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  • 2005-05-23
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Durosaro vs. Ayorinde

CHIEF S. L. DUROSARO

V

T. A. A. AYORINDE

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

SALIHU MODIBBO ALFA BELGORE JSC ( Presided )

SYLVESTER UMARU ONU JSC

AKINTOLA OLUFEMI EJIWUNMI JSC (Read the Lead Judgment)

NIKI TOBI JSC

DENNIS ONYEJIFE EDOZIE JSC

SC. 70/1998

FRIDAY, 4TH MARCH, 2005

APPEAL - Inadmissible evidence admitted without objection at trial court - Attitude of appellate court to

APPEAL - Wrongfully admitted evidence - When will lead to reversal of judgment on appeal

COURT - Supreme Court - When will interfere with concurrent findings of fact of lower court

EVIDENCE - Wrongfully admitted evidence - When will lead to reversal of judgment on appeal

EVIDENCE - Evidence of witness in previous proceedings - Relevance of in later proceedings

EVIDENCE - Inadmissible evidence - Admission of without objection at trial court - Attitude of appellate court thereto

PLEADINGS - Averments in pleadings not evidence


PLEADINGS - Surplus averments in pleadings - How treated

EVIDENCE - Unchallenged relevant admissible evidence - Attitude of court thereto

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Conviction in previous trial -

Impropriety of court relying on in a subsequent civil trial

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Defendant failing to give evidence at trial - Implication of

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Evidence of witness in previous proceedings - Relevance of in later trial

Issues:

1.              Whether the respondent impeached the appellant’s conveyance, which was earlier in time by credible and admissible evidence.

2.              Whether the subsidiary issues raised by the appellant before the Court of Appeal are competent, particularly the wrongful admission of exhibit “F”.

Facts:

The plaintiff/respondent commenced an action in the Ibadan Judicial Division of the High Court of Oyo State against 16 defendants, including the appellant herein. The bone of contention is the title to a disputed parcel of land. From the evidence elicited in the trial court, it was found that the land in dispute originally belonged to the Samologbe family, which family granted the land to Akanji Ogunseye family. Both parties in this appeal traced their root of title to a purchase of the land from the Akanji Ogunseye family.

While the plaintiff/respondent tendered a deed of conveyance, exhibit A, in proof of his title to the land; exhibit E, the defendant/appellant’s conveyance which he alleged was forged and exhibit F, the proceedings of the court in respect of the forgery case for which one Ayisatu Amori Gbadamosi was subsequently convicted in charge No. 1/1075C/80 and the conviction affirmed in appeal No. 1/ICA/75; the defendant/appellant declined to call evidence and rather preferred to rest his case on that of the plaintiff/ respondent.

The trial court upheld the plaintiff/respondent’s claim to the land and this was affirmed by the Court of Appeal in an appeal to that court by the appellant herein. Dissatisfied still, the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court, contending that the court proceedings, exhibit F was inadmissible in evidence to establish the forgery of his conveyance, exhibit E.