Vote-buying case: Ladi Adebutu’s bank records admitted as evidence of funding prepaid cards

The High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital on Wednesday admitted Ladi Adebutu’s account opening forms alongside his statements of account, as evidence of funding prepaid vote-buying cards.

Penpushing reports that Adebutu, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18, 2023 Governorship election in Ogun State, together with some members of his party are presently standing trial for alleged vote-buying and money laundering.

The alleged crime was said to have been perpetrated during the poll, in which an official of Zenith Bank, Celestina Appeal testified on Tuesday that Adebutu ordered for 200,000 prepaid cards some days to the election.

Penpushing further reports that subsequently, the accused counsel, Gordy Uche, objected to the admissibility of the documents on the grounds that, the documents were not certified, that no proper foundation was laid and that the prosecution did not comply with Section 90 (1) (e) of the Evidence Act as regards entries made in a banker’s book.

The judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, however, in overruling the defendants’ counsel, agreed with the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, that there is no legal requirement that private documents must be certified.

Penpushing also reports that the trial judge consequently, held that the documents are private documents that require no certification, pointing out that the prosecution witness, Celestina Appeal, in her testimony had earlier made reference to the certificate of compliance pursuant to Section 84 of the Evidence Act.

‘Although, the documents are entries in a banker’s book, strict adherence to Section 90 (1) (e) is no longer necessary since the documents were electronically generated and not produced in ledgers as contemplated by the said section’.

Penpushing reports that the documents were, therefore, admitted as exhibits 21, 22 and 23 respectively, as the matter was thereafter, adjourned till 2nd and 3rd May 2024 as well as 5th, 6th and 7th June 2024 for further hearing.

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