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Dibie vs. State

GOLDEN DIBIE

FRIDAY IYAMAH

GODFREY UJOMU

V

THE STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN DIVISION )

RABIU D. MUHAMMAD JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

MUHAMMAD SAIFULLAHI MUNTAKA-COOMASSIE JCA

PATRICK IBE AMAIZU JCA

CA/B/143/2002

MONDAY, 28TH JUNE, 2004

APPEAL - Issues raised therein - Appellant’s failure to proffer argument in respect of - Consequence of

COURT - Appellate court - Attitude of to conviction founded on confessional statement alone

COURT - Criminal proceedings - Conviction upon evidence of one witness - Propriety of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Armed robbery - Charge for What prosecution must prove to sustain

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Arraignment of accused person -  Validity of - Requirements necessary for

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Burden of proof in criminal proceedings - Who bears

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Charge -  Requirement that trial court records that charge was read over and explained to accused person to its satisfaction - Whether mandatory


CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Charge - Interpretation of to an accused person - When the need for will not arise

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement -

Conviction founded thereon - Attitude of appellate court to

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement - Truth of - Test for determining

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement of an accused person - Conviction founded on - Propriety of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement of coaccused persons - When can be evidence against an accused person

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Contradiction in evidence of prosecution witness - When will affect conviction

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Contradiction of conflict which will be fatal to prosecutions case - Nature of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Conviction upon the evidence of one witness - Propriety of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Offensive weapon - What qualifies an object to be

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Proof beyond reasonable doubt -  Meaning of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Voluntary confessional statement -  Retraction of - Whether renders same inadmissible or worthless

EVIDENCE -  Burden of proof - Burden to prove the guilt of accused persons in criminal cases - Who bears

EVIDENCE - Confessional statement of an accused person -  Where conviction founded on - Propriety of

EVIDENCE - Contradiction in evidence - When exists

EVIDENCE - Voluntary confessional statement - Retraction of - Whether renders same inadmissible or worthless

EVIDENCE - Witness - Evidence of one witness - Whether court can convict upon

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Contradiction’ - Meaning of

WORDS AND PHRASES - Proof beyond reasonable doubt - Meaning of

Issues:

1.              Whether the entire trial was not a nullity.

2.              Whether the learned trial Judge was right in holding that the contradictions in the case of the prosecution were mere discrepancies.

3.              Whether the learned trial Judge was right in convicting the 1 st accused/appellant on the alleged confessional statement of the 2nd and 3rd accused persons.

4.              Whether the learned trial Judge was right when she held that what looked like a pistol is firearm when there was no such evidence before her.

5.              Whether the case was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

6.              Whether the 2nd and 3rd accused/appellants were properly linked with the offence as charged.

Facts:

The appellants were charged to court on a two count charge of conspiracy to rob and armed robbery punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Decree, 1984 as amended. In the particulars of offence, it was stated that the appellants, on or about the 21st day of August 1996, conspired with one another to commit armed robbery and that on the same date the appellants, while armed with a locally made pistol robbed one Mrs. Florence Iyamah of the sum of four thousand naira.

At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court found the appellants guilty as charged and sentenced them to death by hanging or firing squard.

Aggrieved with the judgment, the appellants appealed to the Court of Appeal.