Section36 sub5 of the 1999 constitution provides that ''every person who is charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent until he's proven otherwise'' i.e the burden of proof lies on the accused to prove all claims against him beyond reasonable doubt or under probability. As such one shall not be falsely accused or labeled a criminal, even if all evidence points at the suspect until he's proven guilty by the court of such jurisdiction by the presiding judge. An offender is assumed innocent and free with no limitations or infringement of his human rights and any defamation against such person, the other party shall be duly punished.
Courtney a university student stays with her family in Ibadan, but schools in Port harcourt. Just like most university student she despises the ides of coming home during the holiday, not just for loosing her freedom but also the controversies that arises anytime she's around.
It's the rainy season of the year and one of those holidays when Courtney comes home for an internship program for a couple of month. She comes from a polygamous family but, her mom is separated from her dad. Note like I said earlier one of Courtney issue coming home is the problems and controversies that happens, as it is expected in a polygamous setting. On this recent happening it's the issue of missing items in the house which leads to this story.
Amanda has a business outlet where she sells workout clothes to her customers, which she brings home for her client especially those who places home orders, but she usually has this clothes scattered around the sitting room in bags and some of this clothes begin to miss, she points accusing fingers at Courtney with no proof but uses a long time mistake of Courtney to justify her claim. Meanwhile Courtney is a medium size and Amanda a large size, the issue of missing cloth has been of household term lately.
Trespass by property: Since every invasion of property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass, it is trespass to put ones hand through the window of the plaintiff house or sit on the wall and since the tort is not actionable per se; the plaintiff can recover damages despite the fact that the trespass has caused no harm. As seen in the case of ASHBY v. WHITE.
Chapter4, section 37 0f the 1999 constitution provides for the privacy of private and family life '' the privacy of citizens their homes, correspondence, telephone conversation and telegraphic communication is hereby guaranteed and protected.
Things begin to escalate as Amanda take things extreme as far a searching her step daughter belonging on her absence just to prove her points, not once but many times.
Courtney on the other hand who's already aware of the act of Amanda felt the last straw was broken when Amanda accused her of taking money and also checking her phone. All this Courtney could not pretend about, and decided to bring her father notice, and also the situation which seem to weigh her down the disrespect from Amanda and her junior sister, Amanda always reporting negative things about her to her father, checking her belongings in her absence and scolding in front of her younger ones; using harsh words on her and blaming her for the wrong/act of the little ones. It seemed she was never satisfied with whatever was done. And Courtney took to confide in some family member; an aunt of hers who threaten to tell her father if she doesn't and her brother who has also passed through the similar situation. At least brought to the knowledge of her father, she hopes things changes,
Slander under defamation ; Slander, a slander is actionable per se based in some exception, Defamation is defined in section 373 of the criminal code as a matter likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by injury to his reputation''to impute that he is a thief or to impute to him the commission of any offence is also defamatory.
Amanda has the habit of calling her maiden family whenever anything goes wrong in the house, she reports all issues except her children, that include the false accusation also, which has made Courtney to be avoided like a plague among them, she can't even communicate freely to them all this obviously causing harm to her reputation. Her father who after the day activity decides to hold a meeting to clear the air in the family, eventually that didn't go well.
Amanda denied ever accusing Courtney of stealing anything and said she only asked, like she asked everyone in the house and if it was wrong for her to. She further tried to blame Courtney and make her look like she just bringing a false allegation against her, in fact she tried to manipulate things, and raises her voice at any given moment, quarrel at any statement just to shift the blame, the twist of event,denial and innocence was quite surprising to everybody. Courtney on the other hand was to astonished to defend herself because at almost every statement she gives Amanda has a way of conquering them just to seem innocent and not guilty at this point. In the end, the ruinous mood in the sitting room made it hard for any judgement to be made by her father, who just passed some random words, for just saying sake. It was clear that nothing could stop the contempt and the whole meeting was just a waste of time cause it seemed like it only worsened situation. As soon the talk as over Amanda called her maiden family to give them the highlight for the night.
Obviously Amanda is the woman of the house and has an upper hand against Courtney so nothing more could be done.
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