WHAT DOES EVALUATION OF EVIDENCE AND ASCRIPTION OF PROBATIVE VALUE THERETO ENTAILS?
"The lower Court as the trial Court has the duty of evaluation of evidence and ascription of probative value thereto. There is a duty on the trial Court to receive all available relevant evidence on an issue. This is perception of evidence. After that there is another duty to weigh that evidence in the context of the surrounding circumstances of the case. This is evaluation of evidence. A finding of fact will entail both perception and evaluation. See Olufosoye vs. Olorunfemi (1989) 1 SC (PT I) 29 or (1989) LPELR (2615) 1 at 9, Guardian Newspaper Ltd vs. Ajeh (2011) 10 NWLR (PT. 1255) 574 at 592 and Wachukwu Vs. Owunwanne(2011) LPELR (3466) 1 at 50-51.
There is little or no difficulty with perception of evidence, id est, receive all available relevant evidence. It is in perception of evidence that the Lower Court admitted Exhibits C1, D3A & B and D6 in evidence. Evaluation of evidence on the other hand is basically the assessment of the facts by the trial Court to ascertain which of the parties to a case before it has more preponderant evidence to sustain his claim. See Onwuka vs. Ediala (1989) 1 NWLR (PT. 96) 182 at 208-209, Oyadiji vs. Olaniyi (2005) 5 NWLR (PT. 919) 561 and Ameyo vs. Oyewole (2008) LPELR (3768) 1 at 9. The evaluation involves a reasoned belief of the evidence of one of the contending parties and disbelief of the other or a reasoned preference of one version to the other. A Court of trial has the duty to consider the evidence adduced in respect of any facts on which issues were joined, decide which evidence to prefer on the basis of how the evidence preponderates and then make logical and consequential findings of facts. See Adeyeye vs. Ajiboye (1987) 1 NWLR (PT 61) 432 at 451 and Stephen vs. The State (1986) 5 NWLR (PT 46) 978 at 1005". -
PER U. A. OGAKWU, J.C.A IN MAUREEN OTIGBAH & ORS v. AGATHA ADETUTU UWANAKA & ANOR suit no: CA/L/956/2015
Legalpedia Electronic Citation:(2020) Legalpedia (CA) 88171
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