PEPTribunal: Updates from the Court of appeal

by on July 15, 2019

PDP and Atiku/Obi called witness number 4 on the witness list

The PDP lawyer also requested that in the course of the witness testimony, a video clip will be played to the court

Arguments ensued between counsel on the necessity of the video and asked if the witness is a star witness and the PDP and Atiku/Obi counsel confirmed that the witness is a star witness

Segun Sowonmi is on the witness box

An LCD screen was brought into the court room accompanied by some Indians and other technical staff

Setup was made and Segun Showunmi is now testifying

Asked if he was the media adviser to the first petitioner and he said yes

Asked if in his witness statement there was a document he said he recorded in a compact disc and he said yes

Asked if he sees the compact disc he will recognize it and he said yes

A set of documents (compact disc) were presented to him for identification and he sighted and confirmed

Asked if he also signed a copy of a certificate act in defense of the said documents and he said yes

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Asked if he signed every page of the certificate of compliance and he said yes

The PDP and Atiku/Obi presented the copy of the compact disc (27) of them to the court and a copy of the certificate of compliance

INEC counsel rejected the documents and submitted that video evidence were not part of the agreed documents to be submitted in court.

Secondly, Usman argued that it does not comply with paragraph 4(6)(c) of the first schedule of the electoral act 2010 (as Amended)

Buhari counsel also associated himself with the position of INEC. He said the presentation of the evidence is an ambushment and does not comply with paragraph 41 and sub 2 and 8 of the first scheduled of the electoral act.

APC counsel Akintola also opposed the admissibility of the compact disc presented to the court by the PDP and Atiku/Obi. He aligned himself with the position of INEC and Buhari

That the court of appeal has treated this same case before between PDP against Mohammed Tanimu, but cannot present the citation, saying that the PDP is amending the petition through the backdoor

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And he again cited Okey against Mimiko 2014 but could not present the citation against PDP and Tanimu

The PDP and Atiku/Obi cited paragraph 27 of the pre hearing report where all the counsel of the parties agreed to present their objections during the final address and also agreed that documents could be tendered in court, filed and exchanged.

Therefore, the petitioners are in order to tender the evidence and the respondents are also at liberty to object and do so in writing in their final address

Secondly, on the issue of front-loading evidence, that in the case of the petitioner, they are at liberty to list or front-load, except the respondents that cannot list and front load citing first schedule paragraph 4(5)(I)(c)

That the PDP and Atiku/Obi listed the evidence in page 43, items number 38, 40 and 44 of the main petition submitted to the court

Even in paragraph 108 in page 37, the presentation of compact disc was listed vividly and stated that there was no ambushments ad alleged by the respondents

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He cited the case of Batuga against Oyegokun and others in 2014, LPELR page 22, 34 of the Court of appeal and the case of Holdest International limited against Petersvile Nigeria Ltd, 2013, Court of Appeal and in the Case of Dickson and Silver decided by the Supreme Court in 2016 where a video recording was presented in court and the court admitted it in evidence

And in section 258 (1) of the evidence act 2011 when has expanded the ratio of evidence to video recordings

Going by these, he asked the court to agree that the petitioner tender and present the video recordings and let the respondents object as agreed in their final submissions

After long deliberations by all the counsel to the parties, the trial judge ruled that the court will look at the authorities cited by all the counsel and decide on whether to admit the evidence or not

The court is now on recess and will resume to deliver ruling on the application by the PDP and Atiku/Obi regarding the video tape presentation.

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