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CERTAINTY IS REQUIRED TO CONVICT ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Dictum

In Majekodunmi v. The Queen 14 W.A.C.A. 64. Foster-Sutton P. (as he then was), dealing with circumstantial evidence stated at p.69 In view of the conflict and discrepancies in the evidence of the prosecution can it be said that the case against the appellant was proved with that certainty which is necessary in order to justify a verdict of guilty? …… Moreoever we are not satisfied that the only inference that can be drawn from the evidence given at the trial is one of guilt……. See also Spiff v. Commissioner of Police 19 N.L.R. 81 and the views of this Court in Stephen Ukorah v. The State (1977) 4S.C. 167 at pp.176 et seq, and Udo Akpan Essien v. The State (1966) N.M.L.R. 229

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WHERE NO DIRECT EVIDENCE, COURT WILL USE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

It is trite law that where, as in the present case, no direct evidence of an eyewitness to the commission of an offence is available, the court may infer from the facts proved the existence of other facts which logically and conclusively establish the guilt of the accused person beyond reasonable doubt. See Adepetu v....

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CAUSE OF DEATH CAN BE INFERRED FROM CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DEATH

In Adamu v. Kano Native Authority (1956) 1 F.S.C. 25 (1956) SCNLR 65 the Federal Supreme Court held that the Court could infer cause of death from the circumstances surrounding the death where there is lack of medical evidence. See also Ayinde v. The State (1972) 3 S.C. 153; Edim v. The State (1972) 4...

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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IS OFTEN THE BEST EVIDENCE

It is conceded that circumstantial evidence is very often the best evidence. It is said to be evidence of surrounding circumstances which by undesigned coincidence is capable of proving a proposition with the accuracy of mathematics. It is no derogation of evidence to say that it is circumstantial. – Nnamani JSC. Lori v. State (1980)...

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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE MUST BE CAPABLE OF PROVING A PROPOSITION WITH THE ACCURACY OF MATHEMATICS

Speaking of circumstantial evidence, Lord Heward, CJ, said, inter alia: “… but circumstantial evidence is very often the best. It is evidence of surrounding circumstances which, by undesigned coincidence is capable of proving a proposition with the accuracy of mathematics. It is no derogation of evidence to say that it is circumstantial.” See R v. Taylor & Ors (1928) 21 CAR 20 at 21.

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NATURE OF CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

“Under our criminal jurisprudence, circumstantial evidence is defined as evidence of surrounding circumstances which by undersigned coincidence is capable of proving a proposition with mathematical exactitude, and that where direct evidence is unavailable, circumstantial evidence which is cogent, compelling and pointing irresistibly and unequivocally to the guilt of the accused is admissible to sustain a...

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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE REQUIRES PRECISION OF MATHEMATICS

It is true that there are cases in which circumstantial evidence may be the best evidence when it is capable of proving a proposition with the precision of mathematics but I am afraid this is not the case here. An inference of the guilt of the accused cannot be drawn from mere coincidences and suspicions...

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