AN ANALYSIS OF THE USE OF TESTIMONY AS A MEANS OF PROOF IN NIGERIA (ISLAMIC AND ARABIC PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
It is natural and common in human society to have between individuals a kind of dispute that may probably arise. Islamic Law had laid down and provides the procedures through which such dispute can be judicially determined. Nigerian Courts are enjoined to apply principles and Rules enunciated by Makili School of jurisprudence.
Complete application of Islamic law of Evidence in Nigeria has been limited and most of the texts on Islamic law of Evidence are classical and written in Arabic language. The rules of Islamic law of Evidence pronounced by the classical books are yet to be comprehensively codified to guide Nigerian Courts in conducting trials.
Regrettably the poor level of knowledge of Islamic law of Evidence rules among lawyers and the lower courts judges has led to erroneous appreciation and application of the rules.
The scope to be covered by this research is: the sources of Islamic law of Evidence, the cardinal principles governing the use of testimony, the application of testimony as means of Proof in Establishing both Criminal and Civil Cases. The research methodology of the thesis is doctrinal and analytical.
In the course of the research, some findings or observations were made. The research found that there is no clear distinction between substantive and procedural law in Islamic Law and most of the texts on the subject are written in classical
Arabic which is technical in nature. The jurisdiction of Shari‟a Court of Appeal in
Nigeria is limited to Islamic personal Status. Suggestions were made in the research as proffered solutions to the enumerated findings/observations.
1.1 Background of the Study
The word Testimony means: the evidence of a witness usually given in court and usually under oath.1The first source of the proof of a crime or a right in islamic law is SHAHADA i.e Testimony literally means: information of what one has witnessed or seen or beheld with his eyes, declaration of what one knows, decisive information, it also means to be present.
Technically means: to give true information before a competent court of law what one has seen or known for the purpose of proving or disproving a right or crime.2
The law of evidence encompasses the rules and legal principles that govern the proof of facts in a legal proceeding, these rules determine what evidence must or must not be considered by the trier of fact in reaching its decision and sometimes the weight that may be given to that evidence.
The law of evidence is also concerned with the quantum (amount) quality of proof is how reliable such evidence should be considered. This includes such concepts as hearsay authentication, admissibility, reasonable doubt and clear and convincing evidence.