MOGAJI V ODOFIN (1975) 1 LRLR Vol 1 Page 122

                                                       MOGAJI V ODOFIN
(1975) 1 LRLR Vol 1 Page 122 (Reprint)
                                                                 Alternative Citation
                                                         (1975) 4 S.C 91
The Plaintiffs claimed against the Defendants in the High Court of Lagos State, a declaration of title to land situate in Epe and injunction to restrain the Defendants from unlawfully entering the said land. The trial Judge found for the Plaintiffs with respect to their claim for declaration of title to the land in dispute and for injunction.

Dissatisfied, the Defendants appealed on the grounds that the judgment was against the weight of evidence. Learned Counsel submitted that the scale of justice was already weighed against the Defendants/Appellants before the defense was considered by the learned trial Judge.

The Appellate Court in deciding the case stated that a Judge in a civil case must consider the evidence adduced by the parties before he comes to a decision. He should first put the totality of the testimony adduced by both parties on an imaginary scale; he will put the evidence adduced by the Plaintiff on one side of the scale and that of the Defendant on the other side and weigh them together. He will then see which is heavier not by the number of witnesses called by each party, but by the quality or the probative value of the testimony of those witnesses. 
In determining which is heavier, the Judge should have regard to the following;
(a) Whether the evidence is admissible;
(b) Whether it is relevant;
(c) Whether it is credible;
(d) Whether it is conclusive; and
(e) Whether it is more probable than that given by the other party.

Finally, after invoking the law, if any, that is applicable to the case, the trial Judge will then come to his final conclusion based on the evidence which he has accepted.

The Appellate Court held and laid down the locus that where two competing parties claim to be in possession of land in dispute in a case, the law ascribes possession to the one with better title.
The appeal was allowed and the judgment of the learned trial Judge Dabiri, J., delivered in the High Court at Ikeja on 26th April, 1976 set aside. The case was ordered to be heard de novo before another Judge.

This principle as laid down by the Supreme Court has been followed strictly and applied by the Court in cases such as;
WILLIAM AJANI & ANOR. V. LADEPO & 2 ORS. (1986) 3 NWLR (PT. 28) 276 @ 28, 
AJIBULU V AJAYI (2014) 2 NWLR (PT 1392) PG 483,
FRN V. ABORISADE (2015) 5NWLR (PT 1451)155, 
OKE V MIMIKO (NO 2)(2014) 1 NWLR (PT 1388) 332 
GUNDRI V. NYAKO (2014)2 NWLR (PT 1391) 211.

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