The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has admitted video evidences presented by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Arguments had ensued between PDP counsel on the necessity of the video and asked if its witness, a star witness and spokesperson for Mr. Abubakar could present his evidence.
Then came Mr. Segun Showunmi in the witness box accompanied by a LCD screen in the court room. He was also followed by some Indians and other technical staff.
The LCD was set up and Mr. Showunmi was ready to testify. He was asked if he was the media adviser to the first petitioner and he said yes, he was also asked if in his witness statement there was a document he said he recorded in a compact disc and he said yes.
He was then asked by the PDP counsel if he sees the compact disc he will recognize it and he said yes.
A set of documents (compact disc) were presented to him for identification and he sighted and confirmed
He was then asked if he also signed a copy of a certificate act in defense of the said documents and he said yes.
He also confirmed he signed every page of the certificate of compliance.
The PDP and Atiku/Obi presented the copy of the compact disc (27) of them to the court and a copy of the certificate of compliance.
INEC counsel rejected the documents and submitted that video evidence were not part of the agreed documents to be submitted in court.
Secondly, Usman argued that it does not comply with paragraph 4(6)(c) of the first schedule of the electoral act 2010 (as Amended)
Buhari counsel also associated himself with the position of INEC. He said the presentation of the evidence is an ambushment and does not comply with paragraph 41 and sub 2 and 8 of the first scheduled of the electoral act.
APC counsel Akintola also opposed the admissibility of the compact disc presented to the court by the PDP and Atiku/Obi. He aligned himself with the position of INEC and Buhari
That the court of appeal has treated this same case before between PDP against Mohammed Tanimu, but cannot present the citation, saying that the PDP is amending the petition through the backdoor
And he again cited Okey against Mimiko 2014 but could not present the citation against PDP and Tanimu
The PDP and Atiku/Obi cited paragraph 27 of the pre hearing report where all the counsel of the parties agreed to present their objections during the final address and also agreed that documents could be tendered in court, filed and exchanged.
Therefore, the petitioners are in order to tender the evidence and the respondents are also at liberty to object and do so in writing in their final address
Secondly, on the issue of front-loading evidence, that in the case of the petitioner, they are at liberty to list or front-load, except the respondents that cannot list and front load citing first schedule paragraph 4(5)(I)(c)
That the PDP and Atiku/Obi listed the evidence in page 43, items number 38, 40 and 44 of the main petition submitted to the court
Even in paragraph 108 in page 37, the presentation of compact disc was listed vividly and stated that there was no ambushments ad alleged by the respondents
He cited the case of Batuga against Oyegokun and others in 2014, LPELR page 22, 34 of the Court of appeal and the case of Holdest International limited against Petersvile Nigeria Ltd, 2013, Court of Appeal and in the Case of Dickson and Silver decided by the Supreme Court in 2016 where a video recording was presented in court and the court admitted it in evidence
And in section 258 (1) of the evidence act 2011 when has expanded the ratio of evidence to video recordings.
More to follow…