proof always remains on the prosecution, except of course, in few limited circumstances such as in the defence of insanity in which the law presumes an accused person to be sane and therefore it casts the burden of establishing the contrary on the accused.

— A. Sanusi, JSC. Bassey v State (2019) – SC.900/2016

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THE APPELLANTS COULD NOT SUBSTANTIATE THE NARCOTICS FINE AGAINST THE 2ND RESPONDENT

What matters always in this kind of situation is that there must be proof of such a sentence. A criminal conviction and sentence must be proved by the CTC of the judgment of court delivered or any admissible way of proving same and the said judgment must reflect all the ingredients of a valid judgment to bind the parties concerned. This is unfortunately where the Appellants could not proceed further or substantiate the sentence of fine against the 2nd Respondent. At page 3228 (vol.5) of the record, PW1 and PW12, who gave evidence on the US proceedings did not dispute the fact that the 2nd Respondent was not at any time, charged before any court, caused to make a plea, convicted or sentenced for any offence. Similarly, at page 3464 ( vol.5) of the record, RW2, a US attorney and an associate of the 2nd Respondent, testified that the 2nd Respondent was never convicted or fined for any criminal offence in the United States. In fact, PW1 confirmed that the proceedings in Exhibit PA5 series are civil proceedings, while equally admitting that he never mentioned anything about charge in the proceedings and that he never had one. By virtue of section 135 of the Evidence Act, it is beyond peradventure that the proof of this allegation ought to be beyond reasonable doubt. Section 249 of the Evidence Act clearly prescribes the manner of discharging this proof, by the provision of “certificate purporting to be given under the hand of a police officer” from the US, “containing a copy of the sentence or order and the finger prints of the 2nd Respondent or photographs of the finger prints of the said 2nd Respondent, together with evidence that the finger prints of the person so convicted are those of the 2nd Respondent. See PML (NIG.) LTD. V. F.R.N. (2018) 7 NWLR (PT. 1619) 448 AT 493.

— Uwani Abba Aji JSC. Peter Obi & Anor. v. INEC & Ors. (SC/CV/937/2023, Thursday the 26th day of October 2023)

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