A document rejected must be so marked by Judge

Documents not frontloaded are admissible, if relevant.

Dunalin Inv. Ltd v. BGL Plc [2016] 18 NWLR (Pt. 1544) 262 at 340, paras. D-E, per Augie, JCA:

“The documents were pleaded,… the fact that they were not frontloaded becomes something inconsequential; there is no law that says a document which is not frontloaded is inadmissible.”

Blogger’s Note:

The Court reached the above decision relying on Section 1 of the Evidence Act to the effect that relevancy is the basis of admissibility of evidence. The Court further noted that the frontloading system, which is an innovation under the various Rules of Courts, was made for the purpose of expediting trial and cushioning the effect of springing surprises. The Court, upon holding that the trial Judge erred in rejecting the document because it was not frontloaded, rightly stated the reason thus (at page 342-343 of the report, paras. H-A, per Obaseki-Adejumo, JCA): “A rejection of a potentially vital document for failure to frontload same, as in the instant case, would no doubt occasion a miscarriage of justice.” The learned Justice earlier in the Judgment remarked (at page 341 of the report, para D): “While the position of the law that parties are under obligation to comply and obey the rules of court remains unassailable, I must however state here that it is the Evidence Act and not the rules of court that governs admissibility of evidence. Apparently, the learned Judge failed to appreciate this settled position of the law.”
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