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CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT – WHETHER A PLEA OF NON EST FACTUM AMOUNTS TO A RETRACTION OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT

 

 Anonymous
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"It is noteworthy to stress that the terms "retraction" "resile from" have been used interchangeably in most decisions with the pleas of non-est factum. This is misleading since a statement must first be shown to have been made before it can be said to have been retracted by its maker for where the very making of the statement is in issue, the retraction cannot arise at that stage. It is in this wise that I agree that where an accused person sets up a defence of non-est factum in relation to a confessional statement what he has done is not a retraction but a denial of the making of the statement. No finding  was made by the two Courts below on the issue of fact as to whether the Appellants made the statements. The application therefore of the rule in Oladejo v. The State  (1987) 3 NWLR (Pt. 61) 419 and Asanya v. The State (1991) 3 NWLR (Pt. 480) 422, two cases that have been overruled, was therefore prejudicial to the Appellants whose conviction ought not to be allowed to stand. See Egboghonome v. The State(1993) 7 NWLR (Pt. 306) 383. -PER A. O. LOKULO-SODIPE, J.C.A

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