Court Orders EFCC To Pay Documents’ Certification Fees

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to properly certified and pay required fees before a document tendered by the anti graft agency will be admissible before the court.

Justice Christopher Balogun in his ruling said the document in contest a certified true copy of letter by the commission to the Q and Q Limited will not pass the test of evidence requirement without payment of required fees backed up by receipt.

This was at the resume hearing of alleged N1.4B subsidy trial involving Alli Peter’s alongside his company Nadabo Energy Limited.

He was arraigned on December 10, 2012 on charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and attering of documents.

The court agreed with the argument posited by led defence counsel Mr. Habeeb Oredola that “it is mandatory for document sort to be tendered complies with Evidence Act and precedents set by both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

The prosecution counsel Seidu Atteh objection to the defence counsel was heavily relied on decision of court on Sule Lamido V F. R. N as reported by Law Pavilion.

He said EFCC as a government agency is exempted from payment of fees for certification of documents

Consequently, the court in its ruling agreed with the position of defence counsel that payment of required fees must be met before the document is admissible before the court in line with the decision of Supreme court of Nigeria in Tabic Investment V G. T. B Plc 17 NWLR (pt 1276) SC 240 at 246.

“The court observed that the documents were properly certified and by the officers. It noted that there is no receipt of payment.

“This is a court of substantial justice. The decision of Tabic Investment V G. T. B is a Supreme Court decision which this court is bound by.. Go and pay a fee for certification. When there is evidence of payment the documents shall be admissible,” the court said.

The court there after adjourned the matter to February 5 for continuation of trial.

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