Cynthia Osokogu’s murder: Court admits video evidence

Cynthia Osokogu

The video was produced by Emmanuel Peters.

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Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos High Court in Igbosere, on Monday admitted in evidence, a video containing confessional statements of the alleged killers of Facebook lover, Cynthia Osokogu.

The defendants, Okwumo Nwabufo 34; Olisaeloka Ezike, 24; Orji Osita, 33; and Ezike Nonso, 25, are charged with conspiracy and murder of Cynthia by the Lagos State Government.

At the hearing, Emmanuel Peters, a film editor and cinematographer, led in evidence by Ade Ipaye, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, told the court how he made the video recording and its certification.

Mr. Peters told the court that in continuation of the hearing, he connected his Sony digital camera to a Panasonic DVD player with a DELL laptop which he used in producing the DVD after which he destroyed the copy in the camera.

Mr. Peters identified the DVD and the certification document which was then tendered as evidence by Mr. Ipaye.

The counsel to the second defendant, Michael Ajayi, however, opposed the admission of the video, saying the document did not fulfil the provisions of Section 104 of the Evidence Act.

He argued that the certification was done after the trial had begun and that there was nothing to show that legal fees were paid to obtain the document, citing the case of Tapik United Vs GTB Plc.

Mr. Ipaye, however, cited Section 141 of the Evidence Act that proof of payment was required where “there are legal fees prescribed in that respect.”

He said that “the DVD was produced on the instruction of the police in the course of investigation; 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 cited by the defence counsel was that the learned trial judge ought to have ordered counsel to ensure that the said documents are paid for after which the trial continues.”

He urged the court to admit the DVD with the certification as evidence “as they are very relevant”.

Justice Akinlade subsequently ruled that the video recording was relevant to the trial and admitted it alongside a certification document as exhibit P16a and P16b respectively.

In his evidence, Yemi Olagbende from the homicide section of SCID, Panti, Yaba, a prosecution witness, told the court that he came into contact with the accused while investigating the matter.

I came into contact with the defendants when the case was transferred to my department, with instructions to find out the cause of death of Cynthia and the circumstances surrounding it.

At this point, Ade Ipaye applied for an adjournment for continuation of trial to enable the police officer to call witnesses to appear in court

The case was subsequently adjourned till September 19, October 3 and October 10 for continuation of trial.

(NAN)


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