REQUIREMENT OF CERTIFICATE IN RESPECT OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE UNDER SECTION 84(4) OF THE NIGERIAN EVIDENCE ACT: STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC v LONGTERM CAPITAL LTD & 2 ORS REVISITED

Abstract
The receipt of testimonies for proof or disproof of the veracity of a matter of fact under judicial examination is regulated by the law of
evidence. Electronic evidence as a branch of the law of evidence emerged as a result of the impact of technological on dispute settlement. Unlike the traditional concept of evidence, the accuracy and reliability of electronic evidence could be compromised by inadvertent programming errors, impromptu power surge and outages, incomplete data entry, mistakes in output instructions, damage and contamination of storage media, equipment malfunctions and a host of other factors that are not issues to traditional evidence and which may not be intentional or intended. In order to determine, regulate and assess the authenticity, integrity, accuracy, reliability, justifiability, proportionality, relevance, availability, sufficiency and the l validity of electronic evidence, rules are developed to regulate admissibility and authenticity of electronic evidence. Section 84 of the Nigerian Evidence Act regulates the
admissibility of electronic evidence. Section 84(4) therein provides for a Certificate of authentication in respect of electronic documents. The scope and purport of this provision has been a subject of uncertain
judicial pronouncement. Utilising the doctrinal research method, this paper contends that the provision under scrutiny is sacrosanct. The
paper concludes that the provision of section 84(4) can be interpreted generally without the need of creating any exception thereunder as case law sought to impose.

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