Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo will on Tuesday rule on the admissibility of a video recording of the six- storey guest house that collapsed at the Synagogue Church of All Nations two years ago.
Justice Lawal-Akapo took the decision after listening to arguments of prosecution and defence counsel in the ongoing trial of trustees of the church and their engineers.
The trustees of the church, the two engineers – Messrs Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun and their companies, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Limited are facing trial for the September 12, 2014 building collapse that killed about 116 persons.
The state government had filed 111 charges bordering on criminal negligence, manslaughter and failure to obtain building permit against the defendants.
At the resumed trial on Monday, the Director, Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mrs. Idowu Alakija, sought permission of the court to tender the compact video CD and for it to be admitted as evidence.
But the star witness, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, requested to watch the video CD to ascertain the content before being led in evidence on it by the DPP.
But the defence asked the court to dismiss the request.
First to raise objection was counsel to the second defendant, Chief E.L Akpofure (SAN).
Akpofure said: “I am objecting my Lord in the first place to the admissibility of document sought to be tendered by the prosecution because it has been labeled by the witness as being computer generated.
“Going by the evidence of the witness who said ‘until I watch the CD, I won’t be in a position to ascertain whether this is the video I am referring to in my evidence.
“This witness is not in a position to tender this evidence until he sees the content and identifies same.
“This document is labeled as a Certified True Copy (CTC) of planning permit, which has nothing to do with the video the witness is talking about and from his own evidence, the computer that produced the recording was not operated by him.”
Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mrs. Titi Akinlawon, counsel to third and fifth defendants, in her objection, argued that only the maker of a document can tender it as evidence according to Section 83 of the Evidence Act.
Credit: The News Nigeria