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EVIDENCE ACT, 2011
This Act repeals the Evidence Act , Cap. E14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enacts a new Evidence Act, 2011 which applies to all judicial proceedings in or before Courts in Nigeria.
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I- GENERAL
1. Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts.
2. Evidence in accordance with section 1 generally admissible.
3. Admissibility of evidence under other legislation.
PART II- RELEVANCY
4. Relevance of facts forming part of same transaction.
5. Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect or facts in issue.
6. Motive, preparation and previous or sub-sequent conduct.
7. Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts.
8. Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common intention.
9. When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant.
10. Certain facts relevant in proceedings for damages.
11. Facts showing existence of state of mind, body or bodily feeling.
12 Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional.
13. Existence of course of business when relevant.
PART III- RELEVANCE AND ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
14. Discretion to exclude improperly obtained evidence.
15. Matters court to take into account under section 14.
16. What customs admissible.
17. Judicial notice of custom.
18. Evidence of customs.
19. Relevant facts as to how matter alleged to be custom understood.
20. Admission defined.
21. Admission by privies.
22. Admissions by persons whose position must be proved as against party to suit.
23. Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit.
24. Proof of admissions against persons making them, and by or on their behalf
25. When oral admissions as to contents of documents are relevant.
26. Admissions in civil cases, when relevant.
27. Admissions not conclusive proof; but may estop.
28. Confession defined.
29. When confession is relevant.
30. Facts discovered in consequence of information given by defendant.
31. Confession otherwise relevant not to become irrelevant because of promise of secrecy, etc.
32. Evidence in other proceedings amounting to a confession is admissible.
33. What evidence to be given when statement forms part of a conversation, document, book or series of letters or papers.
34. Weight to be attached to admissible statements.
35. Acts of possession and enjoyment of land may be evidence.
36. Evidence of scienter upon charge of receiving stolen property.
PART IV – HEARSAY, OPINION AND CHARACTER EVIDENCE: RELEVANCE AND ADMISSIBILITY
37. Hearsay defined.
38. Hearsay rule.
39. Statements by persons who cannot be called as witnesses.
40. Statements relating to cause of death.
41. Statements made in the course of business.
42. Statement against interest of maker with special knowledge.
43. Statements of opinions as to public right or custom and matters of general interest.
44. Statements relating to rile existence of a relationship.
45. Declarations by testators.
46. Admissibility of certain evidence for proving, in subsequent proceeding, the truth of facts stated in it.
47. When statement made under any criminal procedure legislation may be used in evidence.
48. Statement of defendant at preliminary investigation or coroner’s inquest.
49. Admission of written statements of investigating police officers in certain cases.
50. Absence of public officers.
51. Statements made in special circumstances entries in books of account.
52. Entry in public records made in performance of duty.
53. Statements in maps, charts and plans.
54. Statement as to fact of public nature contained in certain acts or notifications.
55. Certificates of specified government officers to be sufficient evidence in all criminal cases.
56. Certificates of Central Bank officers as evidence in criminal cases.
57. Service of certificates on other party before hearing,
58. Genuineness of certificates to be presumed,
59. Previous judgments admissible to bar a second suit or trial.
60. Admissibility of certain Judgments in certain jurisdictions,
61. Admissibility and effect of judgments other than those mentioned in section 60,
62. Judgment, etc, other than those mentioned in sections 59 to 61, when admissible,
63. Conviction as evidence in civil proceedings,
64. Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment, or non-jurisdiction of court, may be proved,
65. Judgment conclusive in favour of judge,
66. Family or communal tradition admissible in land cases,
67. Opinion inadmissible except as provided in this Act.
68. Opinions of experts, when admissible,
69. Opinions as to foreign law,
70. Opinions as to customary law and custom,
71. Facts bearing upon opinions of experts,
72. Opinion as to handwriting, when admissible,
73. Opinion as to existence of “general custom or right” when admissible,
74. Opinions as to usages and tenets, when admissible,
75. Opinion on relationship, when admissible,
76. Grounds of opinion when admissible,
77. Character defined,
78. In civil cases, evidence of character generally inadmissible.
79. Character as affecting damages,
80. In libel and slander, notice must be given of evidence of character,
81. In criminal cases evidence of good character admissible,
82. Evidence of character of the accused in criminal proceedings,
PART V — DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
83. Admissibility of documentary evidence as to facts in issue,
84. Admissibility of statement in document produced by computers,
85. Proof of contents of documents.
86. Primary evidence.
87. Secondary evidence,
88. Proof of documents by primary evidence,
89. Cases in which secondary evidence relating to document.
90. Nature of secondary evidence admissible under section 89,
91. Rules as to notice to produce.
92. Proof that bank has made returns or been duly licensed,
93. Proof of signature and handwriting and electronic signature.
94. Identification of person signing a document.
95. Evidence of sealing and delivery of a document.
96. Proof of instrument to the validity of which attestation is necessary.
97. Admission of execution by part to attested document.
98. Cases in which proof of execution or of handwriting unnecessary.
99. Proof when attesting witness denies the execution.
100. Proof of document not required by law to be attested.
101. Comparison of signature, writing, seal or finger impressions with others admitted or proved.
102. Public documents.
103. Private documents.
104. Certified copies of public documents.
105. Proof of documents by production of certified copies.
106. Proof of other official documents.
107. Court may order proof by affidavit.
108. Affidavit to be filled.
109. Affidavit sworn in Nigeria.
110. Proof of document not required by law to be attested.
111. Proof of seal and signature.
112. Affidavit not to be sworn before certain persons.
113. Affidavit defective in form.
114. Amendment and re-swearing of affidavit.
115. Contents of affidavits.
116. Conflicting affidavits,
117. Form of affidavits.
118. Provisions as to altered affidavit.
120 Declaration without oath may be taken.
PART VI -PROOF
121. Proof of facts.
122. Facts of which COURT must take judicial notice need not to proved.
123. Facts admitted need to be proved.
124. Facts of common knowledge need not be proved.
PART VII – ORAL EVIDENCE AND THE INSPECTION OF REAL EVIDENCE
125. Proof of facts by oral evidence.
126. Oral evidence must be direct.
127. Inspection when oral evidence refers to real evidence.
PART VIII .- EXCLUSION OF ORAL BY DOCUMENTARV EVIDENCE
128. Evidence of terms of judgments, contracts, grants and other dispositions of property reduced to a documentary form.
129. Evidence as to interpretation of documents.
130. Application of this Part.
PART IX – PRODUCTION AND EFFECT OF EVIDENCE
131. Burden of proof.
132. On whom burden of proof lies.
133. Burden of proof in civil cases.
134. Standard of proof in civil cases.
135. Standard of proof where commission of crime in issue and burden where guilt of crime, etc. asserted.
136. Burden of proof as to particular fact.
137. Standard of proof where burden of proving fact, etc. placed on defendant by law.
138. Burden of proving fact necessary to be proved to make evidence admissible.
139. Burden of proof in criminal cases.
140. Proof of facts especially within knowledge.
141. Exceptions need not be proved by prosecution.
142. Burden of proof as to relationship in the case of partners, landlord and tenant, principal and agent.
143. Burden of proof as to ownership.
144. Proof of good faith in transactions where one party is in relation of active confidence.
PART X — PRESUMPTIONS AND ESTOPPEL
145. Rules as to presumptions by the court.
146. Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies.
147. Presumption as to documents produced as record 0 f evidence.
148. Presumption as to gazettes, newspapers, Acts of the National Assembly and other documents.
149. Presumption as to document admissible in other countries without proof or seal or signature.
150. Presumption as to powers of attorney.
151. Presumption as to public maps and charts.
152. Presumption as to books.
153. Presumption as to telegraphic and electronic messages.
154. Presumption as to due execution of documents not produced.
155. Presumption as to handwriting, etc. in documents twenty years old.
156. Proper custody defined.
157. Presumption as to date of documents.
158. Presumption as to stamp of a document.
159. Presumption as to sealing and delivery.
160. Presumption as to alternative.
161. Presumption as to age of parties to a conveyance or instrument.
162. Presumption as to statements in documents twenty years old.
163. Presumption as to deeds of corporation.
164. Presumption of death from seven years absence and other facts.
165. Presumption of legitimacy.
166. Presumption of marriage.
167. Court may presume existence of certain facts.
168. Presumptions of regularity and of deeds to complete title.
170. Estoppel of tenant; and of licensee of person in possession.
171. Estoppel of bailee, agent and licensee.
172. Estoppel of person signing Act of lading.
173. Judgment conclusive of facts forming ground of judgment.
174. Effect of judgment not pleaded as estoppel.
PART XI – WITNESSES
175. Who may testify.
176. Dumb witnesses.
177. Cases in which banker or officers representing other financial institutions not compellable to produce books.
178. Parties to civil suits and their wives or husbands.
179. Competence in criminal cases.
180. Competence of person charged to give evidence
181. Comment on failure by defendant to give evidence.
182. Evidence by husband or wife, when compellable.
183. Witness not to be compellable to incriminate himself.
184. Production of title deeds or other documents of witness not a party.
185. Production of documents which another person could refuse to produce.
186. Evidence by spouse as to adultery.
187. Communications during marriage.
188. Compellability, of justices etc. or the persons before whom the proceeding is being held.
189. Restriction on disclosure as to source of information in respect of commission of offences.
190. Evidence as to affairs of State.
191. Official communication.
192. Professional communication between client and legal practitioner.
193. Section 192 to apply to interpreters and clerks.
194. Privilege not waived by volunteering evidence.
195. Confidential communication with legal advisers.
196. Statements in documents marked “without prejudice”.
197. Corroboration in actions for breach of promise of marriage.
199. Co-defendant not an accomplice.
200. Number of witnesses.
201. Treason and treasonable offences.
202. Evidence on charge of perjury.
203. Exceeding speed limit.
PART XII -TAKING OF ORAL EVIDENCE AND EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
205. Oral evidence to be on oath or affirmation.
206. Witness to be cautioned before giving oral evidence.
207. Absence of religious belief does not invalidate oath.
208. Cases in which evidence not given upon oath may be received.
209. Unsworn evidence of child.
210. Order of production and examination of witnesses.
211. Court to decide as to admission of evidence.
212. Ordering witnesses out of court.
213. Preventing communication with witnesses.
214. Examination- in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination.
215. Order and direction of examination.
216. Cross-examination by co-defendant of prosecution witness.
217. Cross-examination by co-defendant of witness called by a defendant.
218. Production of documents without giving evidence.
219. Cross-examination of person called to produce a document.
220. Witnesses to character.
221. Leading question.
222. Evidence as to matters in writing.
223. Question lawful in cross-examination.
224. Court to decide whether question shall be asked and when witness compelled to answer.
225. Question not to be asked with out reasonable grounds.
226. Procedure of court in case of question being asked without reasonable grounds.
227. Indecent and scandalous questions.
228. Questions intended to insult or annoy.
229. Exclusion of evidence to contradict answers to questions testing veracity.
230. How far a party may discredit his own witness.
231. Proof of contradictory statement of hostile witness.
232. Cross-examination as to previous statements in writing.
233. Impeaching credit of witness.
234. Special restrictions respecting permissible evidence in trial for sexual offences.
235. Evidence of witness impeaching credit.
236. Questions tending to render evidence of relevant fact more probable, admissible.
237. Former statements of witness may be proved to show consistency.
238. What matters may be proved in connection with proved statement relevant under sections 40 to 50.
239. Refreshing memory.
240. Testimony to facts stated in document mentioned in section 239.
241. Right of adverse party as to writing used to refresh memory.
242. Production of documents.
243. Exclusion of evidence on grounds of public interest.
244. Giving as evidence document called for and produced on notice.
245. Using, as evidence, of document production of which was refused on notice.
246. Judge’s power to put questions or order production of documents, etc.
247. Power of assessors to put questions.
PART XIII – EVIDENCE OF PREVIOUS CONVICTION
248. Proof of previous conviction.
249. Proof of previous conviction outside Nigeria.
250. Additional mode of proof in criminal proceedings of a previous conviction.
PART XIV – WRONGFUL ADMISSION AND REJECTION OF EVIDENCE
251. Wrongful admission or exclusion of evidence.
PART XV – SERVICE AND EXECUTION THROUGH OUT NIGERIA OF PROCESS TO COMPEL THE ATTENDANCE OF WITNESSES BEFOREAPPLIED TO ALL JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN OR BEFORE COURTS IN NIGERIA
EVIDENCE ACT 2011
ENACTED by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as follows –
ALPHABETICAL INDEX TO THE LAWS OF NIGERIA (UPDATED)
LAWS MADE BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF NIGERIA [1999 – 2019]