The Accused Must Not Prove His Innocence -By Stanley Alieke Esq. 

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‘’ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non quo negat” (he who avers must prove), ie, he who alleges must prove.



I know it is the common deal amongst people that when a person is accused of committing an offense or doing some wrong everyone interested will say ‘let him prove that he’s innocent’, then the bandwagon will be ‘if he’s claiming to be innocent let him prove that he’s innocent or that he didn’t do it’.

This line of thought is logically unsound, fallacious, laymanic and it is a legal fallacy.

It is a resounding legal principle that an accused don’t have to prove he is innocent or that he didn’t commit the crime/offense he’s being accused of, rather, it is the duty of his accusers to prove that the person they are accusing actually committed the offense; he who alleges must prove.

This renowned legal maxim of ‘he who avers must prove’,  simply means that if you allege or claim that a person stole your item or that a person commits any wrong against you, then you should be able to prove that that individual did stole the item or committed the wrong against you if not you don’t have a case. That individual don’t have to prove that  he didn’t do it as it is not his job to prove his innocence, rather what is called the ‘burden of prove or onus of prove’ is on you the accusers and  when it involves a criminal matter, you must prove the accused involvement in the crime is beyond every atom of doubt that he did committed the offense.

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I know I have bursted you’re bubbles a bit and I’m sorry about that but you commit a fallacy and your arguments are unsound and your line of thought/reasoning is illogical whenever you insist that the person you accused of something should prove that he didn’t do it. Therefore, using the most common examples; when you claim that the government is not working, according to this principle, they don’t have to prove to you that they are actually working rather you that alleged that they are not working should prove that. Also, when you claim, allege or aver that a government official or an individual is corrupt and have stolen government funds,  they don’t have to prove to you  that they are not corrupt, rather, it is your job to prove and pin the corruption on them. This is what the maxim ‘’ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non quo negat (he who avers must prove)’’ is all about.

Although this is a legal principle but it is relatable to our daily endeavors as most of us have been caught up in the lie that you have to prove your innocence to your accusers. You don’t have to prove your innocence for whatever reason, your accusers must be able to prove that you did what they are accusing you of, if not they don’t have a case.

As a bonus, let it be known to you that there are two standards of proof; the balance of probabilities (used mostly in civil actions) and beyond reasonable doubt (used mostly in criminal actions). Beyond every reasonable doubt simply means that your accuser (which in criminal actions being the state) must prove that you committed the crime you are being accused of beyond every atom of doubt and it is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that you actually committed the crime.


It is the writer’s aim to arm you with legal niceties so you can  navigate your daily lives knowing some legal technicalities that will help you evade some foreseen and unforeseen dooms.

Stanley Alieke Esq.


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