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|Evidence Act In Customary Court By Barrister Okey Orji by Dailymemoirs: 1:08pm On Jul 03, 2018|
Can the Evidence Act 2011 actually apply to Judicial Proceedings before Customary Courts in Nigeria?
By Barr. Okey Orji
Customary Courts in some cases are also known as Native Courts. Customary Courts are established where necessary under the relevant state law. It is pertinent to note that every Customary Court is a court of record. They exist in all the states of Southern Nigeria.
It is submitted without fear of ambiguity that the rationale for the existence of Customary Courts in Southern Nigeria is to do substantial justice in consonance with the customs and tradition of the people. This was judicially endorsed in the case of Arum v. Nwobodo (2004) 9 NWLR (Pt. 878 ) 411 where the court espoused the principles governing proceedings of Customary Court as follows:
“The cardinal principle governing the Court’s proceeding is the attainment of substantial justice based on the reasonable practice, tradition and custom of the local people.”
A cardinal question which we intend to answer is, does the Evidence Act 2011 actually apply to judicial proceedings in Customary Courts? The answer to this question can only be properly adumbrated with proper reference to the evidence Act itself. It is submitted without any fear of contradiction that the provisions of the Evidence Act itself, determines with utter finality the Courts, where the Evidence Act applies. Against this background, it is pertinent to examine the Evidence Act with a historical perspective. Consequently, a
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