Medical evidence and proof of cause of death in Nigerian courts

Med Sci Law. 2018 Apr;58(2):122-134. doi: 10.1177/0025802418754576. Epub 2018 Jan 30.


Medical evidence has continued to be given and evaluated in Nigerian courts since Nigeria's independence from Britain. The attitudes of the courts have been largely varied against a background of the individual judge's appreciation of forensic science and who should be considered an expert witness. The prosecution and defence lawyers equally display limited knowledge of forensic science. This paper reviews some of the decided cases, the reasons for the verdicts, forensic concerns and recommendations for the improvement of the criminal justice system. There is need to improve the knowledge base of the bar and the bench.

Keywords: Medical evidence; Nigerian courts; expert witness; forensic pathology.

Publication types

  • Legal Case
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death*
  • Expert Testimony / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Forensic Medicine / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Nigeria