➥ CASE SUMMARY OF:
Isa Kassim v. The State (2017) – SC
by “PipAr” Branham-Paul C. Chima.
Supreme Court – SC.361/2015
➥ JUDGEMENT DELIVERED ON:
Friday, the 30th day of June, 2017
➥ AREA(S) OF LAW
Admissibility of document;
Certified true copy;
➥ PRINCIPLES OF LAW
⦿ DECISION OF COURT WHICH APPEARS SUBSTANTIALLY REGULAR IS PRESUMED TO BE CORRECT
The duty of every appellant is to show and or establish that the decision he has appealed was wrong or unreasonable. Every decision of a Court of law, a judicial act, done in a manner substantially regular is presumed to be correct and that formal requisites for its validity were complied with. The presumption of regularity under Section 167(1) of the Evidence Act, 2011 is all about this. — E. Eko, JSC.
⦿ TENDERING OF ORIGINAL DOCUMENT
By the combined effect of Sections 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 102 and 103 of the Evidence Act, 2011, documents (Public or Private) may be produced in Court by tendering either the original of the document itself or the copy thereof known as secondary evidence: but a party relying on secondary evidence of a public document must produce the certified true copy and no other copy thereof is admissible. — C.B. Ogunbiyi, JSC.
➥ LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
Ejembi Eko, J.S.C
⦿ FOR THE APPELLANT
Wilson D. Diriwari, Esq.
⦿ FOR THE RESPONDENT
I. Oladumoye, Esq.
➥ CASE FACT/HISTORY
The appellant was tried and convicted for culpable homicide punishable with death under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law of Kano State. Among the pieces of evidence on which the trial High Court of Kano State relied on to sustain his conviction and sentence are Exhibits 1, the Medical Report and Exhibits 2 & 3 respectively the appellants extra judicial statements which are confessional in nature. His conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Court of Appeal; hence this further appeal.
➥ ISSUE(S) & RESOLUTION(S)
I. Whether Exhibits 1, 2, & 3 are inadmissible in law for failing to satisfy the requirements and conditions for their admissibility evidence under the relevant provisions of the Evidence Act, 2011?
RULING: IN RESPONDENT’S FAVOUR.
A. THAT THE PRODUCTION OF ORIGINAL COPY IS ADMISSIBLE IN LAW
“I do not think it is illegal, in view of Sections 83, 85 and 88 of the Evidence Act, for the contents of a public document to be proved by the production of the original copy of the document, in its primary state, for the inspection of the Court.”
“Now, what really is the essence of the demand for a certified true copy of a public document I think, and in agreement with Adekeye, JSC, in GODWILL & TRUST INVESTMENT LIMITED v. WITT & BUSH LIMITED (2011) 8 NWLR 500; (2011) LPELR – 1333 (SC), the essence of demanding for a certified true copy of a public document is the assurance of the authenticity of the document vis-a-vis the original. And so why go for that assurance in the certified true copy vis-a-vis the original, when the original is available And so, when the cap is in the market, the head is also in the market; there is no further need to take the cap home from the market in order to test it on the head. I, therefore, agree with the Court below that where the original copy of a document is available, it is admissible without the requirement of certification. See DAGGASH v. BULAMA (2004) 14 NWLR (pt. 892) 144.”
II. Whether respondent has proved the guilt of the Appellant beyond reasonable doubt with cogent, credible and compelling evidence required by law?
RULING: IN RESPONDENT’S FAVOUR.
A. THAT THE GUILT OF THE APPELLANT WAS PROVED BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT
“The description of the position of the stab wound is consistent with the description in Exhibit 1 and the evidence of the DW.1, the appellant. From the chain of events, and it was rapid too, the deceased died as a result of the stab wound on the shoulder area at the back. The deceased was stabbed at about 4.30pm on 15th January, 2009 according to PW.1 and PW.2. The deceased was rushed to the hospital immediately. He died at about 6.30p.m that day, just about 2 hours after the attack by the deceased. Even without medical expert evidence it can be inferred that the cause of death of the deceased was the direct result of the unlawful act of the appellant that is the stabbing of the deceased by the appellant. No other reasonable cause has been suggested to be the cause of death of the deceased. There was no intervening period within the short time between the stabbing and the death of the deceased that was just about two hours in between. I have no difficulty inferring that the act of the appellant caused the death of the deceased.”
“Coming as I do to this conclusion it is my view that in this appeal it cannot be said that the guilt of the appellant was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. Each ingredient of the offence charged under Section 221(b) of the Penal Code Law of Kano State has been established satisfactorily. I cannot fault the concurrent findings of fact.”
“There is no substance in this appeal. The appeal is accordingly dismissed. The conviction and sentence of the appellant by the trial Court in the charge No. K/19c/2012, which conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Court of Appeal in its judgment delivered in the appeal No. CA/K/162/2012 on 20th March, 2015 are further affirmed. Appeal dismissed.”
➥ MISCELLANEOUS POINTS
➥ REFERENCED (CASE)
➥ REFERENCED (OTHERS)