EVIDENCE 1.1D INTRODUCTION (OTHER RELEVANT PRELIMINARIES)
FACT AND FACT IN ISSUE.
A FACT: Section 258(1) EA provides that it may mean:
- Any thing, state of things or relation of things capable of being perceived by the senses.
- Any mental condition of which any person is conscious.
In other words, a fact is anything that the human mind can comprehend. Defined in AG Abia V AG Federation, as the fountainhead of the law.
A FACT IN ISSUE: defined in Section 258 as: any fact from which either by itself or in connection with other facts the existence, non-existence, nature or extent of any right, liability or disability asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding necessarily follows.
Those facts that would enable the court to give judgement in favour or against either of the parties. It was seen in Osolu V Osolu, as a material point affirmed by one party and denied by the other. In essence, it is the question of dispute between the parties whether of fact or of law which the court must determine. In lay terms; the bone of contention.
QUESTION OF FACT may mean any of the following.
- A question that is not determined by the law.
- A question that does not relate to what the law is.
- A question to be answered by the jury not the judge.
QUESTION OF LAW: may mean
- A question which the court has to answer in accordance with the/a rule of law.
- A question as to what exactly is the law on a given issue or subject.
- A question answered by the judge instead of the jury.
A fact is proved when the court believes that it exists-Section 121 (a) EA.
A fact is disproved when the court believes that it does not exist or considers that a reasonable man would not believe in its existence-Section 121(b) EA.
A fact is not proved when it is neither proved nor disproved-Section 121(c).
PROOF is the process by which the existence of a fact in issue is established to the satisfaction of the court-Onya V Ogbuji.
OPINION is a person’s personal judgment or judgment of a professional in a field.
ELECTRONIC RECORD was defined in Dharambir V Central Bureau of Investigation as computer printouts including hard disc and other electronic devices used for storing information.
A ‘Witness” is a person who sees or knows evidence… one who gives evidence before a court…
CONTRADICTION OF EVIDENCE
In Olatubosun V State it was regarded as saying the opposite i.e. contra + dictum. When witnesses give inconsistent accounts of the same event. The court also noted that to raise doubt, the contradiction must be substantial and material because no two persons can give exactly the same account and in fact, minor variations in testimony seems to be badges of truth. This is true as in Wachukwu V Onwunwanne, the court noted that a discrepancy is not the same as a contradiction, the former being usual. For an evidence to be contradictory, the evidence must also be material to the case and the testimonies must actually contradict.
Uncontroverted or Uncontradicted Evidence: evidence that is neither attacked nor successfully discredited. Especially where the opposite party has the opportunity to do so-Owners of MV Gongola Hope V Smurfit Cases Ltd. There should be cross-examination because unchallenged evidence is deemed admitted and should be accepted by the court-Okoro V State
Assessor: A mere adviser to the court. Who evaluates and make recommendations to the court?