Ladi Adebutu

The High Court of Ogun State sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, presided over by Hon. Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, on Wednesday, admitted Ladi Adebutu’s account opening forms alongsise his statements of account.

It would recalled that Adebutu, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 gubernatorial election in Ogun State, together with some members of his party are presently standing trial for alleged vote-buying and money laudering perpetrated during the poll, in which an official of Zenith Bank, Celestina Appeal testified on Tuesday that Adebutu ordered for 200,000 prepaid cards some days to the election.

Subsequently, their counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN), objected to the admissibility of the documents on the grounds that, the documents were not certified, that no proper foundation was laid and that the prosecution did not comply with Section 90 (1) (e) of the Evidence Act as regards entries made in a banker’s book.

However, in overruling the defendants’ counsel, the judge agreed with the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), that there is no legal requirement that private documents must be certified.

Consequently, the court held that the documents are private documents that require no certification.

The trial judge further held that the prosecution witness, Celestina Appeal, in her testimony had earlier made reference to the certificate of compliance pursuant to Section 84 of the Evidence Act.

Although, the documents are entries in a banker’s book, strict adherence to Section 90 (1) (e) is no longer necessary since the documents were electronically generated and not produced in ledgers as contemplated by the said section.

The documents were, therefore, admitted as Exhibits 21, 22 and 23 respectively, as the matter was thereafter, adjourned till 2nd and 3rd May 2024 as well as 5th, 6th and 7th June 2024 for further hearing.

By News Connect Online

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