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Raji v. State

MUKAILA RAJI

V

THE STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( AKURE DIVISION )

MOJEED A. OWOADE JCA ( Presided )

MOHAMMED A. DANJUMA JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

JAMES S. ABIRIYI JCA

CA/AK/219C/2013

AK/900/2012

MONDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2014

APPEAL - Evaluation of evidence and assessment of credibility of witnesses - Primary duty of trial court to undertake

COURT - Speculation - Where engages in - Impropriety of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement - Where positive and direct - Sufficiency of grounding conviction Corroboration of - Desirability of

EVIDENCE - Evaluation of evidence and assessment of credibility of witnesses - Primary duty of trial court to undertake

JUSTICE - Substantial justice - Duty on court to do and avoid technicalities

Issue:

Whether the trial court was right in law when it admitted and acted upon the extra judicial confession (exhibit A4) of the appellant to convict and sentence him on the charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery.

Facts:

The appellant and three other accused persons were alleged to have robbed one Dr. Obanoyen while armed with guns and offensive weapons, dispossessing him of his valuables. One of the handset stolen was subsequently found on the first accused. They were therefore, arraigned in the High Court of Ondo State on a three-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery and receiving stolen property, contrary to and punishable under sections 1 and 5 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, 2004.

The appellant, third and fourth accused persons, were found guilty of conspiracy and armed robbery and sentenced accordingly, while the first accused was found guilty of receiving stolen property. Not satisfied, the appellant filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal, contending that the trial court improperly relied on the appellant’s confessional statement to convict him.