Title: Contemporary law of evidence in Nigeria with comprehensive commentaries on evidence Act, 2011 Vol.1
Author: Dr. Jerry Amadi
Publishers Pearl publishers
The purpose of the evidence system (evidence of similar fact) is to show that the accused is to be guilty of the offence currently charged by simply showing that he or she had been guilty of other misconduct than the one primarily charged Contemporary law of evidence in Nigeria with comprehensive commentaries on evidence Act, 2011 Vol.1.
You would have observed by now that similar facts evidence and an accused’s bad character
reinforce each other or support the allegation made against the accused. Hence, evidence of bad character, which falls within the scope of similar facts evidence is relevant and
admissible. Whenever evidence of bad character is relevant, evidence of previous conviction
is also relevant. However, the general principle remains that:
The evidence of character of either party to a judicial proceeding is irrelevant and
inadmissible and in a criminal proceeding the evidence of bad character (reputation) of the
accused, or his previous conviction or previous acquittal is also irrelevant and inadmissible
unless the Evidence Act or other statute so permits.
In this regard admissibility of evidence system in a criminal trial would be determined by
asking, in each case whether the probative value of each evidence outweighs the prejudicial
effect: DPP V P (1991).
In civil proceedings, such evidence is admissible wherever it is relevant to determine the
matter in issue provided it would not be oppressive or unfair to the other side to do so.
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