CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – IDENTIFICATION PARADE – Principles of law as regards identification parade


“Identification parade is not a sine qua non for identification in all cases where there is other evidence leading conclusively to the identity of the perpetrators of the offence – seeIkemson V. State (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt. 110) 455 SC, wherein this Court held that an identification parade is only essential in the following situations: – Where the victim of the crime did not know the accused before; – Where the victim was confronted by the offender for a very short time; and – Where the victim, due to time and circumstances, might not have had the opportunity of observing the features of the Accused Person. The essence of an identification parade is therefore to enable an eyewitness, who never knew the person accused of the crime before, to pick him out from amongst other people – see Adebayo V. State (2014) LPELR-22988(SC). See also the case of Alufohai V. The State (2014) LPELR-24215(SC), wherein this Court per Ariwoola, JSC, very aptly explained as follows – “It is trite law that identification parade is only necessary whenever there is doubt as to the ability of a victim to recognize the suspect, who carried out or participated in carrying out the crime alleged or where the identity of the said suspect or an Accused person is in dispute. But where there is certainty or no dispute as to the identity of the perpetrator of a crime, there will be no need for an identification parade to further identify the offender.” In other words, an identification parade becomes a necessity when there is a need to establish the identity of a suspect. But there are many cases where an identification parade is of no use whatsoever in the scheme of things, such as when a suspect is arrested at the scene of the crime; when the suspect is well-known to the victim or witness, and when evidence adduced is sufficient to establish that the suspect is, indeed, the person that committed the crime – see Moses Jua V. State (2010) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1184) 217 SC, Bassey Akpan Archibong V. State (2006) 14 NWLR (Pt. 1000) 349 SC and Theophilus Eyisi (Alias Sunday Eyisi) & 2 Ors. V. State (2000) 15 NWLR (Pt. 691) 555 SC.” Per AMINA ADAMU AUGIE, JSC in UTTO v. STATE (2021-LCER-40501-SC) (Pp 33 – 35; Paras A – A)

Add to LawKit (0)