EVIDENCE 1.1B INTRODUCTION (CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE)
Oral Evidence: The assertion of a human being…see Section 125 EA. Evidence given by a witness in the witness box or after being sworn-Sebastine Tar In Nigeria, this may also include body language by an incapacitated person. Section 125, 126.
Documentary Evidence: tendered through the use of documents. Section 258(1) defines it in very wide terms… it can be concluded that a document is anything that can convey information.
Direct Evidence: Evidence from source… usually linked with oral evidence-See Section 6. The evidence of a witness who saw/watched as the act in question was performed… also called positive evidence.
Indirect Evidence: gives rise to the logical inference that a fact exists or the happening occurred-Igabele V State.
Circumstantial: evidence construed from the facts and circumstances of a case. E.g. the last seen; Peter Igho V State (bicycle) Atah V State (Abortion) Arichie V The State (Cab), Olusola Adepetu V The State.
Real Evidence: tendering material objects like machete, guns, etc. E.g. weapons of the offence and other materials of forensic value. This is one of the best modes.
Primary Evidence: original copies of document. The highest kind and most probable to the court.
Secondary Evidence: defined by lord Esher in Lucas V Williams as that given in the absence of better (primary) evidence. Using unoriginal/photocopies of a document.
Material Evidence: can decisively influence the establishment of the fact in issue. Make or mar the case. A vital witness is one whose evidence may determine a case one way or the other due to certain significant facts which are within his knowledge-Dogo V State.
Original and Testimonial Evidence: proof of facts by witnesses to the event or happening.
Unoriginal/Hearsay Evidence: also called second-hand evidence. Defined in Ojo V Gharoro as that of someone that was told. Section 37 EA sees it as that made by a person other than the witness… or contained in a record. It then goes further to provide that such evidence is inadmissible. Here, the statement of a third party is repeated-Omo V The State (2005) 8 NWLR pt 927 p. 236 at 275.
Credible Evidence: evidence that is worthy of belief…. Natural, reasonable and probable in view of the entire facts and circumstance of the case.