BY ONOZURE DANIA
LAGOS—Justice Olabisi Akinlade of a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere, yesterday admitted as evidence, confessional statements of the killers of Facebook lover, Cynthia Osokogu, contained in a video.
The defendants, Okwumo Nwabufo 34; Olisaeloka Ezike, 24; Orji Osita, 33 and Ezike Nonso, 25, were charged to court for conspiracy and murder by the Lagos State.
At the last sitting of the matter, one Emmanuel Peters, a film editor and cinematographer, who was led in evidence by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Ade Ipaye, told the court how he produced the video recording and certification.
At the trial, yesterday he told the court of how 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.
The witness was able to identified the DVD and the certification document which was tendered before the court, as evidence by Ipaye.
The second defendant’s counsel, Michael Ajayi, however objected, to the document presented before the court, on the grounds that the document does not fulfil the provisions of Section 104 of the Evidence Act.
He also 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.
While replying, Ipaye cited Section 141 of the Evidence Act that the proof of payment is required where “there are legal fees prescribed in that respect.”
He added that “the DVD was produced at the instruction of the police in the course of investigation and that 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 sited 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.”
He however urged the court to admit the DVD, alongside the certification as evidence as they are very relevant in the case.
Akinlade subsequently ruled that the video recording is relevant to the trial and admitted it alongside a certification document as exhibit P16a and P16b respectively.
One Yemi Olagbende, a police Inspector from the homicide section of SCID, panti, Yaba, who is a prosecution witness, was also called to give an account of his investigation.
He described how he came in contact with the defendants when the case was transferred to his department after which Ipaye applied for an adjournment for continuation of trial.
The case was further adjourned till September 19, October 3 and 10 for continuation of trial.