CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT- CONDITIONS UPON WHICH AN ACCUSED PERSON CAN BE CONVICTED ON A RETRACTED CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT
"More often than not, accused persons as in this case resile or retract from their confession during the trial. Be that as it may, the position of the law is that where an extra judicial confession has been proved and established to have been made voluntarily, and it is positive and unequivocal and amounts to an admission of guilt, such confession will suffice to ground a finding of fact regardless of the fact that the maker resiles therefrom or retracts it all together at the trial. Where an accused person resiles from a confessional statement made by him, the statement may still remain voluntary and admissible in evidence. His conviction upon the said statement will depend on the following conditions.
1. Whether there is anything outside the confession to show that the statement is true,
2. Whether it is corroborated,
3. Whether the statement made in it of fact are true as far as they can be tested.
4. Whether the accused had the opportunity to commit the offence.
5. Whether it is consistent with other facts which have been ascertained and have been proved.
The fact that an accused has retracted a confessional statement does not mean that the Court cannot act upon it or is inadmissible. More often than not, it is very usual for an accused person to retract, deny or resile during his triad in the Court from the extra judicial statement he had earlier made to the police immediately after the event giving rise to the charge or arraignment against him. In such a situation, it behoves the accused to impeach his earlier statement and the Court is to test the veracity of that statement with other facts and circumstance outside the statement in order to see whether they support, confirm or correspond with the said statement. I am of the view that there is sufficient evidence outside the confessional statement of the Respondent to make it probable that the statement is true. See Per Okoro, JSC in State V. Sa’idu (207 9) LPELR-47397(SC)-
PER U. M. A. AJI, J.S.C IN ISSA BIO VS THE STATE Suit no:SC.475/2017
Legalpedia Electronic Citation: (2020)Legalpedia (SC) 31976
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