6.1 Odiase

| August 2, 2020

Philip Osarobo Odiase. (2016). Reception of the Evidence of Vulnerable Witnesses in Legal Proceedings in Nigeria. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 6(1), 11-28.

Abstract: Generally, ensuring the quality and accuracy of witnesses’ viva voce (verbal) evidence in Court proceedings, is central to achieving fairness and transparency in legal proceedings. Incidentally, there are occasions where such witness may be vulnerable witnesses whose quality and accuracy of evidence may be negatively affected due to various inherent variable factors. Under the Nigerian legal system, testimonies of vulnerable persons where relevant and vital are admissible in the Court of law in order to achieve fairness; persons such as children, the aged, mentally disable, physically challenged, intimidated witnesses and victims may be compelled to testify as witnesses in legal proceedings. Section 175 and 176 of the Nigerian Evidence Act 2011 provides for competence and compellability of witnesses including those that may be classified as vulnerable persons to testify where their evidence are relevant, vital or indispensible, and will aid the Court in arriving at a just conclusion. This paper examines the legal framework for receiving testimony of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in legal proceedings in Nigeria; it interrogates the adequacy of extant provisions.

Keywords: evidence, testimony, vulnerable witness, viva voce, competency


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Category: Volume 6