|Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal|
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, on Thursday asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja to reject computer-generated documents brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to be tendered as exhibits against him in his prosecution over alleged N544m contract scam.
He told the court that the forensic laboratory report generated from computer was not admissible in law because they were not in their original form and not certified as required by law.
The EFCC through its lawyer, Ofem Uket, had sought to tender a forensic laboratory report obtained from print out of Iphone belonging to one Musa Bulani to establish the money laundering charges filed against the former SGF and five others.
But lawyer for Lawal, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), raised objection against the admission of the documents on the ground that their sources ran afoul of sections 84 and 256 of the Evidence Act 2014.
Olujimi argued that the extraction was not marked as a Certified True Copy, adding that the EFCC hacked into someone’s phone and came up with what it found and yet sought to tender it without following due process of law.
John Itodo, counsel for the second defendant, Napoleon Idenala, counsel for the third defendant, Ocholi Okutepa, counsel for the fourth and sixth defendant, M. E. Oru, counsel for the fifth defendant all aligned themselves with Olujimi’s submission and adopted it as their arguments.
The EFCC counsel, however, argued otherwise and insisted that there was no need to issue a certificate, stressing that a witness has testified in court and has presented original documents.
Justice Charles Agbaza fixed June 9 for ruling on the admissibility of the documents and cross-examination of the third witness.