By Olawale Akinremi
The Federal High Court in Ibadan on Wednesday rejected the admissibility of the testimony of Pastor Moses Adetoye in the ongoing trial of some elders of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) charged with certificate forgery.
At the resumed hearing of the case, Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmannuel, ruled that the oral testimony of Adetoye, a prosecution witness, on an issue of which he was not directly present was inadmissible.
Citing the Evidence Act of 2011, the judge stated that even if the testimony was relevant to the fact, it was inadmissible because it was hearsay.
“I hereby uphold the objection of the defence counsel,” Ayo-Emmanuel said.
He adjourned the case till Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 for continuation of trial.
Earlier, the defence counsel, Mr Michael Lana, had prayed the court to render the testimony given by Adetoye, the PW1 on the history of the establishment of CAC in 1943 as inadmissible.
Lana contended that Adetoye was not present there and only read or heard the story of the formation of the church.
The defence counsel added that only members of the Board of Trustees of the church could give such testimony.
Lana said that the prosecution had on two previous occasions in 2000 and 2005 failed to prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt and based all their evidence on hearsay.
He cited many authorities to support his argument.
However, Mr Kareem Salawu, the prosecution counsel, prayed the court for an adjournment to put his house in order on what direction to take next.
Pastor Gideon Okegweme and Mr Abdulhakeem Mohammed of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and six others had since 2005 been standing trial.
The defendants are facing charges bordering on conspiracy, stealing and forgery of Certificate of Incorporation of CAC.
Meanwhile, some of the defendants in the case have died and some have pleaded guilty during their arraignment.