WHAT THE COURT SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE CONVICTING AN ACCUSED PERSON BASED ON HIS CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT

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CASE TITLE: ALAO v. STATE (2019) LPELR-47856(SC)

JUDGMENT DATE: 31ST MAY, 2019

PRACTICE AREA: CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

LEAD JUDGMENT: SIDI DAUDA BAGE, J.S.C.

SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:

INTRODUCTION

This appeal borders on the Offences of Conspiracy to commit Armed Robbery and Armed Robbery.

FACTS

This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division delivered on 6th December 2013 which affirmed the decision of the learned trial Judge, Adeniran J., which had convicted and sentenced the Appellant for the charge of armed robbery on 12th July 2012.

The Appellant was charged together with Fatai Busari, Osuolale Tijani, Mumini Adisa and Sunday Okafor at the High Court of Oyo State with offences of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery contrary to Section 5 (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Offences) Act. Cap 398 Vol. XXII, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1999 and the offence of Armed Robbery contrary to Section 1 (2) (a) and (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Offences) Act. Cap 398 Vol. XXII, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.

The offence was alleged to have been committed at Mobil Petrol Station, Challenge, Ibadan, Oyo State on November 18, 1994, by robbing one Alhaji Nurudeen Kolawole (‘the deceased’) of the sum of N150,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) and in the process killed the deceased. At trial, the Appellant, Fatai Busari and Mumini Adisa were found guilty and convicted for the offences and sentenced to death by hanging or execution.

The Appellant was dissatisfied with the said judgment and filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal delivered its judgment on 6th December 2013 and dismissed the Appellants appeal and confirmed the conviction and sentence of the trial Court.

Being dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, the appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION

The Apex Court determined the appeal based on a sole issue thus:

“Whether the Court below was wrong in upholding the decision of the trial court to the effect that the Prosecution had proved its case of conspiracy and armed robbery against the Appellant beyond reasonable doubt.”

DECISION/HELD

On the whole, the Supreme Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.

RATIOS:

  • CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – OFFENCE OF ARMED ROBBERY: Ingredients that must exist to prove the offence of armed robbery
  • CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – IDENTIFICATION PARADE: Circumstances where an identification parade will not be necessary
  • EVIDENCE – CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT: Meaning and nature of confession; effect of denial of a confessional statement and the tests for determining the veracity or otherwise of a confessional statement
  • EVIDENCE – CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT: Duty of counsel to object to the voluntariness of statement of accused before it is admitted and the effect of failure in this regard
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lawpavilion • July 17, 2019


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