FOR A CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT TO ATTRACT AND SUPPORT A CONVICTION, IT MUST BE PROVED TO BE FREE, VOLUNTARY AND UNAMBIGUOUS
CASE TITLE: IDOKO V. STATE (2018) LPELR-45893(CA)
PRACTICE AREA: CRIMINAL APPEAL
LEAD JUDGMENT BY: ONYEKACHI AJA OTISI, J.C.A.
FACTS OF THE CASE SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT
FACTS OF THE CASE
This appeal was lodged against the decision of the High Court of Benue State, sitting at Otukpo, and delivered by Justice S.J. Ogwiji J.
The case of the prosecution was that, on or about the 7th day of November, 2002 at Aiodu-Owukpa in Ogbadigbo Local Government Area of Benue State, appellant and other accused person committed armed robbery when they attacked and robbed one Mr Uji Amedu and his passengers of the sum of N191,530.00, two mobile handsets and car Toyota Carina Reg No DE 970 AAA, at gunpoint. Appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the conclusion of hearing, the trial Court convicted the Appellant and sentenced him to death. Aggrieved by his conviction and sentence, Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.
ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION
The following issues, as formulated by the appellant and respondent respectively, were considered together, in the determination of the appeal:
“i. Whether the identity of the appellant as one of the perpetrators of the crime charged was proved beyond reasonable doubt.
ii. Whether the locus criminis in the charge has been proven.
iii. Whether the lower Court erred in law when it relied solely on the alleged confessional statement of the 1st & 3rd accused persons (Exhibit A & A3 respectively) to convict the appellant for the offence or armed robbery
iv. Whether the lower Court erred in law when it did not consider the defense of alibi put forward by the appellant hence occasioning a grave miscarriage of justice.”
“1. Whether the prosecution proved her case against the appellant.
- Whether the lower Court misdirected herself in the evaluation of the evidence before her.”
In conclusion, the appeal was dismissed.
- EVIDENCE – STANDARD OF PROOF – Required standard of proof in criminal trials and the nature of proof beyond reasonable doubt
- CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – GUILT OF AN ACCUSED PERSON – How to establish/prove the guilt of an accused person
- EVIDENCE – CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT – Meaning and nature of confession, conditions to be met before convicting on same and the tests for determining the veracity or otherwise of a confessional statement