BEST LAW REPORT SUBSCRIPTION PRICE!!

  • Commissioner of Police v. Ude
  • 642
  • 2012-09-17
  • ₦ 200
  • Buy Now

Commissioner of Police v. Ude

COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

V

DONATUS UDE

COURT OF APPEAL

( ENUGU DIVISION )

ABDU ABOKI JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

AYOBODE OLUJIMI LOKULO-SODIPE JCA

SAMUEL CHUKWUDUMEBI OSEJI JCA

CA/E/200/2007

THURSDAY, 23 DECEMBER 2010

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement - Relevancy of against its maker only - Exception to

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement -

Verification of before superior officers - Desirability of -Where not complied with - Proper approach of court thereto

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement - Voluntariness of - Where challenged - Proper step court should take - Guiding principles for

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Crime - Allegation of - Proof of -  Standard of proof placed on prosecution for

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Guilt - Proof of - Irrelevance of suspicion as

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Stealing - Offence of - What prosecution must prove to establish

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Witnesses - Needlessness of prosecution calling every witness - Duty on to call material witness

Issues:

  1. Whether the charge of stealing was established or proven against the respondent beyond reasonable doubt and whether the High Court was right in discharging and acquitting the respondent.
  2. Whether there were material inconsistencies or contradictions in the prosecution’s case to create the alleged doubt upon which the appellate High Court discharged and acquitted the respondent.

Facts:

The 1st accused person was a staff of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu State. He was arrested alongside some other persons for breaking into the hospital laboratory and stealing some microscopes. They were therefore arraigned in the Magistrate Court of Enugu State on a sixcount charge of conspiracy to commit a felony, breaking and entering the laboratory of UNTH with intent to commit a felony, breaking out of the laboratory store and stealing 10 microscopes therefrom, punishable under sections 495(a), 380(a) and (b) and 353(12) of the Criminal Code respectively. The 1st accused person was found guilty and convicted while some other accused persons were discharged and acquitted. Aggrieved, the 1st accused person appealed to the High Court of Enugu State in its appellate jurisdiction where  the appeal was allowed and the accused person was discharged and acquitted. Also aggrieved, the prosecution appealed to the Court of Appeal.

In determination of the appeal, the Court of Appeal considered the following statutes:

Evidence Act, section 138:

138(1)  If the commission of a crime by a party to any proceedings  is directly in issue in any proceeding civil or criminal, it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

  1. The burden of proving that any person has been guilty of a crime or wrongful act, is subject to the provisions of section 141 of the Act, on the person who asserts it, whether the commission of such act is or is not directly in issue in the action.
  2. If the prosecution proved the commission of a crime beyond reasonable doubt, the burden of proving reasonable doubt is shifted on the accused. Evidence Act, section 149(d):

149. The court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regards being had to the common cause of material events, human conduct and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case, and in particular, the court may presume:

  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. that evidence which could be and is not produced would, if produced, be unfavourable to the person who withheld it.
  5. ...