In Adam vs. Ikhano (1988) 4 NWLR (Pt. 89) 478 it was held that where there is a dispute as to the validity of a WILL, the primary onus of proof is on the party who propounds it to show clearly that prima facie it is duly executed. Once the primary onus is discharged, the secondary onus of proof of the allegation that the WILL is not properly executed or that it is tainted with fraud or forgery shifts unto the party challenging its proper execution to substantiate his allegations. See also Omorhirhi vs. Enatevwere (1988) 1 NWLR (Pt. 73) 476 and Okoli vs. 1st Bank (1986) 5 NWLR (Pt. 46) 1052.
Rimmer J summed up the matter as follows in Goode, Carapeto v Goode (2002) WTLR 801 at 841: “The burden of proving that a testator knew and approved of the contents of his will lies on the party propounding the will. In the ordinary course, the burden will be discharged by proving the due execution of the will and that the testator had testamentary capacity. Where, however, the will was prepared in circumstances exciting suspicion something more may be required from those propounding the will by way of proof of knowledge and approval of its contents. A relevant standard of proof is, however, simply by reference to that balance of probability.”