The absence of tendered exhibits in two separate cases has led an appeal court judge sitting in Jos to admonish lawyers to always follow-up their tendered exhibits to be sure they are transmitted to the judge.
Justice A. G. Mshellia gave the advice on Wednesday during his sitting on two cases, which had to be adjourned because of the absence of the appellants’ exhibits before the three-man panel of judges
Mr S.D. Samchi, the Appellant Counsel in a case between one Barrister Bala Dashuwar and Christopher Pher-gyang, had told the court that he had three exhibits already tendered before the court.
But when the court asked him whether he was sure the said exhibits had reached the judges since they were not in possession of them, he answered in the negative, ” l am sorry I didn’t follow up to be sure.”
It was at that point that the judge began to caution and admonish lawyers of the need to ensure that they should endeavour to follow every exhibit tendered to ensure that they get ti the judges so as not to cause any unnecessary delay in proceedings and judgemeny.
The panel got more worried when a similar incident occurred during another case involving BCC Tropical (Nig.) Ltd and NewsGate Publishers Ltd, where the appellant Counsel, Mr Sunday Obende, also had the same complaint.
“I always advise counsels to always endeavour to follow their exhibits to be sure they (exhibits) have been tendered.
“As it is now, we do not have any of those exhibits you people are talking about. How do you expect to continue with the case and give judgement when we don’t have the exhibits before us?” she asked.
The judge further explained, “it’s expected that whenever you file your briefs, exhibits should follow immediately, that is what the rules say so but I don’t know why these problems are happening?.”
At that juncture, Samchi and Obende applied separately for short adjournment to enable them do the needful and return before the court.
“My Lords, it’s unfortunate for me and that will force me to apply for a short adjournment because we can’t speculate when you will get the three exhibits.
“At this juncture, I wish to apply for a short adjournment in this circumstance,” Samchi pleaded.
The court adjourned Samchi’s case to June 25 while Obende’s was adjourned to June 29 for hearing respectively.