On the absence of an illiterate jurat, assuming the Appellant is an illiterate and his statement was recorded in English language by PW2, the Courts have always accepted such statements without the need for an illiterate jurat. See OLALEKAN VS STATE (2001) 18 NWLR (PT 746) 793. The rationale for this is that one of the major essence of the provisions of the Illiterates Protection Law is to ensure that the person who made the document on behalf of the illiterate is identifiable and traceable so that where there exists a doubt or there is a denial as to the correct statements that were made by an illiterate in a document, the writer would be traced to show whether the contents of the document represented the veracity of what the illiterate asserted. See EDOKPOLO & CO LTD VS OHENHEN (1994) 7 NWLR (PT.858) 511, FATUNBI VS OLANLOYE (2004) 6-7 SC 68. Furthermore, the Illiterates Protection Law avails an illiterate in civil causes and in respect of documents recorded by another at his instance. Where the document creates legal rights and the writer benefits thereunder, the law sets in to protect the illiterate from any fraud by requiring the writer to comply with its requirements. Basically, compliance with the law is in respect of civil matters and the emphasis is on protection of an illiterate in respect of execution of documents which may have the effect of compromising his civil rights and obligations. A statement made to a police officer by a suspect in the course of investigation does not fall within the protection of Illiterates Protection Law, as the statement does not involve the civil rights or obligations of either the accused or the police officer. Hence, based on the foregoing postulations, the Illiterates Protection Law does not apply to statements recorded in criminal cases by the police.

– Adamu Jauro, JSC. Enabeli v. State (2021)

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