Riddle posed by inadmissibility of electronic evidence in court has been solved following the amendment of relevant sections of the Evidence Act 2011, according to Kogi State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah.
Ajanah, who disclosed this in Lokoja, said the problem of admission of electronic evidence in Nigeria had before then posed some challenges to legal practitioners in the courts, as the Evidence Act was not in line with global reality.
At the formal presentation of the book, “A Guide To Admissibility of Electronic Evidence” authored by Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye, the Chief Judge said the Evidence Act was, “Anachronistic and not in line with global reality”, adding that the law predated the ICT age, and had to change to give for new innovations.
However, with the passage of time, the judge said the upsurge in the use of electronic devices in both business transactions and day-to-day relationships underscore the need for change.
Further, Ajanah posited that after the initial uncertainties, ‘’A combination of Sections 84 and 258 of the Evidence Act, 2011 classifies electronic evidence in the category of documents, and its admissibility made clear.”
The Chief Judge commended the author for delving into dissemination of knowledge by authoring a legal work of such feat, saying, “It is a testimony of the resourcefulness, industry and intellectual capability of the writer.
‘’The problem hitherto encountered regarding computer printouts, e-mail printouts, video cassettes, VCD and tape recordings, documents generated from computer and ancillary issues was put to rest’’, he said, even as he recommended the book to all legal practitioners.
Reviewer of the book, Barrister Martin Idachaba, described the seven chapters and 264-page book as an intellectual masterpiece.
Idachaba said the book deals the general principles of admissibility of electronic evidence, trial, evidence, facts and comparative analysis of issues surrounding admissibility of computer generated evidence.
Also, author of the book, Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye, thanked the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Muhammed, for writing the forward of the book stressing that the book should serve as a guide on application of the provisions of section 84 and 258 of the Evidence Act.
Omolaye-Ajileye held that non-admissibility of electronic evidence by the courts provided cover for especially, financial crime offenders until 2011 when it was amended and even after that, lawyers still found it difficult to tender electronic evidence.
The launching of the book attracted a lot of goodwill messages from all works of life, including President of Kogi Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Shaibu Atadoga, the state Grand Khadi, Justice Zakariya Idakwoji and Justice Phoebe Ayilla, Judge of the Federal High Court, Lokoja among others from both the Bench and Bar.