Legal Nuggets Series (94): Tendering of Computer Generated Evidence.-By Adedotun Habeeb Adetunji, LL.M (M.IoD), FCAI'


In actual fact, Section 84 consecrates two methods of proof, either by oral evidence under Section 84(1) and (2) or by a  under Section 84(4). In either case, the conditions stipulated in Section 84 (2) must be satisfied.

Evidence of the functionality of the computer as required by Section 84 is not exclusive to a certificate of compliance/identification. Such evidence can be given orally by calling a witness who is the maker of the document; in the case of digital photographs, the Photographer or in writing by filing a Certificate of compliance/identification.

This position was clearly elucidated by the Supreme Court in the case of DICKSON V. SYLVA & ORS (2016) LPELR-41257 (SC), where the Court had course to interpret the provisions of Section 84 of the Evidence Act, 2011. The Supreme Court, per CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE, J.S.C (Pp. 23-24, paras. A-E),

        When next you seek to tender a computer generated document through its maker and an objection is raised as to your failure to file a certificate of compliance/identification:

1. Be sure to check whether your witness deposed to the functionality of the computer or device as contained in S.84 (2) of the Evidence Act, 2011.

2. If your witness did depose, join issues with the opposing counsel canvassing your argument based on the Supreme Court’s decision in DICKSON V. SYLVA (Supra).

3. If your witness did not depose, before you tender the document, lay proper foundation by allowing the witness give oral evidence as to the functionality of the computer or device, or, after the document is tendered and the objection raised, quietly withdraw same and apply for an adjournment to regularize.

 You know what to do to regularize before the adjourned date•



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