Thursday, April 2, 2020

R. V. Itule(1961) 1 All N.L.R 462


The appellant was found guilty on a charge murder and sentence to death. The evidence against him was that he harked the deceased to death with a matchet. On his arrest, the appellant made statements to the police to the effect that he killed the deceased under circumstances which if true, would amount to provocation and hence manslaughter. The next day, the appellant denied his earlier statement and rather assert that he had nothing to do with the death of the deseased. He also made the same assertion in his trial. The trial judge in his judgement, referred to the earlier statement as having been retracted. Hence it was argued for the accused that the trial judge's refusal to consider the question of provocation alledge In the appellant's first statement to the police amounted to a miscarriage of justice.

The court held: (1) A confession does not become inadmissible merely because the accused denied having made it: (2) The failure of the trial judge to consider the allegation of provocation contain in the appellant first statement amounted to miscarriage of justice.


Quote: "As to whether the part of a conference which tells in an accused person's favour is evidence of the fact alledged, the position at common law is that "it is general rule that the whole of the account which a party gives of a transaction must be taken be together: and his admission of a fact disadvantageous to himself shall not be received, without receiving at the same time his contemporaneous assertion of a fact favourable to him, not merely as evidence that he made such an assertion, but admissible evidence of the matter allege by him in his discharge. This matter is not dealt with expressly in sections 27 to 32 of the evidence ordinance, and the common law therefore applies by virtue of section 5(a) The rule that a statement admission as a confession must be taken as whole is based principle of logic and justice."


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