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Instance Where Public Documents Cannot Be Tendered In Court From The Bar

Instance Where Public Documents Cannot Be Tendered In Court From The Bar

Instance Where Public Documents Cannot Be Tendered In Court From The Bar. Daily Law Tips (Tip 520) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

Although, documentary evidence can be tendered in court by a witness that is linked to the document. Also, public documents and certified true copy of public documents can be tendered in court from the bar by a lawyer on behalf of a party/witness. This principle/practise is not without an exception.

There is an exception to the above stated principle and practise, the exception being that there are instances where public documents/certified true copy of public documents cannot be tendered from the bar and admitted into evidence be court. Such document cannot be tendered from bar where such was not pleaded in statement of claim or statement of defence.

“Contrary to the contention of the appellant, the Court below did not hold (supra) that a public document could not be tendered from the Bar… Certified true copy of a public document can be tendered from the Bar without formally tendering it through a witness vide Agagu v. Dawodu (1990) 7 NWLR (pt.160) 56, Anatogu v. Iweka II (1995) 9 S.C.N.J. 1, Progressive Action Congress v. INEC (2009) All FWLR (pt.478) 260, Magaji v. The Nigerian Army (2005) All FWLR (pt.257) 1511 at 1531, Aregbesola v. Oyinlola (2009) All FWLR (pt.472) 1147 at 1181, Our Line Limited v. S.C.C. Nigeria Limited (2009) All FWLR (pt.498) 210.” Per IKYEGH ,J.C.A

“Had the appellant applied and obtained an order of the Court below to amend the processes in support of his case to include the document it could have been tendered from the Bar and the late application should have been granted on terms as to heavy costs. That was not the case here. The document had no foundation in the papers filed for the action to hold and sustain it. The Court below made the point aright, in my view, that an additional witness or additional statement on oath should have been filed by the appellant incorporating or listing the document in question. Tendering in evidence a document not made part of the case of any of the parties would tantamount to relying on a material fact not envisaged by the opponent. It is trite that any material fact not made part of the case even if inadvertently admitted in evidence would be expunged at the judgment stage of the proceedings of the Court of trial or on appeal if the attention of the Court is drawn to it.” Per IKYEGH ,J.C.A


The decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of ESEZOBOR v. SAID (2018) LPELR-46653(CA)









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