By Viewpoint- September 16, 2023.
Frances Ekeoma Kamen is an Associate Member of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and a registered member of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON)
Abuja -September 16, 2023- Viewpoint Housing News.
Land dispute is very serious and special in nature and therefore requires extra carefulness and expertise to handle.
The establishment of the authenticity of title documents, and gathering of transfer instruments where necessary, confirmation of actual geographical location of the land, viz a viz the size in accordance with the Technical Deed Plan (TDP) or the allocation beacons and geographical bearings, all form the basis and points of consideration in standing in for a client as expert witness in land dispute litigation matters.
The client and the legal practitioner representing the property owner must be well guided and all necessary information and supporting documents needed to establish ownership of the property sourced and arranged in a proper manner to assist in the litigation.
Where it is obvious that the documents are not genuine or sufficient enough to establish ownership in favor of your client, the client should be adequately advised accordingly to avoid waste of time and resources knowing too well that the legal exercise will amount to nothing.
In standing in as an expert witness for a client, enough rehearsal of expected examination and cross examination of the related subject matter in contest should be arranged with the lawyer before appearing in the court. The expert witness needs to appear neat and confident and should be eloquent enough though devoid of much unnecessary remarks.
The expert witness must pay rapt attention to all the questions from either lawyer for clear understanding as to provide required response. Where the questions are not clear enough, the expert witness should politely request for more clarification. As an expert witness, you are not expected to answer all question posed to you, most especially when it is not relevant or related to the subject matter. The expert witness should always keep eye contact with the solicitor representing his client on regular basis to affirm his answers while providing expert at the witness box.
An expert witness is expected to be patient, have self-control and does not need to panic as it is not a death sentence neither is he summoned on criminal charges. His role is to professionally testify to the extent of his knowledge what he knows about the matter and that’s all.