WAYS OF PROVING GUILT OF AN ACCUSED PERSON
The age-long golden thread of the onus of Prosecution to prove its case against an accused person beyond reasonable doubt is very much firm and intact. In the Nigerian legal atmosphere, Section 135 of the Evidence Act, 2011 has given statutory imprimatur to this. The question that comes to mind is how can this burden or onus be successfully carried out?
This question has been answered by the Courts at different hierarchy. The only potent way is to prove the guilt of the accused person. The guilt of an accused person can however be proved in any of the following ways as the Court of Appeal pronounced in the case of SANUSI IBRAHIM VS FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA: LERCA/ YL/193C/2017 as follows:
“The guilt of an accused person can be proved by:
a) The confessional statement of the accused person or
b) Circumstantial evidence; or
c) Evidence of the witness of the crime.”
Thus, the guilt of an accused person could be proved principally by the 3 means. It could be by confession. i.e if the accused confesses to the crime. It could also be proved by the testimonies of eyewitnesses that saw the occurrence of the crime.
Lastly, it can be proved by circumstantial evidence i.e circumstances surrounding the occurrence of the crime. For instance, fingerprint, hair strands, DNA etc. of the accused found at the crime scene or weapon used for the crime.
Visit http://www.lawaxis360degree.com for more series and to drop comments.
Please be informed that the information provided on Law Axis 360° (the “Platform”) are not meant to be legal advice. The content provided by the Platform are for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice, and you should not rely on it as an outline of your obligations, duties or rights in respect of any issue. Any entity does not accept any liability in relation to your use or reliance on the information provided by the Platform.