The Supreme Court yesterday, May 3, 2012, dismissed the appeal filed by former aviation minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode challenging the admissibility of computer generated statement of accounts under the old Evidence Act.
The appeal was sequel to an objection raised at the Federal High Court by counsel to Fani-Kayode, Mr. Ladi Williams (SAN) as to the admissibility of computer generated statement of accounts of the former minister.
Though, this objection was sustained by the trial court, the Court of Appeal in a well considered judgment set aside the decision of the trial court presided over by Justice A. R. Mohammed and admitted the said Statement of Accounts in evidence. Fani-Kayode appealed against the decision of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court.
Whilst the matter was pending at the Supreme Court, the Evidence Act was amended and Computer-Generated Bank Statements were made clearly admissible by Section 84 of the new Evidence Act. At the same time, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in exercising his administrative powers transferred Justice Mohammed from the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court to Enugu Division and the matter was therefore re-assigned to a new Judge, Justice Binta Nyako.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission through its counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, therefore, filed a motion to dismiss the appeal before the Supreme Court arguing that the appeal has become academic in that the proceedings that gave rise to the appeal no longer exists.
At the resumed hearing of the appeal yesterday, the panel of the Supreme Court, after taking oral arguments from Mr. Williams (SAN) and Mr. Keyamo, concluded that the appeal has indeed become academic in that the proceedings that gave rise to the appeal have become spent.
The Supreme Court therefore directed Mr. Williams (SAN) to withdraw the appeal. The appeal was subsequently dismissed for being academic, while Mr. Fani-Kayode was directed to go back to the new Judge, Justice Nyako, to face his trial.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned to October 10, 2012 for hearing.