The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) invited its star witness on Wednesday in order to continue the proceedings before the governorship election petition tribunal sitting in the Abeokuta metropolis. The star witness arrived with some downloaded electronic materials.
The main witness, Oyejide Sunkanmi, appeared before the panel armed with printed materials and electronic evidence that, according to PDP earlier, purportedly showed an alleged disruption of the electoral process in Florida and Governor Dapo Abiodun’s subsequent imprisonment.
In their responses, the respondent’s legal representatives expressed severe disagreements with the originality and validity of the electronic materials, in particular the alleged video that was used as evidence by the PDP’s star witness.
They queried the materials on the ground that in the first instance, the star witness admitted in his written statement that he was not the originator of the materials, rather, the purported evidence was downloaded. They argued that a video that was captured by someone else could not be tendered by the star witness, as to do so would be to accept inadmissible hearsay evidence.
Respondents counsel further argued that the authenticity of any document being tendered must be established , which was the essence of the legal requirement that such documents must be covered by a certificate of compliance.
The respective Counsel added that at no time were downloaded evidences being considered and acceptable in the court of law, and that in this instance the video was not pleaded or listed and that the transcript of the video which the witness had attached to his Certificate of Compliance was not even mentioned at all in the witness’ statement on oath. This was even as the Counsel to Petitioners assiduously encouraged the tribunal to accept the materials as evidence.
At the end of the day, the letter written by the PDP and the witness’ voters card was admitted as an exhibit of the Court.
With respect to the pictures tendered, top up cards, and Florida Metropolitan Police Jail Incident Record, the Tribunal marked them with Exhibit Numbers while Respondents’ counsel reserved their objections for the final address stage, as had been the case for other contentious documents.
Ruling on the admissibility of the video was reserved to be delivered on Thursday.