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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IS OFTEN THE BEST FORM OF EVIDENCE

Dictum

Lord Hewart, Lord Chief Justice of England observed in P. L. Taylor & Ors. v. R. 21 Cr. App. R20 at p.21: It has been said that the evidence against the applicants is circumstantial: so it is 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.

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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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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE VS DIRECT EVIDENCE

Circumstantial evidence usually is contrasted with direct evidence. By direct evidence as in this case, there must be the evidence of an eyewitness of the incident of murder. By circumstantial evidence it means indirect evidence or existence of some facts from which an inference of a true fact can be made. It is trite law...

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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE MUST BE IRRITABLE

The ascription of these injuries to the application of a stick, which was not produced, the size of which was not testified to or ascertained, and which was not acknowledged by the doctor P.W.1 as capable of causing the injuries is a serious misapplication of facts and miscarriage of justice. The chain of evidence necessary...

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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE MUST BE NARROWLY EXAMINED

In R v. Teper (1952) AC 480 at 489, it was held: “Circumstantial evidence may sometimes be conclusive, but it must always be narrowly examined, if only because evidence of this kind may be fabricated to cast suspicion on another… It is also necessary before drawing the inference of the accused guilt from circumstantial evidence to be sure that there are no other co-existing circumstances which would weaken or destroy the inference.”

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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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