Blacks law dictionary, the edition defines evidence as something including testimony, documents and tangible objects that tends to prove or disprove the existence of an alleged fact. Also the court in Awuse V. Odili (20050 10 NWLR (Pt 952) Pg 416 adopted the definition of evidence which stated that it is “Any species of proof or probable matter legally presented at the trial of an issue by the act of the parties and through the medium of intress, records, documents, exhibits etc for the purpose of inducing belief in the mind of the court or jury as to their condition.
Having known at evidence is, can a court then act on an evidence not tendered in evidence. The law is well settled that no court of law is empowered to make reference or rely on any piece of evidence which halfs not been properly and formally placed before it, in the course of reaching its decision in a case. See Godnews Agbi & Anor V. Chief Audu Ogeh & Ors (2005) & NWLR (A 926) 40. The only circumstance, whereby a court is permitted to make reference or rely on evidence not tendered and formally admitted before it, is when the evidence falls under the categories of evidence that the court is permitted to take judicial notice of, in accordance with the evidence Act. Note that unless an evidence is formally tendered in court and admitted it is not permissible for a learned trial judge to make reference to it or rely on it in his judgment. See Oranike V. State (2018) LPELR-45481.
The fact that evidence has been front loaded as proof of evidence or alongside with a criminal information file (as the case maybe), does not automatically qualify it as admissible and reliable evidence, the evidence is merely frontloaded to inform an accused person(s) of the charge preferred against him and inform him in advance of the likely evidence that may be adduced against him in line with the constitutional provision of section 36 (6)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). The law does not believe in springing up surprises on Parties in a suit. In the case of Odiaka V. State (2013) LPELR-21977 (CA) Per Ogunweiniju JCA held at pages 14-16 as follows: “Let me say right off that the proof of evidence is a document served on the defence and to the court containing names of in trusses the prosecution want to call and a phrase of what they intend to say. Every accused in a trial by information is entitled to the proof of evidence as that he can prepare a defence to the case the prosecution intends to make against him. It does not constitute evidence. The court before whom it is filed cannot use any of its contacts in aid of the prosecution or the defence. It is only evidence on oath given by a witness in open court that is relevant and admissible in a criminal trial……”
Tendering of evidence therefore is to ensure that the opposable side as well as the court keep track of the documents while taking evidence. Non- tendency of the evidence makes it difficult for the court to rely on such evidence.
Nkechi Bright Ewere
Rivers Community Charges Security Agencies On Kidnapped Victim’s Whereabouts
Some concerned indigenes of Agwut-Obolo Community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, have called on security agencies to intensify the search for the whereabouts of Elder Otungban Francis, who was recently kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the community.
It would be recalled that some hoodlums recently stormed the community in two outboard engine boats and whisked away their victim after disposing him and his security aides of their belongings.
An indigene of the community who gave his name simply as Mr Brown, described the incident as one too many, stating that the community is now living in fear due to the activities of kidnappers.
Brown stressed the need for the various security agencies to intensify their efforts in search of the old man with a view to rescuing him alive.
Also speaking, another concerned indigene of the community, Taribo Awaji-Inomida Kacham, who described the incident as barbaric, said that kidnapping is now a regular feature in the community and called on the abductors to release him unconditionally.
She also called on the state government and the security agencies to investigate the incessant kidnap incidents in Andoni, maintaining that those found culpable should be arrested and prosecuted.
Similarly, the president, Andoni Youth Federation, Comrade Mike Amachree also condemned the kidnap of Elder Francis Otungban and assured that he has confidence in the government and security agencies in rescuing him alive without any ransom.
Several phone calls made to the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) on the matter were not answered.
N32.5m Fraud: Pastors Bag Jail Terms In Delta
Justice F. N. Azinge of the Delta State High Court sitting in Otor-Udu, has convicted and sentenced one Pastor Glory Okeoghene Aberefa and Reverend Vincent Okpogo to 16 and 10 years imprisonment, respectively.
The duo, alongside their company, Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited, were prosecuted by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Under the guise of running a finance company, the convicts defrauded dozens of unsuspecting members of the public of millions of naira, through their fraudulent Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited.
They were arraigned on 16-count charges, bordering on conspiracy to steal and stealing, contrary to Section 516 and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code, CAP 21, Vol 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.
On June 19, 2017, they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
EFCC legal team members, V. O. Agbaje and K. U. Udus had acted on a petition and investigation which fingered them in the stealing of the sum of N32,516,620.
Pastor Aberefa was sentenced to one year imprisonment on each of the 16 counts, while the second defendant, Reverend Okpogo was sentenced to one year imprisonment each on count seven to 16.
The sentences are to run consecutively.
The convicts, already in prison, were earlier jailed 17 years by both the Federal High Court, Asaba and Delta State High Court, Warri.
They would now serve a new sentence, which Justice Azinge said would take effect after completion of the extant 17 years imprisonment.
Rivers CP Tasks Officers On Dedication …Decorates 19 New SPs
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, has charged the 19 newly promoted police officers to consider their promotion as a call for more commitment to duty and hard work.
The 19 decorated officers, who were promoted to the rank of Superintendents of Police (SPs) include the command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni.
Decorating the promoted officers, Mukan, encouraged them to be diligent in their duties and assured of his administration’s support to ensure that officers of the command carry out their duties efficiently.
The state commissioner of police used the opportunity to commend the Inspector General of Police for finding the officers worthy of the promotion, just as he charged them to ensure transparency and good sense of judgment in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Responding on behalf of the newly promoted officers, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who is currently the public relations officer of the command, assured that they would do all within their reach to justify the confidence reposed in them.
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