the admissibility of documentary evidence under the Nigeria Law of Evidence

The Admissibility of Documentary Evidence Under the Nigeria Law of Evidence


Documentary evidence is one of the important ways of providing the facts of a case in the court. It is evidence by way of document and it arises where a party informs himself by reading some permanent visible document as when we write a law report. Like all Nigerian Law Report, All English Law Report, etc. Section 258 of the Evidence Act[1] defined things calculated to be called documents in Law. In the case of R. v. STEPHENSON[2], however, documentary evidence is defined as: “any statement made in a document which is offered to the court in proof of any fact in issue”. Documentary evidence is therefore that evidence which is supplied by writing or other documents. It is a requirement before the court can admit it in evidence.

Therefore, this work is going to place much emphasis on the admissibility of documentary evidence and other important aspect attached to the admissibility of documentary evidence under the Nigerian Law of Evidence.

 Statement of the Problem

Considering the concept of document generally as contained in Section 258 of the Evidence Act[3] which explicitly mentioned that:

Document” include books, maps, plans, drawings,   photographs and also includes any matter expressed or described upon any   substance by means of letters, figures or marks or by more than one of these means, intended to be used or which may be used for the purpose of recording that matter”. Continue reading the admissibility of documentary evidence under the Nigeria Law of Evidence

the legitimacy or illegitimacy of family planning in the light of Islamic jurisprudence.

The legitimacy or Illegitimacy of Family Planning in the light of Islamic Jurisprudence.

Background to the Study  

Centuries before the development of technological and scientific advancements and the discovery of the intricate complexities of fertilization, early Man had struck upon the concept that the male discharge into the womb of the female was a fundamental prerequisite for conception. In other words, it had dawned upon them that isolating the male discharge from the female genitals would prevent pregnancy. However, humanity then had no serious ecological reasons for undertaking such drastic steps to curtail its population growth, but, it was more prestigious and honourable to have a large family because more children were economic and social asset.

Nevertheless, in our sophisticated modern era, with the tremendous progress in the field of medicine and widespread education, resulting in a sharp reduction in the rate of infant mortality and in lengthening the average life expectancy, economists and statisticians have become increasingly alarmed by the threat of what they call the “population explosion.” The only solution, it seems, is to limit the birth rate. This is where medical scientists came to the rescue of Man by inventing the various assorted types of reversible methods, that is, the Physical, for example, the rhythm method; the Mechanical, for example intrauterine device and the common usage of condoms; and the Chemical, for example the oral pill and spermicidal jellies used locally, and also the permanent form of contraception like sterilization, tubal ligations, vasectomies etc. This practice which became commonly known as birth control or family planning, has become a matter of grave concern to religious leaders and social reformers, because some governments, like the United States and its Allies, allocate massive funds for the popularization and implementation of this program and expand their campaign to a global scale. Continue reading the legitimacy or illegitimacy of family planning in the light of Islamic jurisprudence.




The advancement in science and technology and the quest for children led to the development and invention of a new process of human procreation other than the natural way. These technological inventions (artificial insemination) have witnessed dramatic changes in the institution of family and parenthood and an abandonment of the historical emphasis on their bionormative structures which result in societal shifts with respect to public openness and technological innovations from sexuality and fertility. The resultant parenthood structures which depart from traditional spousal and parental models intensify the ability and need to determine legal parenthood in numerous unprecedented contexts. Artificial insemination is the process by which a woman is medically impregnated using sperm from her husband or from third party donor and produce a child; if Allah so wish. It is employed in cases of infertility or impotence, or as a means by which an unmarried woman may become pregnant. The procedure, which has been used since the 1940’s, involves injecting collected semen into the woman’s uterus and is performed under a physicians supervisions. This project will go very long way to explain and sensitize the Muslim umma on the issue of artificial insemination. Hence; this research among other things discussed therein; critically examines the legality or otherwise of the method in line with the provision of Islamic law, the causes and different forms of artificial insemination and the view of Shariah on the child born under it.        


Man achieved great success from many centuries with “artificial insemination” on plants and animals. The techniques of artificial insemination have been used in domestic animal breeding as early as the 14th century among Arabs to inseminate horses.

In the early 1980’s researchers in Moscow developed artificial insemination for sheep, cattle and horses, and the technique is now a major part of the sheep and cattle industry worldwide.

Being that the desire to have one’s own offspring is a very strong instinct. Man’s tested talent on plants and animals inspired him to experiment with human beings under laboratory conditions (Human Artificial Insemination). Artificial insemination is the introduction of semen in the woman’s vagina cervical canal or uterus mechanically. Its purpose is to produce pregnancy when the wish to have child apparently cannot be satisfied through normal sexual intercourse. The extended press coverage of “Louise Brown”, the first child born as a result of artificial reproduction on 25th July, 1978 created great interest in the field of human reproduction. Artificial reproduction is a term used to illustrate the various means of having children. These include techniques ranging from the relatively simple artificial insemination using semen of the husband (AIH); to artificial insemination using semen of an anonymous donor (AID) and sometimes the husband’s semen is mixed with that of the donor (AIM), to the high tech of in vitro fertilization (IVF) which involve the fertilization of a sex cell followed by the transfer or replacement of the resulting embryo into the woman, sometimes of a surrogate mother. Continue reading ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IN SHARIA’H AND THE POSITION OF A CHILD BORN UNDER IT IN FOCUS



In our modern day legal and justice system, every piece of evidence, be it real or oral is of great use to the pursuit and furtherance of justice. This long essay therefore seeks to throw light on that aspect of the law of evidence with pertains to the evidence of a child in Nigerian courts. This long essay sets out to appraise the general workings of the process (es) involved in receiving the evidence of a child in our Nigerian courts. This essay shall also critically examine and analyze the procedure and conditions under which the evidence of a child shall be deemed admissible by the court. Chapter one of this essay mainly paves way and gives a background understanding of the concept of this study it is the very foundation upon which the body of this research shall test. Chapter two of this essay shall begin the work proper as it is aimed at providing an insight into the actual content and substance of the topic in issue. It will encompass concepts such as legal capacity of a child, the measure and weight of admissibility given by a child, to mention but a few. Chapter three shall go further to give reasons and meanings, also to disclose certain necessary ingredients relevant in the process of adducing evidence of a child. It shall touch on corroboration, the evidence of a child as corroboration for another and enquire into the need for corroborating a child’s evidence. Chapter four shall be the sealing chapter of the work, and it shall stress on competency of a child’s evidence in sexual offences as well as the criticism that follow and the admissibility of the evidence of a child in our courts. Chapter five shall serve the duty of summarizing the research findings, giving an acceptable conclusion and proposing suggestible recommendations as to the quantum and measure of the effect of the existing practice, and if any, state possible measures for improvement.

 Background of the Study

In our contemporary judicial system, admissibility is based on relevance and evidence is admissible to prove the existence or non-existence of every fact in issue and any other fact declared to be relevant by the provisions of the Evidence Act.

We cannot talk about admissibility of the evidence of a child without throwing light on a number of concepts. As we know, law is an all encompassing field, and one structure, terminology or concept may rely on another for an effective and smooth working of the system. i.e. just like a car with its engine and other mechanical parts, or like the human body with systems and organs. In order to efficiently appraise this topic, this essay shall lay some emphasis on competence, compellability, corroboration (mainly) to mention but a few. Continue reading AN APPRAISAL OF THE ADMISSIBILITY OF CHILD EVIDENCE IN NIGERIAN COURTS

to examine the offence of rape and the need of consent in proof of the offence under the Nigerian criminal and penal laws

To Examine the Offence of Rape and the need of Consent in Proof of the offence under the Nigerian Criminal and Penal Laws

 Significance Justification of Study

Generally, it has been agreed legally that in any allegation of rape, the absence of ‘consent’ to sexual intercourse on the part of the victim is critical.[1]

However, lack of consent may result from either forcibly compulsion by the perpetrator or an incapacity to consent on the part of the victim.

Thus, a thorough perusal of the available statutory provision of rape displayed the word ‘consent’ rigorously, which signifies the importance of the word consent in order to adjudicate on rape cases in court. As such, the privacy of consent in rape is justifiable or else innocent accuse will be punished, while the main guilty accuse might be acquitted in court.

However, consent shall be defined on the basis of ‘free agreement’ involving a ‘voluntary’ agreement between two parties to engage in sexual intercourse. The essence of ‘free agreement’ is that sexual encounters should involve communication of desires, likes and dislikes in the absence of force, coercion or fraud.

 Scope of Study

This essay would be limiting its scope in relation to statues to the Criminal Code, Penal Code, Sharia Panel Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Act, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other specific regulations. It however doesn’t set out to discuss the whole body of these regulatory laws but rather the obsolete penal provisions in those laws. In other areas like analysis, concepts, theories, judgments and references, the geographical spread of the thesis; it covers Nigeria though references are made to other jurisdictions like Britain, United States of America where necessary. Continue reading to examine the offence of rape and the need of consent in proof of the offence under the Nigerian criminal and penal laws

Assessing the challenges of area courts in the administration of justice

Assessing The Challenges of Area Courts In The Administration Of Justice:A Case Study Of The Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

Background to the Study

An Area Court, being a court of 1st instance, is an integral part of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary which bears the heavy weight of the tremendous burden of the administration of justice system, which also come into contact with the greater percentage of the citizenry, and to this, the idea of the citizenry as to the concept of justice and its image may very well depend on what e see, hear and perceive about it.

Prior to the arrival of the colonial masters, there had been the existence of what was called the “alkali court” mainly manned by a renown Islamic scholar, and was duly administered and controlled by the Emirs and Chiefs. In 1956, however, there was a law promulgated applicable to the whole Northern Nigeria known as Native Courts Law which conferred power on the Chief Justice of Northern Nigeria for the establishment of Native Court all over the then Northern Nigeria, and this continued until 1967 when Nigeria was splited into twelve states. The newly created states in the then Northern Nigeria adopted the same law with an amendment which culminated into the establishment of the present Area Court by virtue of the Area Court Edit of 1968.

In 1976, Nigeria was also splited by the creation of more states giving the total number of nineteen and Abuja was made as the capital of Nigeria. Originally, Abuja was carved out of then Kwara, Benue/Plateau and North Western States; however, Area Court was already established in those states and to that, the Court exists prior to the creation of the Federal Capital.

In 1990, there was a collation of laws among which was the Area Court Act[1], thereby gave the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to establish Area Courts by warrant under his hand.

In 2010, the Act[2] was repealed and re-enacted by the National Assembly which was signed into law by His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan (GCFR), and this is the law that is currently in operation. The court was established for the purpose of achieving justice easily, speedily and cheaply, that is with less cost of litigation, however these tenets or principles of achieving justice waned away due to the practice adopted by the judges and the system, and this made the court to face too much criticism arising out of bribery and corruption, embezzlement, incompetency on the Continue reading Assessing the challenges of area courts in the administration of justice