CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – IDENTIFICATION PARADE – When identification parade will/will not be necessary


“While it is true that an identification parade is a very useful tool in ascertaining the true identity of anyone accused of committing a crime, it is not in every situation that an identification parade must be held. It depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. An identification parade is only necessary when there is doubt as to the ability of the victim to recognize the suspect or where his identity is in dispute. See: Alufohai v. State (2015) All FWLR (Pt. 765) 198, (2015) 3 NWLR (Pt. 1445) 172 at 191 – 192 H.A, (2014) 12 SCM (Pt. 2) 122; Ogoala v The State (supra); Okiemute v. The State (2016) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1535) 297; (2016) LPELR – 40639 (SC). The Courts are guided by certain factors in determining whether or not an identification parade is necessary. It will not be necessary in the following circumstances where: (a) There is a clear and un-contradicted eye-witness account and identification of the person who allegedly committed the crime; (b) The witness knew the accused previously; (c) The defendant is linked to the offences by convincing, cogent and compelling evidence; and (d) The accused in his confessional statement identified himself with the crime. On the other hand, an identification parade would be necessary where: (a) The victim did not know the accused before and his first acquaintance with him was during the commission of the offence; (b) The victim or witness was confronted by the offender for a very short time; or (c) The victim, due to time and circumstances, might not have had the opportunity of observing the features of the accused. See: Okiemute v. The State (supra).” Per KEKERE-EKUN, J.S.C. in ATTO MABA v. THE STATE (2020-LCER-39168-SC) at p. 21 – p. 22

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