EVIDENCE – BURDEN OF PROOF/ONUS OF PROOF – Effect of failure to discharge the burden of proof placed on a party


“…Therefore when the defendants introduced their pleadings, issues that would convert him to be a claimant/plaintiff on such issues, it is his duty to prove the existence of such facts in order to support what he claims or assets in his defence. Where he fails to do so, he will certainly be the loser on that issue. That of course is the tenor of Sections 136 and 137 of the Evidence Act. In this case, the appellants claim exclusive ownership of the land in dispute by a gift. They failed to adduce any evidence whatsoever to justify that claim. That assertion which by its nature is more than just a defence, and amounts to a claim, failed in the absence of any credible evidence to sustain the same. This leaves the plaintiff’s claim (Respondent herein) and evidence led in support thereof to stand without any challenge.” Per PETER-ODILI, J.S.C. in EKWEOZOR & ORS v. REG. TRUSTEES OF THE SAVIOURS APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF NIG (LCER-2020-39155-SC) at p. 56

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