A witness in the ongoing trial of a Federal High Court judge, Adeniyi Ademola, has explained how a BMW luxury car was purchased for the defendant by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe Agi.
The witness, Ifeoma Ofornagolu, the first of 14 witnesses to testify in the matter, said she delivered the vehicle at the residence of Mr. Ademola in Lagos after same was paid for by Mr. Agi, the third defendant in the matter.
Ms. Ofornagolu, a sales consultant with Coscharis motors, said she is responsible for facilitating such transactions between customers and her company.
According to the witness, her office confirmed the purchase by placing a call to the buyer of the vehicle. Once the necessary confirmation has been made, the name of the customer (owner of the purchased car) is noted for delivery.
“The receipt was issued in the name of Ademide Ademola; ( Mr. Ademola’s son). I accompanied the driver to deliver the vehicle to Ademide Ademola at number 16 Babatunde Ajose Avenue, Lekki, Lagos. The car was signed for by Mr. Ademide Ademola who received the vehicle,” said Ms. Ofornagolu.
Earlier, Ms. Ofornagolu said the confirmation of the purchase was made via a call between her office and Mr. Agi’s company, Joe Agi and associates.
She added that Mr. Agi also called them after the transfer of N8 million was done from his company’s bank as cost of the BMW, while an additional N400,000 was paid as VAT for the same vehicle.
“I was also called by Joe Agi. He called me to confirm if the transaction has been made,” she said.
The witness further said the receipt was sent to Ademide Ademola, via his email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the witness had finished the first phase of her testimony, the defence counsel objected to the admissibility of the receipt on the ground that the said receipt was sent using an email through an Ipad that was not certified before the court.
The counsel to the first and second defendant, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, said although he did not object to the admissibility of the delivery note and the invoice containing the said transaction, he would contest the authenticity of the Ipad, through which the email was said to have been communicated to the defendant’s son.
The prosecution did not object to the submissions of the defence, subsequently, the documents sent using the email was withdrawn.
Mr. Ikpeazu also objected to the repetition in court of the statements made by the witness during the cause of the investigation.
The witness, Ms. Ofornagolu, had been asked to recount the details mentioned in her statement, while she was being investigated.
She began to make the narration holding the said statement when she was interjected by the defence counsel, who argued that according to Section 84 of the Evidence Act, the witness should not allude to her own statement before the open court.
He said according to the law; the witness is only allowed to refer to his or her own statement, if such a statement proves inconsistent with what is testified in court by the same witness.
“A prior consistent statement is inadmissible by the same witness,” said Mr. Ikpeazu.
Counsel on both sides argued over the admissibility or otherwise of the statement.
Consequently, the trial judge, Jude Okeke, adjourned the matter till January 17.