The topic under surveillance is “An Appraisal of Hearsay Rule in Nigeria and so it goes beyond a mere determination of what the Hearsay Rule translates to and touches on the actual working and operation of the rule within contemporary Nigerian society. We have considered the background of the rule in Nigeria and discovered that Nigeria is a country where rumours and hearsays statements are treated as concrete facts and this finding justifies the exclusion of the rule against hearsay as admissible evidence. We have examined the state of the law before the formulation of the rule, origin of the rule, things within the rule, application of the rule in Nigeria, reasons for exclusion of the rule in evidence, exceptions to the rule under the Nigerian Evidence Act, 2011. We have also undertaken to review the exceptions provided at law with the object of ascertaining the adequacy or inadequacy of the exceptions so provided under the Evidence Act, 2011.We have also raised the questions whether the Hearsay Rule is relevant to the Nigerian Legal System, what is the attitude of Nigerian courts to the rule and what challenges does the rule pose to the judicial arm of government? These and many other issues, including recommendations made as to how these challenges may be tackled are discussed herein.
1.2 STATE OF THE LAW BEFORE THE EMERGENCE OF HEARSAY RULE
1.3 ORIGIN OF THE HEARSAY RULE
1.4 BEST EVIDENCE RULE
2.1 HEARSAY RULE AS A COMMON LAW HERITAGE
2.2 THINGS WITHIN THE HEARSAY RULE
2.3 APPLICATION OF THE HEARSAY RULE IN NIGERIA
2.4 REASON FOR THE EXCLUSION OF HEARSAY EVIDENCE IN NIGERIA
3.1 EXCEPTIONS WITHIN CHAPTER FOUR OF THE EVIDENCE ACT, 2011
3.2 EXCEPTIONS WITHIN AND WITHOUT CHAPTER FOUR OF THE ACT
3.3 REVIEW OF THE EXCEPTIONS PROVIDED AT LAW: ARE THEY ENOUGH?
4.1 RELEVANCE OF HEARSAY EVIDENCE TO THE NIGERIAN LEGAL SYSTEM
4.2 HEARSAY RULE AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN NIGERIA: CHALLENGES
4.3 EVIDENCE ACT 2011 AND HEARSAY RULE: ANY SUBSTANTIVE INNOVATION
5.1 HEARSAY RULE: ANY NEED FOR REFORM