A Lagos High Court, Igbosere, has admitted as exhibit a video recording of suspected killers of Cynthia Osokogu tendered by the state.
Justice Olabisi Akinlade admitted the video in a ruling after the prosecution and defence teams made their submissions on point of law.
Lagos Attorney General, Ade Ipaye, on Friday sought to tender the video evidence but after opposition from lawyers to the first and second defendants on grounds that the video recording was not certified, withdrew same and prayed for an adjournment.
However, at the resumed hearing on Monday, Ipaye continued his evidence-in-chief with film editor and cinematographer, Emmanuel Peters who told the court how he made the video recording and certification.
He stated that he connected his Sony digital camera to a Panasonic DVD player with a DELL laptop computer, which he used in producing the DVD containing the video after which he destroyed the copy on his camera.
When shown the video, which played for a short while, the witness identified the DVD and its certification document, which Ipaye urged the court to admit as exhibit.
However, counsel to the second defendant (Olisaeloka Ezike), Michael Ajayi, objected the prosecution’s prayer stating that the document does not fulfil the provisions of Section 104 of the Evidence Act.
He argued that the certification was done after the trial had commenced and that there was nothing to show that legal fees had been paid to obtain the document citing a case of Tapik United Vs GTB Plc.
In his response, Ipaye cited Section 141 of the Evidence Act noting that the proof of payment is required where “there are legal fees prescribed in that respect.
Ipaye urged the court to admit the DVD accompanied with the certification as evidence
because they are very relevant.
He argued: “The DVD was produced at the instruction of the police in the course of investigation, the whole purpose is to put it in evidence in a prosecution initiated by the state as between the police and the prosecution authority.
“What the Supreme Court said on the case cited by the defense counsel was that the learned trial judge ought to have ordered counsels to ensure that the said documents are paid for after which the trial continues,” said Ipaye.
Subsequently, Akinlade ruled in favour of the prosecution and admitted the video and certification as exhibits.
Another prosecution witness, Inspector Yemi Olagbende from the homicide section of State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, was later called to give account of his investigation, after which the matter was adjourned till September 19 for continuation.
The defendants in the trial are Okwumo Nwabufo 34; Ezike, 24; Orji Osita, 33 and Ezike Nonso, 25 charged for alleged conspiracy, murder, armed robbery administering illegal drug and receiving stolen property.