Judiciary-Poetry-Logo
JPoetry

EVERY RULE IN FAVOUR OF AN ACCUSED MUST BE METICULOUSLY OBSERVED

Dictum

Under our system, there is no onus on an accused to prove his innocence. The law presumes him innocent. There is thus no duly on the accused to help the prosecution prove him guilty. Our law is against self-incrimination. It is in the interest of justice that every rule in favour of an accused person is meticulously observed and that no rule is broken to his prejudice. The least that the trial court could have done for the appellant whose life was at stake, (he was standing trial for his very life) was to inform him of his rights under S.287(1) and it should be apparent on the record that each alternative was explained to the appellant since he was not represented by a legal practitioner.

— Oputa, JSC. G. Josiah v. The State (1985) – SC.59/1984

Was this dictum helpful?

SHARE ON

INTERPRETER OF AN ACCUSED STATEMENT MUST BE CALLED

It is indeed the law that an accused person’s statement should, as much as possible, be taken down in the exact words of the accused person. Where the statement is thereafter translated into English by another person, the interpreter must be called as a witness in order for the statement in English to be admissible in evidence. Where that interpreter is not called, the statement in English will be regarded as hearsay evidence and will therefore be inadmissible

– Eyop v. State (2018) 6 NWLR (Pt. 1615) 273 (SC) per Sanusi, J.S.C.

Was this dictum helpful?

SUFFICIENTLY RECOGNISED THE ACCUSED PERSON

I quite agree with Aderemi, JSC, when he stated in NDIDI v. THE STATE (supra) that a trial Judge must not only warn himself but must meticulously examine the evidence proffered to see whether there are any weaknesses capable of endangering or rendering worthless any contention that the accused person was sufficiently recognised by the witness.

— E. Eko, JSC. Kekong v State (2017) – SC.884/2014

Was this dictum helpful?

ESSENCE OF AN ACCUSED BEING PRESENT AT HIS CRIMINAL TRIAL

The trial Court having conducted the proceedings of 20/11/2015 in the absence of the Respondent jumped the guns and breached his constitutional right. The essence of the presence of an accused throughout his trial is to afford him an adequate opportunity to play his statutory role and liberty to respond at every stage of the proceedings personally or through a legal practitioner of his own choice for the purpose of ensuring fair hearing.

— U.M. Abba Aji, JSC. State v. Andrew Yanga (SC.712/2018, 15 Jan 2021)

Was this dictum helpful?

THE COURT IS TO CONSIDER DEFENCES FOR THE ACCUSED

In criminal trial, not only must the defences of the accused be considered, the Court is bound to consider the defences available to the accused which the accused himself did not raise, especially where the accused is facing a trial in which his life is at stake. See Nwankwoala v. The State (2006) 14 NWLR (Pt. 1000) 663; Adebayo v. The Republic (1962) NWLR 391; Akpabio v. The State (1994) 7 NWLR (Pt. 359) 653; Oguntolu v. The State (1996) 2 NWLR (Pt. 432) 503; Malam Zakari Ahmed v. The State (1999) 7 NWLR (Pt. 612) 641 at 679 and 681.

— P.A. Galinje JSC. Onuwa Kalu v. The State (SC.474/2011, 13 Apr 2017)

Was this dictum helpful?

FAILURE OF ACCUSED TO INFORM COURT HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH

The fact that the accused does not understand the language in which the trial is being conducted is a fact well known to the accused and it is for him or his counsel to take the initiative of bringing it to the notice of the Court at the earliest opportunity. If he does not claim the right at the proper time before any damage is done, he may not be able to have a valid complaint afterwards, for example on appeal. Where the accused person refuses to inform the Court that he does not understand English Language, it will be too late for him to seek protection under Section 36(6)(e) of the Constitution to have his conviction set aside through the backdoor.

– A. Jauro JSC. Balogun v. FRN (2021)

Was this dictum helpful?

ONUS ON SUSPECT TO PROVE TORTURE AND OPPRESSION

An area that has to be cleared in the proof of the voluntariness of an extra-judicial statement or that it was involuntarily made, is that while the burden to establish that the statement was voluntarily made rests on the prosecution, the burden of proving any particular fact such as the allegation of torture and oppression regarding the confessional statement lies on the party so asserting which in this case is the appellant.

– M. Peter-Odili JSC. Berende v. FRN (2021)

Was this dictum helpful?

No more related dictum to show.