Ratio Decidendi
Interpretation of Statute — Evidence Act — Interpretation of Sections 52, 84, 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) of the Evidence Act on the admissibility of a statement of account obtained electronically
51. Entries in books of accounts or electronic records regularly kept in the course of business are admissible whenever they refer to the matter into which the Court has to inquire, but such statements shall not alone be sufficient evidence to charge any person with liability.84. (1) In any proceedings a statement contained in a document produced by a computer shall be admissible as evidence of any fact stated in it of which oral evidence would be admissible, if it is shown that the conditions in Subsection (2) of this section are satisfied in relation to the statement and computer in question.(2) The conditions referred to in Subsection (1) of this section are (a) that the document containing the statement was produced by the computer during a period over which the computer was used regularly to store or process information for the purposes of any activities regularly carried on over that period, whether for profit or not, by anybody, whether corporate or not, or by any individual;(b) that over that period there was regularly supplied to the computer in the ordinary course of those activities information of the kind contained in the statement or of the kind from which the information so contained is derived.(c) that throughout the material part of that period the computer was operating properly or if not, that in any respect in which it was not operating properly or was out of operation during that part of that period was not such as to affect the production of the document or the accuracy of its contents; and (d) that the information contained in the statement reproduces or is derived from information supplied to the computer in the ordinary course of those activities.(3) Where over a period the function of storing or processing information for the purpose of any activities regularly carried on over that period as mentioned in Subsection (2)(a) of this section was regularly performed by computers, whether-(a) a combination of computers operating over that period; or(b) by different computers operating in succession over that period; or(c) by different combinations of computers operating in succession over that period; or(d) in any other manner involving the successive operation over that period, in whatever order, of one or more computers and one or more combinations of computers used for that purpose during that period shall be treated for the purposes of this section as constituting a single computer; and references in this section to a computer shall be construed accordingly.(4) In any proceedings where it is desired to give a statement in evidence by virtue of this section, a certificate doing any of the following things, that is to say (a) identifying the document containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced;(b) giving such particulars of any device involved in the production of that document as may be appropriate for the purpose of showing that the document was produced by a computer;(c) dealing with any of the matters to which the conditions mentioned in Subsection (2) above relate, and purporting to be signed by a person occupying a responsible position in relation to the operation of the relevant device or the management of the relevant activities, as the case may be, shall be evidence of the matter stated in the certificate; and for the purpose of this subsection it shall be sufficient for a matter to be stated to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person stating it.(5) For the purpose of this section-(a) information shall be taken to be supplied to a computer if it is supplied to it in any appropriate form and whether it is supplied directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment;(b) where, in the course of activities carried on by any individual or body, information is supplied with a view to its being stored or processed for the purposes of those activities by a computer operated otherwise than in the course of those activities, that information, if duly supplied to that computer, shall be taken to be supplied to it in the course of those activities;(c) a document shall be taken to have been produced by a computer whether it was produced by it directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment.Section 89(1) Secondary evidence may be given of the existence, condition or contents of a document in the following cases:.....(h) when the document is an entry in a bankers book.90(1) The secondary evidence admissible in respect of the original documents referred to in the several paragraphs of Section 89 is as follows:....(e) in paragraph (h), the copies cannot be received as evidence unless it is first be proved that (i) the book in which the entries copied were made was at the time of making one of the ordinary books of the bank;(ii) the entry was made in the usual and ordinary course of business;(iii) the book is in the control and custody of the bank, which proof may be given orally or by a affidavit by an officer of the bank; and (iv) the copy has been examined with the original entry and is correct, which proof must be given by some person who has examined the copy with the original entry and may be given orally or by affidavit.It is however worthy of note that while the learned counsel for the Appellant insists that the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011 is of general application and Sections 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) of the specific application in which case they take priority over the former.I do not however see it that way. It is therefore in my humble view, the other way round. What is more, while Section 84 prescribed the conditions for the admissibility of statements in documents produced by computers, Sections 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) deal with admissibility of secondary evidence generally, and the conditions for their admissibility.This reality can be gleaned from the marginal notes of the relevant sections. In Section 84, the marginal note reads thus:Admissibility of statement in document produced by computers.While in Sections 89 and 90 respectively they read thus:Cases in which secondary evidence relating to document are admissible and Nature of secondary evidence admissible under Section 89.It thus emphasises the imperative nature of the provisions of Section 84 of the Act with regard to admissibility of document produced by computer whether being tendered in evidence as a primary (original) or secondary evidence. While on the other hand Sections 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) deals with the admissibility of secondary evidence generally, including bankers books and not limited to electronic or computer derived documents.In the instant case, I believe that there is no disputing the fact that the statement of account sought to be tendered had its origin from a computer whether or not it is asserted to be extracted from an electronic ledger which to all intents and purposes the information therein was imputed through a computer and the print out also derived therefrom.The point that I am trying to make here is that, whether the statement of account or electronic ledger is to be tendered either in its original form or as a secondary evidence it is required that it must satisfy the conditions prescribed by Section 84 of the Act.In this regard, I am inclined to accept the fact that the case of Kubor v. Dickson cited as (2012) LPELR 15364(CA) is applicable. Therein this Court while analysing the requirements for the admissibility of documents produced by a computer as provided for under the Section 84(1) and (2) of the Evidence Act 2011 held inter alia at pages 3 to 4 as follows:Section 84(2) provides for the conditions to be satisfied in relation to the statement and computer from which the documents sought to be tendered and admitted were produced. A party who seeks to tender in evidence a computer generated document needs to do more than just tendering same from the bar. Evidence in relation to the use of computer must be called to establish the conditions set out under Section 84(2) of the Evidence Act.The above decision of this Court was given a stamp of approval by the Supreme Court in Omisore v. Aregbesola (2015) LPELR 24803 (SC). Therein, the issue was whether only internet generated documents are caught by the admissibility requirements of Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2011. It was held per Nweze JSC at pages 97 to 98 of the Report that:"As noted above, the main plank of the argument of the first and second cross-respondents, with regard to the second issue above, was that only internet-generated documents are caught by the admissibility requirements of Section 84 of the 2011 Evidence Act. With profound respect, this argument is untenable, S. Mason (ed) Electronic Evidence: Disclosure, discovery and Admissibility, (London: LexisNexis, Buttersworths, 2007) Passion; HM. Malek (ed), Phipson on Evidence (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 2010) Seventeenth Edition) Passion; R v. Shepherd (1993) 1 All ER 225, 231 (a decision of the defunct House of Lords). Kubor v. Dickson (2013) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1345) 534; 577-578. Even the very chapeau or opening statement in Section 84(1) contradicts this submission. The relevant phrase here is a statement contained in a document produced by the computer...Interestingly, the drafts person did not leave the meaning of the word computer to conjecture. In Section 258(1), the Act defines computer to mean any device for storing and processing information, and any reference to information being derived from other information is a reference to its being derived from it by calculating; comparison or any other process."Furthermore, in Dickson v. Sylva (2016) LPELR 41257 (SC) the apex Court also citing Kubor v. Dickson (supra) concluded wholesomely that the correct interpretation to be given to Section 84 of the Evidence Act where electronically generated document is sought to be demonstrated is that such electronic generated evidence must be certified and must comply with the pre-conditions laid down in Section 84(2).From the above cited authorities of this Court and the Supreme Court, the inevitable conclusion reachable in the circumstance is that any computer/electronically generated document, whether tendered as original or secondary evidence is required to comply with Section 84(2) of the Evidence Act, 2011. The electronic ledger or statement of account derived therefrom are not excluded, being documents derivable or generated from a computer.



U.B.N. PLC
V.
AGBONTAEN & ANOR

(2018) JELR 39124 (CA)    

Court of Appeal  ·  CA/B/204/2016 ·  24 Jan 2018 ·  Nigeria
CORAM
SAMUEL CHUKWUDUMEBI OSEJI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria MOORE ASEIMO ABRAHAM ADUMEIN Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria MUDASHIRU NASIRU ONIYANGI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

Ratio Decidendi

Core Terms Beta
computer
section
evidence act
document
evidence
statement of account
electronic ledger
provisions of section
secondary evidence
learned trial judge
sole issue
bankers book
appellants brief of argument
general application
1st respondent
copy of the ledger
counter-claim
lower court
administrator general
admissibility of statements
copy of the banks ledger
electronic record
original form
respondents brief of argument
ruling of the high court of edo state
statement of account of the 2nd respondent
admissibility of ledger copy
admissibility of the copy of the electronic ledger
bankers ledger copy
circumstance of this case
computer print
course of business
digital camera
following authorities
managing director of the 2nd respondent
ordinary course of those activities information
original document
process information
purposes of any activities
purposes of clarity
receipt of service of the necessary processes
relevant pieces of evidence
said document
said facility
sole witness
specific provisions
statement of defence
such statements
use of a computer
variant of an electronic device

SAMUEL CHUKWUDUMEBI OSEJI, JCA (Delivering the Leading Judgment): This appeal is against the Ruling of the High Court of Edo State holden at Benin City delivered on the 11th day of April, 2016.

The 1st Respondent herein had as claimant in the lower Court, taken out a writ of summons against the Appellant as defendant, wherein he claimed damages for slander.

The 1st Respondent is the Managing Director of the 2nd Respondent to whom the Appellant granted loan facility. Owing to disagreements over the said facility, the Respondents commenced the said action and upon receipt of service of the necessary processes, the Appellant filed the statement of defence and a counter-claim bringing in the 2nd Respondent into the action.

The 1st Respondent thereafter withdrew the suit against the Appellant and it was struck out while the Appellant continued with its counter-claim against both Respondents.

At the hearing of the counter-claim, the Appellant, through its sole witness sought to tender in evidence a computer print out of the statement of account of the 2nd Respondent as Exhibit. Counsel for the Respondents objected to the admissibility of same for non-compliance with Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2011. The learned trial Judge, in a considered Ruling, upheld the objection and held that the said document was inadmissible and should be marked Rejected.

The Appellant was dissatisfied with the said Ruling and consequently filed a notice of appeal on 23/4/2016. This was followed by the Appellants brief of argument filed on 23/2/2017 and the Appellants reply brief filed on 31/3/2017. The Respondents brief of argument was filed on 24/3/2017. The parties subsequently adopted and relied on their respective briefs of argument at the hearing of the appeal on the 31/10/2017.

In the Appellants brief of argument the following sole issue was formulated for determination:

"Whether the copy of the banks ledger tendered in evidence and marked rejected is a bankers book, and if yes whether the learned trial Judge was right to have rejected it in evidence."

The Respondents also formulated a sole issue for determination as follows:

"Whether the statement of account sought to be tendered in evidence by the Appellant being a computer generated document does not need to satisfy the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011 before it can qualify for admission as evidence."

Though differently couched, the sole issue as formulated by the parties are similar in context and this appeal will be considered accordingly.

Arguing on the sole issue, learned counsel for the Appellant submitted that the learned trial Judge was wrong in rejecting in evidence the copy of the ledger bearing the statement of account. He added that by the provisions of Section 258 of the Evidence Act, 2011, bankers book includes day books, account and cash books, ledger and all other books used in banking business.

Also that the bankers book such as the document tendered but rejected by the lower Court, has special or specific provisions which govern their admissibility as per Section 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) of the Evidence Act, 2011. It was therefore contended that where a statute has made provisions to cover a particular contingency, that provision and no other ought to be invoked to meet that particular contingency, vide Schroeder v. Major (1989) 2 NWLR (Pt. 101) 1 at 18; Bamgboye v. Administrator General (1954) 14 WACA 616; Federal Mortgage Bank Ltd. v. P. N. Olloh (2002) 9 NWLR (Pt. 773) 475; Nwosu v. Nzeadibe (2010) LPELR; NDIC v. Governing Council of the Industrial Training Fund (2011) LPELR-19755 (CA).

On the issue whether the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2011 apply in the circumstance of this case, it was submitted that as a secondary evidence, the bankers ledger copy is admissible once it complies with the conditions provided by Section 90(1) (e) of the Evidence Act 2011. Therefore Section 84 applies generally to the admissibility of statements in documents produced by computer but not applicable to the admissibility of ledger copy, because the conditions for the admissibility of bankers book are as provided for by Section 90(1)(e) of the Evidence Act, 2011. He cited the following authorities in support. IBWA Ltd v. Imano (Nig) Ltd (2011) FWLR (Pt. 44) 421; Narindex Trust Ltd v. NICMB Ltd. (2001) FWLR (Pt. 49) 154; ACB Ltd. v. Oba (1993) 7 NWLR (Pt. 304) 173.

It was further submitted that the interpretation given to Section 84 of the Evidence Act by the learned trial Judge will lead to absurdity, moreso as a computer, as defined under Section 258 did not contain the word Electronic to qualify the word Device. He added that a computer is rather a variant of an electronic device and not the other way round.

He referred to Section 86(4) of the Evidence Act to submit that it shows that documents can be produced not only by computer, but by electronic or other mechanical processes and the electronic ledger does not pertain to computer in the circumstances of the case given the definition of a computer by Section 34 of the National Information Technology Development Agency Act, 2007.

It was further contended that the applicability of Section 84 is to be limited and restricted and not sweeping as held by the learned trial Judge.

Reference was also made to paragraphs 46 and 47 of the further amended counter-claim as well as paragraphs 4 and 6 of the defence to counter claim to contend that issue was joined by the parties on whether the Respondents indebtedness to the Appellant is as a result of arbitrary and excessive interests charged on the overdraft account of the Respondents in breach of the agreements or terms and conditions of the contract. Consequently, the entries made in the copy of the ledger are the relevant pieces of evidence to resolve the issue. He further referred to Section 51 of the Evidence Act, 2011 which he says, emphasises the admissibility of the ledger copy from the electronic record and as a specific provision it applies to the admissibility of the copy of the electronic ledger which is a record of entries to be tendered in evidence in proof of a live issue and thus renders it relevant. He relied on the case of Gaji v. Paye (2003) FWLR (Pt. 163) 1 and Brewtech (Nig) Ltd v. Folageshin Akinnawo and Anor (2016) LPELR 40094 (CA). This Court was then urged to allow the appeal.

In the Respondents brief of argument, it was submitted that the document sought to be tendered by the Appellant but was rejected is a statement of account of the 2nd Respondent as pleaded in paragraph 46 of the amended counter-claim. It was further posited that an electronic ledger is stored in soft copy inside the banks main computer server, while the statement of account is printed out through the use of a computer and this fact the Appellant had not shown to the contrary.

Also referring to Section 258(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011 which defines a computer, it was submitted that an electronic ledger is an electronic record, i.e a document as confirmed by Jerry Amadi in his book, CONTEMPORARY LAW OF EVIDENCE IN NIGERIA, 2011 were it was stated at page 865 that:

"The word document in relation to a computer is not exclusive to papers which has been printed out of the computer containing facts, documents also includes the information in the computer itself, because the computer is a device for recording, storing or retrieving information."

It was also argued that an electronic ledger is not a physical equipment, gadget or tool like an electronic typewriter, digital camera, photocopier, cell phones etc as wrongly contended in page 7 of the Appellants brief of argument. Therefore an electronic ledger is a document of its own while a statement of account is also a document of its own in which case the statement of account tendered by the Appellant but rejected by the lower Court is a document produced by a computer and should be subjected to compliance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011.

On the implication of Sections 51, 89 and 90 of the Evidence Act referred to in the Appellants brief of argument, it was submitted that Section 51 deals with admissibility of entries in books of account or electronic records and not the document per se which in the instant case was not rejected for what it contains but because the Appellant could not prove how it was produced. With respect to Sections 89 and 90, it was submitted that the statement of account sought to be tendered is not a secondary evidence as it is neither a duplicate nor a copy of the electronic ledger and since it was sought to be tendered in its original form as primary evidence and as such, Sections 89 and 90 of the Evidence Act are not applicable.

It was further submitted that Section 84 of the Evidence Act is of general application and covers any document produced by a computer including bankers book and it is the failure by the Appellant to comply with Section 84(4) that rendered the document sought to be tendered inadmissible notwithstanding its relevance.

On the Appellants contention that only emails and internet documents should be subjected to the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011, it was submitted that this is erroneous, given the decision of the Supreme Court in Omisore v. Aregbesola (2015) LPELR (24803) SC wherein it resolved the issue whether only internet generated documents are caught by the admissibility requirements of Section 84 to the effect that computer generated documents could only be admissible in evidence upon compliance with the requirements of Section 84.

It was added that apart from the case of Kubor v. Dickson (2013) All FWLR (Pt. 676) 392 as cited by the Appellant, most of the authorities relied on were decided before the coming into force of the Evidence Act, 2011 and as such did not address the provisions of Section 84 of the said Act.

In their reply brief of argument filed on 31/3/2017, learned counsel for the Appellant submitted inter alia that the electronic ledger in this case is an original document and a bankers book by virtue of Section 89(1)(h) of the Evidence Act and that Section 258(1) defines bankers books to include ledgers.

He added that the statement of account as tendered in evidence at the trial Court is nothing but the secondary evidence of the electronic ledger and or entries therein, therefore, it will be correct to state that it is a copy of the banks ledger.

It was also contended that Sections 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) of the Act are not about how copy or copies of the bankers book is/are to be obtained but only relates to the admissibility of the copy or copies.

Furthermore, that it is incorrect to state that the statement of account is also a document of its own as canvassed by the Respondents because it is nothing but the copy of the electronic ledger and part of the condition for its admissibility is that it should be examined with the original entry which is the electronic ledger.

It was also emphasised that Section 84 of the Evidence Act is of general application and when a statute is of general application and makes provisions to cover a particular situation, that provision will prevail vide Schroeder v. Major (1989) NWLR (Pt. 101) 1 and Bamgboye v. Administrator General (1954) 14 WACA 616.

He added that the statement of account in the instant case is relevant and as such it is distinguishable from the cases of Kubor v. Dickson  (2013) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1325) 534 and Omisore v. Aregbesola (2015) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1482) 205, where documents sought to be tendered though computer outputs were held inadmissible on grounds of irrelevancy and non-certification because they are public document.

Learned counsel also submitted that it will amount to absurdity to subject the copy of the ledger which is the statement of account to the provisions of Section 84 of the Act merely because it is a computer out-put, when there is a specific provision of the Act which covers its admissibility in Section 90(1)(e) of the Act. He then urged this Court to allow the appeal because the statement of account being a copy of the electronic ledger and having met all the conditions contained in Section 90(1)(e) of the Act was wrongly rejected by the trial Court.

The issue in contention between the parties is whether the 2nd Respondents statement of account sought to be tendered in evidence by the Appellant but rejected by the trial Court for being inadmissible complied with the relevant provisions of the Evidence Act, 2011. For the Appellant, the relevant provisions of the Evidence Act governing the admissibility of the said document is Sections 51, 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e). But the Respondents are of a contrary stance by insisting that the governing provision is Section 84 of the Act which the learned trial Judge relied on rejecting the admissibility of the said statement of account. For purposes of clarity, the relevant provisions of the Evidence Act are herein below set out;

51. Entries in books of accounts or electronic records regularly kept in the course of business are admissible whenever they refer to the matter into which the Court has to inquire, but such statements shall not alone be sufficient evidence to charge any person with liability.

84. (1) In any proceedings a statement contained in a document produced by a computer shall be admissible as evidence of any fact stated in it of which oral evidence would be admissible, if it is shown that the conditions in Subsection (2) of this section are satisfied in relation to the statement and computer in question.

(2) The conditions referred to in Subsection (1) of this section are

(a) that the document containing the statement was produced by the computer during a period over which the computer was used regularly to store or process information for the purposes of any activities regularly carried on over that period, whether for profit or not, by anybody, whether corporate or not, or by any individual;

(b) that over that period there was regularly supplied to the computer in the ordinary course of those activities information of the kind contained in the statement or of the kind from which the information so contained is derived.

(c) that throughout the material part of that period the computer was operating properly or if not, that in any respect in which it was not operating properly or was out of operation during that part of that period was not such as to affect the production of the document or the accuracy of its contents; and

(d) that the information contained in the statement reproduces or is derived from information supplied to the computer in the ordinary course of those activities.

(3) Where over a period the function of storing or processing information for the purpose of any activities regularly carried on over that period as mentioned in Subsection (2)(a) of this section was regularly performed by computers, whether-

(a) a combination of computers operating over that period; or

(b) by different computers operating in succession over that period; or

(c) by different combinations of computers operating in succession over that period; or

(d) in any other manner involving the successive operation over that period, in whatever order, of one or more computers and one or more combinations of computers used for that purpose during that period shall be treated for the purposes of this section as constituting a single computer; and references in this section to a computer shall be construed accordingly.

(4) In any proceedings where it is desired to give a statement in evidence by virtue of this section, a certificate doing any of the following things, that is to say

(a) identifying the document containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced;

(b) giving such particulars of any device involved in the production of that document as may be appropriate for the purpose of showing that the document was produced by a computer;

(c) dealing with any of the matters to which the conditions mentioned in Subsection (2) above relate, and purporting to be signed by a person occupying a responsible position in relation to the operation of the relevant device or the management of the relevant activities, as the case may be, shall be evidence of the matter stated in the certificate; and for the purpose of this subsection it shall be sufficient for a matter to be stated to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person stating it.

(5) For the purpose of this section-

(a) information shall be taken to be supplied to a computer if it is supplied to it in any appropriate form and whether it is supplied directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment;

(b) where, in the course of activities carried on by any individual or body, information is supplied with a view to its being stored or processed for the purposes of those activities by a computer operated otherwise than in the course of those activities, that information, if duly supplied to that computer, shall be taken to be supplied to it in the course of those activities;

(c) a document shall be taken to have been produced by a computer whether it was produced by it directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment.

Section 89(1)

Secondary evidence may be given of the existence, condition or contents of a document in the following cases:

.....

(h) when the document is an entry in a bankers book.

90(1) The secondary evidence admissible in respect of the original documents referred to in the several paragraphs of Section 89 is as follows:

....

(e) in paragraph (h), the copies cannot be received as evidence unless it is first be proved that

(i) the book in which the entries copied were made was at the time of making one of the ordinary books of the bank;

(ii) the entry was made in the usual and ordinary course of business;

(iii) the book is in the control and custody of the bank, which proof may be given orally or by a affidavit by an officer of the bank; and

(iv) the copy has been examined with the original entry and is correct, which proof must be given by some person who has examined the copy with the original entry and may be given orally or by affidavit.

It is however worthy of note that while the learned counsel for the Appellant insists that the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011 is of general application and Sections 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) of the specific application in which case they take priority over the former.

I do not however see it that way. It is therefore in my humble view, the other way round. What is more, while Section 84 prescribed the conditions for the admissibility of statements in documents produced by computers, Sections 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) deal with admissibility of secondary evidence generally, and the conditions for their admissibility.

This reality can be gleaned from the marginal notes of the relevant sections. In Section 84, the marginal note reads thus:

Admissibility of statement in document produced by computers.

While in Sections 89 and 90 respectively they read thus:

Cases in which secondary evidence relating to document are admissible and Nature of secondary evidence admissible under Section 89.

It thus emphasises the imperative nature of the provisions of Section 84 of the Act with regard to admissibility of document produced by computer whether being tendered in evidence as a primary (original) or secondary evidence. While on the other hand Sections 89(1)(h) and 90(1)(e) deals with the admissibility of secondary evidence generally, including bankers books and not limited to electronic or computer derived documents.

In the instant case, I believe that there is no disputing the fact that the statement of account sought to be tendered had its origin from a computer whether or not it is asserted to be extracted from an electronic ledger which to all intents and purposes the information therein was imputed through a computer and the print out also derived therefrom.

The point that I am trying to make here is that, whether the statement of account or electronic ledger is to be tendered either in its original form or as a secondary evidence it is required that it must satisfy the conditions prescribed by Section 84 of the Act.

In this regard, I am inclined to accept the fact that the case of Kubor v. Dickson cited as (2012) LPELR 15364(CA) is applicable. Therein this Court while analysing the requirements for the admissibility of documents produced by a computer as provided for under the Section 84(1) and (2) of the Evidence Act 2011 held inter alia at pages 3 to 4 as follows:

Section 84(2) provides for the conditions to be satisfied in relation to the statement and computer from which the documents sought to be tendered and admitted were produced. A party who seeks to tender in evidence a computer generated document needs to do more than just tendering same from the bar. Evidence in relation to the use of computer must be called to establish the conditions set out under Section 84(2) of the Evidence Act.

The above decision of this Court was given a stamp of approval by the Supreme Court in Omisore v. Aregbesola (2015) LPELR 24803 (SC). Therein, the issue was whether only internet generated documents are caught by the admissibility requirements of Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2011. It was held per Nweze JSC at pages 97 to 98 of the Report that:

"As noted above, the main plank of the argument of the first and second cross-respondents, with regard to the second issue above, was that only internet-generated documents are caught by the admissibility requirements of Section 84 of the 2011 Evidence Act. With profound respect, this argument is untenable, S. Mason (ed) Electronic Evidence: Disclosure, discovery and Admissibility, (London: LexisNexis, Buttersworths, 2007) Passion; HM. Malek (ed), Phipson on Evidence (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 2010) Seventeenth Edition) Passion; R v. Shepherd (1993) 1 All ER 225, 231 (a decision of the defunct House of Lords). Kubor v. Dickson (2013) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1345) 534; 577-578. Even the very chapeau or opening statement in Section 84(1) contradicts this submission. The relevant phrase here is a statement contained in a document produced by the computer...Interestingly, the drafts person did not leave the meaning of the word computer to conjecture. In Section 258(1), the Act defines computer to mean any device for storing and processing information, and any reference to information being derived from other information is a reference to its being derived from it by calculating; comparison or any other process."

Furthermore, in Dickson v. Sylva (2016) LPELR 41257 (SC) the apex Court also citing Kubor v. Dickson (supra) concluded wholesomely that the correct interpretation to be given to Section 84 of the Evidence Act where electronically generated document is sought to be demonstrated is that such electronic generated evidence must be certified and must comply with the pre-conditions laid down in Section 84(2).

From the above cited authorities of this Court and the Supreme Court, the inevitable conclusion reachable in the circumstance is that any computer/electronically generated document, whether tendered as original or secondary evidence is required to comply with Section 84(2) of the Evidence Act, 2011. The electronic ledger or statement of account derived therefrom are not excluded, being documents derivable or generated from a computer. The sound arguments canvassed by learned counsel for the Appellant are quite commendable but unfortunately the requirements of the law are clear to the letter and should be accordingly complied with.

In the final result, the sole issue raised for determination is hereby resolved against the Appellant.

This appeal is consequently dismissed and the Ruling of the High Court of Edo State delivered on 11th April, 2016 is hereby affirmed.

₦50,000 cost is awarded against the Appellant in favour of the Respondents.

MOORE ASEIMO ABRAHAM ADUMEIN, JCA: I had a preview of the judgment just delivered by my learned brother, Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji, JCA. I agree with the decision of my learned brother that the document tendered by the appellant was rightly rejected by the trial Court because it does not comply with the clear provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011.

For the elaborate reasons given by my learned brother, I also resolve the sole issue in this appeal against the appellant.

This appeal is hereby dismissed with ₦50,000.00 awarded as costs in favour of the respondent and against the appellant.

MUDASHIRU NASIRU ONIYANGI, JCA: I read in draft form, the judgment of my learned brother, Samuel Chukwudumebi Oseji, JCA, just delivered.

I am in complete agreement with his reasoning and conclusion that the appeal is devoid of merit and should be dismissed.

I too dismiss the appeal. I abide by the orders made by my learned brother including one on cost.