MODES OF TENDERING EVIDENCE DURING TRIAL IN NIGERIA

Tendering of documents in examination of witnesses can be done through any of the following ways: 

1. Undisputed documents can be tendered from the Bar after an agreement by the Counsels in the matter 
2. Disputed documents are to be tendered through the witnesses in evidence-in chief for the party calling him. OGBUNYINYA V. OKUDO 

 

POINTS A COUNSEL SSHOULD NOTE

NB=> COUNSEL NEEDS TO ADVERT HIS MIND TO WHETHER THE DOCUMENT SOUGHT TO BE TENDERED IN EVIDENCE IS

a.Primary 

b.Secondary 

c.Private document 

d.   Public document – in which case, it is the CTC that will be tendered. 

 

PROCEDURE FOR TENDERING DOCUMENT FROM THE BAR

i.Counsel brings to the notice of the court the document he intends to tender. 

ii.Objections may be raised at this stage by the adverse party 

NB=> Objections are supposed to be raised UPON APPLICATION BY COUNSEL TO TENDER SUCH DOCUMENT AND NOT WHEN IT IS PRODUCED.

iii.Counsel tenders the document 

iv.Document is shown to the other party for identification and appraisals 

v.The court may admit it in evidence and mark it as an 

vi.The court may reject it and mark it “tendered and rejected”

=>Once the document is rejected, it cannot be tendered again. ITA V. EKPENYONG

 

NB=> This procedure of tendering document form the Bar is no longer applicable in all the states because of the concept of frontloading.

 

Counsel is expected to forward all the document he seeks to rely upon; at the time he files the originating process O.4 r. 15 Abuja, O.3 r. 2(1) Lagos.

 

NB=> Certified True Copy (CTC) of a public document can be tendered from the bar and it would be admissible in evidence.

IMPLICATION OF TENDERING FROM THE BAR-there will be no need to call witnesses for this.    

 

PROCEDURE FOR TENDERING DOCUMENT THROUGH A WITNESS

1.Witness is sworn on OATH

2.Introductory questions are put to the witnes; tell this Honourable court your name, addres and occupation.

3.Proceed to ask the following questions 

a.Whether the witness can recognize the document if he sees it 

b.How can he identify the document 

4.Counsel to seek the leave of court to show the document to the witness for identification; through the Registrar after identifying, the witness will confirm that he made the statement

5.Witness to express readiness to tender the document as evidence in the case.

6.The adverse party could object as to admissibility on points of law.

7.Counsel will seek the leave of court to leader the document in evidence and for the court to mark it as Exhibit.

8.Evidence is admitted and marked as Exhibit.

NB=> A WITNESS MUST NOT BE THE MAKER OF A DOCUMENT BEFORE IT CAN BE TENDERED THROUGH HIM. S. 83 EVIDENCE ACT 2011.

 

Where an objection is raised to the admissibility of a document, the party seeking to tender it may:

i. Withdraw the document to enable him rectify the errors objected to

ii. Join issues with the other counsel and address the court on the objection. Where this option is taken and the court finds merit in the objection, the document is marked REJECTED and can never be admitted in evidence by the court.

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