Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

WHEN IS A WITNESS TAINTED

Dictum

The position is that a tainted witness is either an accomplice or a witness who has an interest to defend or a purpose to serve in a case in which he is called upon to give evidence as a witness. It has to be shown that the witness has some peculiar interest to protect or purpose to serve in the evidence he gives in a case in order to make him a tainted witness.

– M.L. Garba JCA. Odogwu v. Vivian (2009) – CA/PH/345/05

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

RELATIONSHIP OF WITNESS TO VICTIM IS IRRELEVANT

Where the evidence of such a witness is otherwise credible and sufficiently of probative value to the charge, the fact of his relationship to the victim or that he has other personal interest of his own to serve is by itself not sufficient to reject his evidence. In law, causes are not lost on the basis that the witness/s is/are members of the same family, association or community. Even where the Court fails or omits to caution or warn itself on evidence that is true in fact and sufficient to ground a charge, the failure or omission would not weaken the validity of such evidence or be fatal to a conviction.

– M.L. Garba JCA. Odogwu v. Vivian (2009) – CA/PH/345/05

Was this dictum helpful?

NEGATIVES OF PHOTOGRAPH REQUIRES PHOTOGRAPHER TO BE CALLED TO TESTIFY

Photographs taken of the deceased’s corpse are secondary evidence. They become admissible only when the negative is also tendered and their inadmissibility has nothing to do with the maker or photographer. However in this age of digital photography where the negatives are stored electronically, it becomes necessary for the photographer to be called to testify. — K.B. Aka’ahs, JSC. Mati Musa v The State (2019) – SC.902/2014

Was this dictum helpful?

WITNESS INCONSISTENT ON MATERIAL FACTS

Thus, in considering and ascribing probative values to the evidence of witnesses, a Court is under duty to appraise it to see whether they are admissible, cogent, credible and probable. Thus, in the discharge of this onerous but very essential duty, a Court will be wary of crediting any witness who has either been so discredited or his so inconsistent on material facts in contention between the parties. It is for this reason that it is settled law that no witness who has given materially inconsistent evidence on oath is entitled to the honour of credibility and such a witness does not deserve to be treated as a truthful witness. See Ezemba v. Ibeneme (2009) 14 NWLR (Pt. 789) 623.

— B.A. Georgewill JCA. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc V. Longterm Global Capital Limited & Ors. (CA/L/427/2016, 9 Mar 2018)

Was this dictum helpful?

RELATIONSHIP BY BLOOD CANNOT DISQUALIFY A WITNESS AS BEING A TAINTED WITNESS

The fact that he (PW 4) is a brother to the deceased with but more, cannot in my view make or turn him into a tainted or biased witness. He was not shown to have been an accomplice in the commission of the offence nor that he had any interest or purpose of his own to serve as such witness. Relationship by blood without any more cannot tantamount to a disqualification from being a prosecution witness, and I am not aware of any of our laws which provide as such. Consequently, the evidence of PW 4 in my view requires no corroboration. Ishola v. The State (1978) 9 & 10 SC81; Onafowokan v. The State (1986) 2 NWLR (Pt. 23) 496; Arehia & Anor v. The State (1982) 4SC7 8; Hausa v. The State (1992) 1 NWLR (Pc 219) 600.

— Kutigi, JSC. Oguonzee v State (1998) – SC.131/97

Was this dictum helpful?

WHO IS A TAINTED WITNESS

A tainted witness falls into one or both of the two categories hereunder listed: (1) A witness who is an accomplice in the crime charged. (2) A witness who, by the evidence he gives, may and could be regarded as having some purpose of his own to serve. Rasheed Olaiya v. The State (2010) Vol. 180 LRCN 1-197 p.34; The State v. Dominic Okoro & Ors (1974) 2 SC 73 at 82; Ishola v. The State (1978) 9-10 SC 73 at 100 .

— N.S. Ngwuta, JSC. Odogwu v State (2013) – SC.122/2009

Was this dictum helpful?

WHERE PROSECUTION WITNESS CONTRADICTS ONE ANOTHER

Onubogu and Anor v. The State (1974) 9 S.C. 1, 20: the Supreme Court opined that where in a criminal case, one witness called by the prosecution’ contradicts another prosecution witness on a material point, the prosecution ought to lay some foundation, such as showing that a witness was hostile, before they can ask the court to reject the testimony of one witness in preference for the evidence of the discredited witness. It is not competent for the prosecution to discredit one and accredit the other.

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.