Matric No: 144636
Course: Law of Evidence
Assignment: The question of admissibility of evidence belongs to the judge; those of its weight, credibility, sufficiency belong to the jury. Discuss
Date: 29th May, 2012
The law of evidence is the basic kernel that underpins the administration of the civil and criminal laws of any common law country when it comes to fair and balanced resolution of disputes presented before the courts. Nigerian superior courts operate within the parameters of settled common law rules of evidence received from the British as a consequence of colonialism, then adopted and saved by local legislation and judicial precedents as part of the laws of Nigeria after independence. The only marked departure from the common law percepts can be found in our customary and Sharia court systems where strict adherence to common law rules of evidence is not mandated as the norm. Admissibility is a relevant rule of evidence and is based on relevancy. It connotes relevancy and absence of any exclusion. The judge is vested with the powers under Sec 211 of the Evidence Act formerly Sec 186 of the Evidence Act . When a fact is said to be admissible, the use of the word presupposes that the facts are relevant. It is said that Admissibility is determined by fixed rule while weight of evidence depends on mainly on common sense, logic and experience. Evidence which is admitted must pass the ordinary tests of relevance and reliability. Relevance can be determined only if it is first assumed, concluded that the evidence will actually provide the jury with assistance. Evidence could be refused if its probative value is outweighed by the danger that its admission would mislead, distract or confuse the jury. Admissibility of evidence is left for the judge to determine while weight of evidence is left for the jury to determine. It should be...