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
Businessman Docked For Theft Of Melon
Godwin Thomas,35,of North Bank, Makurdi, was on Friday arraigned before a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court for alleged conspiracy and theft of melon.
The prosecutor, Sgt. Godwin Ato, told the court that the case was reported by one Ukaan Shimana of behind NKST Church, North Bank Makurdi, at the ‘C’ Division Police Station, North Bank.
Ato said that the complainant kept three bags of Egusi (melon) worth N200,000 with Godwin Thomas, Ebuka Emmanuel and Titus Kpanor.
Ato said that the defendants were the custodians of a store along Ter-Guma Street in North Bank area of Makurdi.
The prosecutor said that the complainant later discovered that the bags were missing.
He alleged that the defendant and his friends had stolen the bags containing the melon when she went there to collect them.
Ato also said that Ebuka Emmanuel and Titus Kpanor were immediately arrested and charged to Chief Magistrate’s Court 8, North Bank.
The prosecutor said that during further investigation by the police, the defendant who initially was at large; was later arrested in connection with the crime.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the offence.
The prosecutor told the court that investigation into the matter had been completed and that other defendants were already standing trial at CMC 8 North Bank in Makurdi.
Ato said that the court should arraign the defendants in the same court.
He prayed the court to adjourn so that the case could be transferred to CMC 8 North Bank.
The magistrate, Mrs Ajuma Igama, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100,000.00 with one surety who must be a civil servant with Benue Government.
Igama also ordered that the case file be transferred to CMC 8 for hearing and determination of the case.
She adjourned until Jan 24 for hearing.
Police Arraign Three For Damaging N1.8m Parking Iron Bars
The police yesterday arraigned three men in a Karmo Grade I Area Court, Abuja, for allegedly damaging parking iron bars worth N1.8 million.
The police charged Mohammed Musa, Innocent Adama and Izuchukwu Nwaigwe with two counts of joint act and mischief.
The Prosecution Counsel, Mrs Ijeoma Ukagha, told the court that the matter was reported at the Utako Police Station on Dec. 14, 2019, by one Adewole Adeola, who of Dove Court Estate, Abuja.
Ukagha alleged that the defendants intentionally damaged the iron bars and demarcation drums worth N1.8million at the Dove Estate.
She said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 79 and 327 of the Penal Code.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The judge, Alhaji Inuwa Maiwada, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N200, 000 each, with a surety each in like sum.
Maiwada ordered that the sureties must be reliable and must deposit his or her identity card at the court registry for verification.
He also ordered that the sureties must resides within the jurisdiction of the court and his or she address must be verified by the court officer.
Maiwada adjourned the case until Feb. 12 for hearing.
Missing N35m: Defence Counsel’s Ill-Health Stalls Trial Of JAMB Official
The trial of Yakubu Jekada, one of the accused persons charged with the misappropriation of N35 million belonging to JAMB, was stalled in an FCT High Court, Maitama, due to the defendant counsel’s ill-health.
Jekada was first arraigned on May 31, 2018 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
He was arraigned on a four count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and dishonest use of JAMB funds to the tune of N11.189 million.
The JAMB official was accused of committing criminal breach of trust while being JAMB state coordinator for Plateau between 2009 and 2016 when he was entrusted with 11, 189 units of e-facility cards belonging to the Board which he disposed without duly rendering accounts to the Board.
On the resumed sitting on Tuesday, the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Ekene Iheanacho, informed the court that the matter was for continuation of trial and he was with his two witnesses.
Responding, Mr Gyang Zi, counsel to Jekada, prayed for an adjournment.
“I took ill yesterday before I left Jos. I am feeling funny, and I went to get some drugs thinking it would help me out.
“But it continued, I sincerely apologise for the inconveniences it would cause the court and others, including the witnesses,” Zi said.
Iheanacho said that the learned counsel has presented a sympathetic picture before the court based on health.
“So, we will not be objecting to his application for adjournment,” Iheanacho said.
After listening to the lawyers, Justice Peter Affen adjourned the matter until March 3, for continuation of trial.
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