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Yinusa v. State

2017] All FWLR                           Yinusa v. State                                  309

                                 ABIODUN YINUSA
                                             V
                                      THE STATE

                               COURT OF APPEAL
                               (IBADAN DIVISION)

HARUNA SIMON TSAMMANI JCA (Presided)
O. DANIEL-KALIO JCA (Read the Lead Judgment)
NONYEREM OKORONKWO JCA
                                                                                                                   CA/I/60C/2011
                                                                                             MONDAY, 21 MARCH 2016
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Contradictory evidence
                        on a material element - Basing conviction of a capital
                       offence on - Impropriety of
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Exhibits - Need for court
                      to ascribe probative value to - Consequence of failure to
                      so do
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Material contradictions
                       - When prosecution’s case is flawed with - Need for court
                         to resolve doubt in accused’s favour
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Standard of proof in
     criminal proceedings - Proof beyond reasonable doubt                                                                  as - Duty on judge to ensure strict adherence to
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Trial within trial - Conduct
                of in a criminal proceeding - Condition necessitating
EVIDENCE - Contradictory evidence on a material element -
                   Basing conviction of a capital offence on - Impropriety of
EVIDENCE - Exhibits in criminal trials - Need for court to
                  ascribe probative value to - Consequence of failure to so
                      do
EVIDENCE - Material contradictions - When prosecution’s case
                     is flawed with - Need for court to resolve doubt in
                        accused’s favour
EVIDENCE - Material contradictions in evidence - Duty on court
                  in resolving
EVIDENCE - Standard of proof in criminal proceedings - Proof
                    beyond reasonable doubt as - Duty on judge to ensure
                   strict adherence to
EVIDENCE - Trial within trial - Conduct of in a criminal
                   proceeding - Condition necessitating
JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Final order of court - Permanent
                       nature of - Appeal as only option to upturn
JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Perverse finding - Definition of
MAXIM - ‘Actore non probante absolivitur’ - Meaning of
MAXIM - ‘Actum ne agas’ - Meaning of                                                                                 MAXIM - ‘Allegans contraria non est audiendus’ - Meaning of
MAXIM - ‘Dare pondus fume’ - Meaning of
MAXIM - ‘In criminalibus probationes debent esse luce
                    clariores’ - Meaning of
WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Functus officio’ - Meaning of
WORDS AND PHRASES - Perverse finding - Definition of


Issues:
1. Whether the release of certain exhibits on bond and
eventual sale by PW3 was right;
2. Whether the lower court was right to have conducted
trial-within-trial twice in the circumstances of this case
and whether exhibit 1 was rightly admitted and relied
upon by the lower court; and,
3. Whether the prosecution proved the offence of
conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed
robbery against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.


Facts:
            The appellant and another accused person were charged with
the offences of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed
robbery which they allegedly effected on one Titus Okoye whom
they robbed of the sum of N230,000 (two hundred and thirty
thousand naira), precious stones and other valuables while armed
with a gun and a cutlass. These offences were allegedly committed
contrary to the provisions of the Robbery and Firearms (Special
Provisions) Act, Cap. 398, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria,
1990. Sections 5(b) and 1(2) (a); punishable under section 1(2)
of the same act. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. The matter
proceeded to trial, and the trial court had to conduct two trial
within trial to determine the voluntariness of the appellant’s                                                    confessional statement to the police. The court found that the
statement was not voluntary as the appellant was evidenced to
have been shot in the leg by the police before his assent to the
statement. The court stated that the statement was not admissible
but was not in possession of the statement to mark same as
provided by the Evidence Act, section 28. The prosecution’s case
on identity of the appellant as the culprit of the crime was also
riddled with material contradictions. The court was deceived into
receiving the disputed statement in evidence when the prosecution
finally presented it to the court.
                   The court in its judgment found the appellant guilty as
charged. He was convicted and sentenced to death.
                  Aggrieved, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.