In the case of Lamido V FRN (Unreported) Appeal No. CA/K/436/C/2013, this Court per Abiru, JCA stated thus – “A look at this provision vis-a-vis the provision of Section 111(1) of the Evidence Act, Cap E14, Laws of the Federation 1990 interpreted in Tabik Investment Ltd V Guaranty Trust Bank (supra) shows that they are similar, but for the fact that the requirement for the payment of legal fees for certification in Section 104 of the Evidence Act, 2011 is qualified by the words “prescribed in that respect”. This qualification is not contained in the provision of Section 111 of the Evidence Act, 1990. It is a fundamental rule of interpretation of statute that words used in a statute are not put there for fun; they are for a purpose. The inclusion of the words “prescribed in that respect” by the legislature in Section 104 of the Evidence Act, 2011 could not have been by mistake or by oversight. It was intended to have a meaning and effect.”
One main objective behind section 97(2)(c) of the Evidence Act is to ensure the authenticity of the document tendered vis-a-vis the original. This is in addition to the need for the preservation of public documents. In this age of sophisticated technology, photo tricks are the order of the day and secondary evidence produced in the context of section 97(2)(a) could be tutored and therefore not the authentic. Photo tricks could be applied in the process of copying the original document with the result that the copy, which is secondary evidence, does not completely and totally reflect the original and therefore not a carbon copy of the original. The Court has not the eyes of an eagle to detect such tricks.” Section 97 (1) (e) clearly stated that when the original of a document is a public document within the meaning of section 109, secondary evidence of it may be given, and, by virtue of section 97 (2) (c), the only secondary evidence required is a certified copy and no other copy is admissible. By the aforestated cases of the Supreme Court, it is clear that original copy of a public document can be tendered in a proceeding.
– T.N. Orji-Abadua, JCA. Kabau v. Rilwanu (2013) – CA/K/179/2001