CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – DEFENCE/PLEA OF ALIBI – Duty of an accused person who raises the defence of alibi to give particulars of his whereabouts at the time the offence was committed; effect of the prosecution adducing evidence which fixes the accused at the scene of crime

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“An accused person who pleads alibi must of necessity furnish sufficient particulars of some. He must therefore explain his whereabout and those present with him at the material time. He must not raise the defence at large but must give adequate particulars of his whereabout at the time of the commission of the offence to assist the police to make a meaningful investigation of the Alibi. See FABIAN NWATURUOCHA VS THE STATE (2011) 6 NWLR (PT.1242) 170. However, where the evidence of prosecution witnesses specifically and unequivocally pins down an accused person to the scene of the crime and says that he committed the offence, failure to investigate the Alibi by the police will not result in an acquittal of the accused person. In other words, if the prosecution adduces sufficient evidence to fix the accused at the scene of the crime at the material time, notwithstanding his claim that he was somewhere else, surely his alibi is thereby logically and physically demolished. See MICHAEL HAUSA VS THE STATE (1994) 7-8 SCNJ 144; EMMANUEL EBRI VS THE STATE (2004) 5 SCM. 48.” Per SAMUEL CHUKWUDUMEBI OSEJI, JSC in UTTO v. STATE (2021-LCER-40501-SC) (Pp 19 – 19; Paras A – F)

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