Court accepts dead man’s statement in Fayose’s trial

Court accepts dead man’s statement in Fayose’s trial

- A court in Lagos has accepted as evidence, a statement made by a dead man, Justin Erukaa, in the ongoing trial of former Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose

- Erukaa was an aide to former minister of state for defense Musiliu Obanikoro, who is a witness for the EFCC in the trial of Fayose

- The judge ruled that it is possible for Erukaa's statement to be used in the trial even though he had died

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, March 18, admitted in evidence an extrajudicial statement of a dead man, Justin Erukaa, in the trial of former Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti facing charges of N6.9 billion fraud.

At the last adjourned date, on February 5, Obanikoro was still under cross-examination by defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), who had cross-examined him on the extra judicial statement of one Erukaa, said to be late.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), objected to the tendering and admissibility of the said statement, on the grounds that the maker was not called as a witness.

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The judge, consequently, ordered counsel to address the court on the admissibility of an extra judicial statement made by a party not called as a witness.

Respective counsel, thus, addressed the court. The judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, first delivered ruling on the admissibility of the extra judicial statement.

The court held that it might, within the contemplation of Sections 39 and 46 of the Evidence Act, be able to admit the extra judicial statement of Justin Erukaa, who is said to be dead.

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The judge, however, held, “The weight to be attached to the document is another matter entirely."

The court accordingly admitted the document and marked it as Exhibit J.

Legit.ng previously reported a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, February 4, stood down for one hour the N6.9 billion fraud trial of former governor Fayose.

Obanikoro, who is the fifth prosecution witness, was billed for cross examination.

He testified at the last adjourned date, on January 21, saying that Fayose received five million dollars and some amounts of naira from the impress account of a former national security adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), in June 2014.

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Source: Legit

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