CONTRADICTION IN THE PROSECUTION’S CASE – NATURE OF CONTRADICTION OR DISCREPANCIES IN THE PROSECUTION’S CASE THAT WOULD ENTITLE AN ACCUSED PERSON TO AN ACQUITTAL  

 

Admin2
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 79
14/10/2019 10:44 am  
"It is the law that where there are minor variations in the evidence of witnesses which are not material or substantial, it goes to no issue and would be considered as different versions or descriptions of the same event.  The important thing is that the account given by the different witnesses boil down to the same thing, in this case, the active participation of the appellant at the scene and the particular role he played in conspiracy with others and actually obstructed the NDLEA officers who were on their lawful duty.  It is not in all cases where there are discrepancies or contradictions in the prosecution’s case that an accused person would be entitled to an acquittal.  But, where the contradictions or discrepancies are on material points in the prosecution’s case which create doubt, then the accused person would be entitled to benefit there from. Minor differences/discrepancies cannot be fatal to the case of the prosecution. In this case whether the appellant was seen sitting in the starlet car getting away from the scene after the incident or obstructed and participated in the attack and then got away from the scene with the starlet car, it is immaterial.  The important thing is that he was at the scene, participated in obstructing the NDLEA officers from performing their lawful duty along with others, got away with the starlet car and was later arrested.  He thereafter confessed to the role he played and gave a graphic account of the incident at the scene and how the youths were mobilized for the obstruction and attack that followed.  See, Iregu Ejima Hassan Vs. The State (2016) LPELR – 42554 (SC) PP. 28-29, Paragraphs F-B, Abokokuyanro Vs. State (2016)LPELR – 40107 (SC) PP. 25 – 26, Paragraphs D-A, Oloye Vs. State (2018) LPELR – 44775 (SC) PP. 39-41, Paragraphs E-A, Gabriel Vs. The State (1989) 5 NWLR (PT 457) 468 at 469 and Jerry Ikpenikan Vs. The State (2011) 2 NWLR (PT 1229) 449". -
 
 
PER C. N. UWA, J.C.A IN NASIRU AUWALU A.K.A DAN MAKO aka  BARACK OBAMA VS FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

CA/YL/190C/17

LEGALPEDIA ELECTRONIC CITATION:LER[2019]CA/YL/190C/17


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Admin2
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 79
14/10/2019 10:47 am  

SUMMARY OF FACT:

 
 
The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Adamawa State command with their headquarters in Yola, carried out an operation to arrest illicit dealers in narcotic drugs after surveillance.  It was alleged that the Appellant mobilized others, who formed a mob, comprising of youths and others in the community to resist and frustrate their arrest.

This resulted in the attack of the NDLEA operatives by the mob including the Appellant, who were armed with dangerous weapons, which resulted in the death of two operatives of the NDLEA, while the rest escaped to seek reinforcement from a nearby military checking point. With the help of the Soldiers and the Policemen, the mob was dispersed and an arrest of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Defendants and others was made but they were later released after investigation.

The 7th Defendant who was shot on the leg by one of the NDLEA operatives was later arrested the day after the incident.  The 1st Defendant was arrested by the NDLEA operatives at Dumne and he led the security operatives to effect the arrest of some of his boys along with the 8th Defendant who was alleged to have planted cannabis at his house.

The Appellant had fled the town but was later arrested at Belel.  He was alleged to have confessed his participation in the incident to the village head of Jamatari in the Loko mob attack in which two NDLEA officers were killed. It was also alleged that 2 grammes of Diazepam and 18 grammes of Tramadol (Tramol) were found on the Appellant.

The Appellant was arraigned alongside seven (7) others on a seven-count charge, for which he pleaded not guilty. During the trial at the lower court, the Prosecution called ten (10) witnesses. Each of the Defendant testified and the defence called ten witnesses; with the 8th Defendant calling additional two witnesses. At the end of the trial, the lower court found the Appellant guilty for Conspiracy and Obstruction of officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) from carrying out their lawful duty for which he was convicted and sentenced. Dissatisfied with the decision of the trial court, the Appellant has appealed to this court.


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