The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has canvassed the need for public enlightenment on the technicalities in judicial proceedings to enrich public knowledge and enhance the understanding of the practice of the Law of Evidence in Nigeria.
Gov. Ugwuanyi made the call during the public presentation of the book “Law of Evidence in Nigeria: Practice and Procedure” authored by the Secretary to the Government of Enugu State (SSG) and Director General of South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, held at the Amadeo Event Centre, Enugu, yesterday.
Ugwuanyi pointed out that “given the dynamism and growth of the Nigerian judicial system, I strongly believe that legal paraphernalia in Nigeria must be strengthened for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi stressed that the new book on issues relating to the Law of Evidence and its practice especially in this era of rapid communications and information technological changes globally, is a welcome development “particularly against the background of the dearth of standard textbooks in such areas”.
The governor therefore commended the author of the book for his vision and efforts to document what he considered as a very comprehensive account of the processes involved in establishing truth of facts in the judicial process and the legal principles relating to relevance and admissibility of facts.
“My position is even emboldened by the scholarly words of no other than the Honourable Justice Chima Centus Nweze of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who, in his forward, described the book as quite captivating, just as the logical presentation of ideas are very illuminating”, he said.
Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that the book will surely attend to the weaknesses in the current legal framework as well as fill the gap in the public understanding of “what facts that may be proved, what facts to be excluded from the Judge’s cognizance, the burden of proving these facts and how these facts are proved in Nigerian courts”.
Expressing optimism that the book will serve as a good reference document on the Nation’s legal system, the governor recommended it for general readership, especially to Justices, Senior Advocates and the Academia.
Reviewing the book, the reviewer, Prof. Offornze D. Amucheazi, SAN, disclosed that the 480-page document of 23 chapters “is clearly a classic work, a masterpiece inspired by many years of legal practice and teaching at the University of Nigeria and Enugu State University of Science and Technology”.
Prof. Amucheazi explained that “the book is designed to analyze and simplify core issues relating to procedures, proceedings and applications of the evidence Act and the law of evidence in our everyday proceedings in courts”.
He added that “it is a manual for law enforcement officers, legal practitioners and our court when it comes to investigation of crime, obtaining evidence from suspects, presentation of facts/evidence and application of the evidence on a case at hand”.
Unveiling the book, Chief Hyde Onuaguluchi who emphasized the importance of evidence in legal matters, appreciated Prof. Ortunaya for immortalizing his name through the book and prayed that “this publication will enhance the judicial principles and policies and the general jurisprudence of Nigeria in the attempt to deliver lasting decisions that would stand the test of time”.
In her goodwill message, the Chief Guest of Honour, Hon. Justice Chinwe E. Iyizoba (Rtd.) of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, applauded the author who was her student over two decades ago for authoring the book in spite of his busy schedule as the Secretary to the Government of Enugu State.
In response, Prof. Ortuanya, who dedicated the book to his late parents, thanked God Almighty for the successful presentation of the book as well as Gov. Ugwuanyi for his support and encouragement.
Other dignitaries at the event include representative of the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State; Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, the Acting Chief Judge of Enugu State, Hon. Justice Raymond Ozoemena; the Honourable Minister of Education represented by Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Education Abuja, Mr. Ogunsina Joshua; President, Customary Court of Appeal, Enugu State, Hon. Justice George Nnamani; former State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Vita Abba; Amb. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu; members of the Enugu State House of Assembly and State Executive Council (EXCO); Special Advisers to the Governor; Judges of Enugu State Judiciary, Heads of Para-Military Agencies; Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu and other Royal Fathers; the book presenters (Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Chief Barr. Onyemauche Nnamani, and Chief Barr. Cosmas Agu who was represented by Hon. Emeka Ukwuaba, among others.