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Yusuf v. Mashi

664                 All Federation Weekly Law Reports                               20 November 2017

 

                              1. NAZIF BELLO YUSUF
                              2. PEOPLES’ DEMOCRATIC PARTY
                                                 V
                               1. SALISU HARUNA MASHI
                                2. ALL PREGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC)
                                3. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL
                                    COMMISSION
                                          COURT OF APPEAL
                                         (KADUNA DIVISION)

ISAIAH OLUFEMI AKEJU JCA (Presided)
HABEEB ADEWALE O. ABIRU JCA (Read the Lead Judgment)
AMINA AUDI WAMBAI JCA
                                                                                                  CA/K/EPT/SHA/13/2015
                                                                                      MONDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2015
ACTION - Declaratory relief - Grant of - Propriety of basing
                on credible evidence led by claimant
APPEAL - Evaluation of evidence and ascription of probative
                value to - Primary duty of trial court therefor - What
              entails - Attitude of appellate court to
APPEAL - Issues in an appeal - Whether relevant to outcome of
              - Issue for determination - What constitutes                                                                 COURT - Declaratory relief - Grant of - Propriety of basing on
                    credible evidence led by claimant
DOCUMENT - Admissibility of document and weight to be
                  attached to - Distinction between - Evidence led by parties
               - Duties of trial court thereto - Finding of fact - What entails
ELECTION - Cancellation of election in polling unit for overvoting
               - INEC - Proper steps may take - Electoral Act,
                 2010, section 53 considered
EVIDENCE - ‘Probative value’ - Meaning of
EVIDENCE - Admissibility of document and weight to be
                 attached to - Distinction between - Evidence led by parties
               - Duties of trial court thereto - Finding of fact - What entails
EVIDENCE - Burdens of proof in civil cases - Categories of -
                On whom lies
EVIDENCE - Civil suits - Basis on which are won - Claimant - Claims
               of - Onus on to establish on relevant and credible evidence
EVIDENCE - Claimant - Onus on to succeed on strength of own
            case and not rel y on weakne ss of defence - How
            discharged - Failure to - Effect
EVIDENCE - Cross-examination - Evidence elicited thereunder
             - Propriety of party relying on
EVIDENCE - Evaluation of evidence and ascription of probative
                value to - Primary duty of trial court therefor - What
                 entails - A ttitude of appellate court to
EVIDENCE - Hearsay evidence - What constitutes                                                                 EVIDENCE - Oral evidence - Nature of that is admissible -
                Hearsay evidence - Inadmissibility of - Evidence Act,
              section 126 considered
JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Decision of court - When said to
              be perverse
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Claimant - Onus on to succeed
               on strength of own case and not rely on weakness of
                defence - How discharged - Failure to - Effect
STATUTE - Electoral Act, 2010, section 53 - INEC - Where
                cancels election in a polling unit for overvoting - Proper
                steps may take
STATUTE - Evidence Act, section 126 - Oral evidence - Nature of
                that is admissible - Hearsay evidence - Inadmissibility of
WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Probative value’ - Meaning of


Issue:
           Whether on the state of the pleadings and of the evidence
led by the parties, the election tribunal was correct when it
found that the appellants failed to discharge the burden of
proof on them and thereupon dismissed their claims and
the petition.


Facts:
         The petitioners now appellants filed a petition in the National
and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal, sitting in Katsina
State. They challenged the declaration and return of the first
respondent as the winner of the Katsina State House of Assembly
Election for Mashi State Constituency. The petition was grounded
on facts that the 1st respondent was not elected by majority of                                          lawful votes cast at the election by reason of improper cancellation
of some polling units by the 3rd respondent. The appellants prayed
for a declaration to that effect, the declaration of 1st respondent
is null and void and that the 1st appellant who scored majority of
lawful votes be declared and returned as winner of the election. In
the alternative, an order declaring the election inconclusive and a
rerun election to be conducted. The tribunal dismissed the petition
and aggrieved, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal
contending that the tribunal erred in holding that they failed to
discharge the burden on them.