The phrase burden of proof in civil cases has two distinct meanings which are; firstly, there is the pleadings, it is the legal burden of proof or the burden of establishing a case. Then secondly, there is the burden of proof in the sense of adducing of evidence, which is described as the evidential burden. The burden of proof in the first sense is always stable, but the burden of proof in the second sense, oscillates and constantly shifts like a chameleon changing its colour, according to how the evidence preponderates on the scale of justice. See the cases of ODUKWE VS OGUNBIYI (1998) LPELR- 2239 PAGE 1 AT 17; (1998) 8 NWLR (PT. 561) 339, ADIGHIJE VS NWAOGU (2010) 12 NWLR (PT. 1209) 119 AT 463 AND OKOYE VS NWANKWO (2014) LPELR-23172 PAGE 1 AT 21; (2014) 15 NWLR (PT. 1429) 93. It is settled law, that in civil cases, the legal burden of proof in the sense of establishing a case lies on the claimant/Petitioner as in this petition, being the person who would fail if no evidence was adduced at all. However, this is not invariably so, as there are circumstances in our adjectival law, when the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. /Respondent as in this petition. See the cases of OSAWARU VS EZEIRUKA (1978) 6-7 SC 135 AT 145, NWAVU VS OKOYE (2008) LPELR-2116 PAGE 1 AT 31, (2008) 18 NWLR (PT. 1118) 29 AND EZEMBA VS IBENEME (2004) LPELR-1205 PAGE 1 AT 20-21. AGAGU & ORS V MIMIKO 2009 LPELR 21149 (CA); BOLAJI & ANOR V INEC & ANOR 2019 LPELR 49447 (CA); SEN JULIUS ALIUCH & 1 OR V CHIEF MARTIN N. ELECHI 7 2 ORS 2012 LPELR -7823 SC PG 43 PARAS B-E.
— A. Osadebay, J. APC v INEC & Ors. (EPT/KN/GOV/01/2023, 20th Day of September, 2023)