"Although the Appellant has retracted his confessional statement the trial court was right in examining the retracted confessional statement in order to see if it is consistent with other evidence called by the prosecution in proof of the offences charged as shown at pages 561 – 562 of the Record. This is in conformity with the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in Okinlawo VState (2015) NWLR (Part 1489) 445 at 480 Paragraphs A – D when the Apex Court held that where the defendant retracts confessional statement attributed to him the court is expected to test its truthfulness and veracity by examining the said statement in the light of other credible available evidence by looking into whether:-
a)There is anything outside it to show that it is true
b)It is corroborated
c)Facts in it are true as can be tested
d)The accused person’s confession is possible
e)The confession is consistent with other facts as contained and proved at the trial.
-PER A. M. BAYERO, J.C.A IN SANUSI IBRAHIM VS FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA CA/ YL/193C/2017 LEGALPEDIA ELECTRONIC CITATION:LERCA/ YL/193C/2017
The Prosecution’s case at the Federal High Court was that on 21st March, 2012, the operatives of the NDLEA Adamawa State Command, Yola went for an operation in Loko village Song Local Government of Adamawa State, to arrest the Appellant and other illicit drug dealers in narcotic drugs after surveillance and intelligence gathering.
That the Appellant and others on getting wind of the operation, mobilized youths for a mob action to resist arrest.
The mob attacked the operatives with dangerous weapons that resulted in the death of two operatives of NDLEA, and that it was only with the combined efforts of the military that the mob was dispersed and the Appellant (the 6th Defendant) and other Defendants were arrested. While the Appellant in his defence stated that on the date of the incidence even though he was in Loko and heard of the fight in the town, he was not at the scene of the incident but at home sick with his mother when some persons ran into their house being chased by soldiers and as a result of this that he was arrested by the soldiers inside the house while his mother protested that he was sick. He was put into the NDLEA vehicle and brought to Yola, where the officers of NDLEA beat him up but he did not make any formal statement to the officers of the NDLEA.
At the end of trial, the court convicted and sentenced the Appellant to a prison term of twenty years for conspiracy and another term of twenty years for obstructing the NDLEA officers from carrying out their lawful duties as a result of which two officers lost their lives and two others seriously injured; both sentences are to run concurrently.
Dissatisfied with the trial court’s decision, the Appellant has appealed to this Court contending that the trial court evaluated and considered only the Respondent’s evidence and reached its conclusion by convicting and sentencing the Appellant to twenty years imprisonment without considering the evidence adduced by the Appellant, hence the said judgment should be set aside.