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ENDURANCE MATTHEW v. THE STATE

(2018) JELR 33446 (SC)

Supreme Court  •  SC.321/2013  •  26 Jan 2018  •  Nigeria

Coram
MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD JSC; KUMAI BAYANG AKA'AHS JSC; JOHN INYANG OKORO JSC; CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE JSC; EJEMBI EKO JSC;

Judgement

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): On January 24, 2007, the appellant (as accused person) was arraigned before the High Court of Delta State, Ughelli Judicial Division, for the offence of murder punishable under Section 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 48, Vol 11, 1976 Laws of Bendel State, applicable to Delta State.

Upon his not guilty plea, the case went to trial. The Prosecution's case was woven around the testimonies of three witnesses. Exhibit A was the statement which the accused person (now, appellant) volunteered at the Police Station. The thrust of the case against the appellant was that, on January 26, 2006, at Ekrenhavwe Village, she threw her one-month old baby, Omonefe Oviefe, into a well where she drowned.

The accused person's challenge to the voluntariness of exhibit 'A' prompted a trial-within-trial wherein the Judge, Ohwo, J (as he then was), finding in favour of its voluntariness, admitted it in evidence. Believing the testimony of PW1 and e…

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