LAGOS— Yesterday, a Lagos High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, refused Chidinma Ojukwu’s lawyer, Mr. Onwuka Egwu’s request to bridge the summoned Access Bank worker who presented the bank statements and account number of late Usifo Ataga before the court.
Sections 218 and 219 of the Evidence Act 2011 stipulate that “a person, whether a party or not in a matter, may be asked to provide documents without being requested to show testimony, and the court may dismiss with his appearance if he causes such material to be delivered in court.”
“A person asked to provide a witness does not become a witness by the simple fact that he presents it,” says Section 219 of the Evidence Act, “and cannot be cross-examined until and until he is called a witness.”
“This official of Access Bank has not been sworn under oath and cannot be cross-examined,” Adesanya stated.
During the current prosecution of Chidinma Ojukwu, a UNILAG student, for the alleged murder of Michael Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer of Super Television, Justice Adesanya denied the application.
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Along with her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and a man named Adedapo Quadri, Ojukwu is facing charges of murder, theft, and forgery.
Mrs. A. O. Oluwafemi, the prosecution’s lawyer, informed the court yesterday that the prosecution has a representative from Access Bank in court on a subpoena to surrender the deceased’s account document in the Michael Ataga case.
She did, however, summon an Access Bank official, Mr Toafeek Lawal, to the witness stand to deliver and offer the statement and identification certificate.
Following the presentation of the statement, the first defendant’s attorney, Onwuka Egwu, attempted to cross-examine the subpoenaed Access Bank worker about the paper he had presented to the court.
The account statements were not objected to by the second defendant’s lawyer, Mr Babatunde Busari, or the third defendant’s attorney, Mr A. O. Ogunsanya.
Mr Ademola Ayodeji of the Gtb Bank, on the other hand, presented the late Ataga’s bank statements to the court.
As a result, Justice Adesanya allowed all of the documents to be entered as exhibits in court.
The trial has been postponed until April 28.
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