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Mai-Aiki vs. Mai-Daji

ALHAJI UMARU HARUNA MAI-AIKI

V

DANLADDI MAI-DAJI

COURT OF APPEAL

( SOKOTO DIVISION )

MURITALA A. OKUNOLA, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

MAHMUD MUHAMMED, JCA

SAIFULLAHI MUNTAKA-COOMASSIE, JCA

CA/K/136S/96

TUESDAY, 24TH APRIL, 2001

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Admission - Admission against maker’s interest - Binding force of

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Admission - Proven admission Whether can be retracted

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Admission - Scope of - Evidentiary value of - Whether proven admission can be retracted

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Evidence of a non-muslim - Whether acceptable against a muslim

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Prescription or Hauzi -Period of where the dispute over land is between parties related by marriage

ISLAMIC LAW AND PROCEDURE - Witnesses - Whether parties can invite their witnesses to testify under Islamic law

Issues:

1.              Whether religious sectional difference could be a ground for rejection of evidence.

2.              Whether admission against a person’s interest is binding and enforceable against the maker despite retraction of same.

3.              Whether the defence of prescription (Hauzi)  is established in this case having regard to the existence of marriage relationship between the parties

4.              Whether it is permissible for a party to invite his witnesses to court and for the court to hear the evidence of such witnesses who were not invited officially by the court.

Facts:

This appeal is against the decision of the Kebbi State Sharia Court of Appeal holden at Birnin Kebbi which dismissed the appellant’s appeal against the decision of the Upper Area Court, Birnin Kebbi. The appellant as plaintiff claimed possession of a farmland held over by the defendant/ respondent. The appellant claimed that the farmland was given to the respondent on loan 15 years earlier and that the respondent was a relation by marriage. The respondent’s refusal to relinquish the farmland on request necessitated the action. Evidence of the respondent’s initial admission to return the farmland was given at the trial as well as his subsequent retraction of same. Some of the witnesses called by the appellant were not allowed to testify before the trial court. The decision of the trial court as well as that of the Sharia Court of Appeal were against the appellant, hence this appeal.