By Joseph Onyekwere
The Attorney General Alliance (AGA -Africa) has trained no fewer than 200 lawyers in Kogi State on oral advocacy and electronic evidence in criminal prosecution and defence.
AGA-Africa Country Representative, Anthony Idigie (SAN), disclosed this while speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day training in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Idigbe, who was represented by the Coordinator, AGA-Africa, Ebelechukwu Enedah, explained that the conversation on the electronic evidence is indeed an important one; as we continue to move into an increasingly technologically advanced and reliant society, where people use technology to commit crime.
He stressed the importance of making digital evidence a fundamental part of successful and effective investigations and prosecutions of crime, adding that it enables investigations, by revealing vital information about crimes committed; movement of suspects; and criminal associates, among other factors.
“Indeed, Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011 provides for the admissibility of documents generated from a computer and the conditions that must be fulfilled for electronic evidence to be admitted,” he said.
The section, he said, is playing a fundamental role in backing the revolutionary decisions to embrace electronic evidence, and moving towards a future where electronic evidence would be commonplace.
“However, the admissibility of this evidence will be greatly determined by how persuasive and accurate you put across your argument, whilst showing the relevance of the evidence that you are presenting to the court. Your argument should further be expressed eloquently and clearly.
“This training, is, therefore, important as it provides us with a chance to discuss the issues that can arise regarding electronic evidence and the need to formulate and adopt strategies that can address those issues.
“The training further provides us with a chance to look at best practices regarding electronic evidence, bearing in mind that this type of evidence requires enhanced expertise and can easily be tampered with, manipulated or erased before it reaches the hand of justice, as well as, best practices when it comes to oral advocacy to ensure and enhance effective prosecutions,” he explained.
Idigbe also lauded the Kogi State government for partnering with AGA -Africa, noting that it was the third time the state is hosting AGA -Africa programme.
He also lauded the Kogi State Office of the Public Defender and Citizens Rights Commission, expressing delight in partnering with them.
The Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, commended AGA -Africa for bringing the workshop to the State, stressing that the government will continue to partner with any programme that promotes rule of law.
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade, stated that the governor would have loved to be present at the workshop, personally, but was unavoidably absent for another assignment.
The Director General, Kogi State Office of the Public Defender and Citzens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC), Abdullahi Zakari, explained the importance of the workshop’s theme.
He stressed that law practice requires training and retraining to stay abreast of the latest happening in the profession.
Zakari, therefore, tasked the 200 participants to take advantage of the workshop brought to their doorsteps to update their knowledge, stressing that people are paying heavily to receive this kind training.