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When audio recording is played in court

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Justice Raliat Adebiyi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja yesterday admitted as exhibit, an audio recording of a conversation purporting to reveal how an advertising firm, Afromedia Plc, was defrauded of N4billion at the ongoing trial of a former Director of the firm, Mr Mohammed Gobir.

The judge admitted it and marked it as exhibit P24A.

Gobir was charged the by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 17 count charges bordering on stealing, forgery and obtaining by false pretences.

He had pleaded not guilty to all the count charge.

At the resume hearing of the case, the prosecution witness, who is the Managing Director of Afromedia, Mr Akinola Olopade told court that the conversation he had with the defendant (Gobir) was recorded on February 11, 2013.

In his evidence led by the prosecution counsel, Mr Anselem Betram Ozioko, Olopade said that despite Gobir’s claims that he did not defraud the company, the audio recording was proof of his dishonesty as there was no money with the CBN.

The recording was played in the open court briefly. Their conversation was in Yoruba and English.

In the recording, Gobir said that $250million, which was part of the money he owed Afromedia was about to be cleared in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), he added that he had gotten a text message alert from the bank.

However, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), objected to the remainder of the audio recording being played in court. He prayed the court for an independent translator.

Ayorinde said: “To see that justice is done, let us be served copies of the compact disc (CD) to enable us prepare for cross-examination.”

The judge therefore, ordered that a Yoruba interpreter should transcribe the audio recording.

“The Chief Registrar of the court shall employ a Yoruba translator who will transcribe the CDs and copies of the transcript will be served on all parties. The cost of the translation will be borne by the prosecution,” Adebiyi ordered and adjourned continuation of trial till January 23, 2017.


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