EVIDENCE – CONTRADICTION IN EVIDENCE – Instance of non-material contradiction


“…The substance in the instant case is that Mr. Evans Chinwo (the deceased) is dead and that his death was caused by being stabbed in the stomach by the Appellant. The evidence of both PW1 and PW2 captured these facts and even the Appellant admitted to stabbing the deceased in exhibit 8, 9 and 12 and during his cross-examination at page 108 of the record. The precise time the incident took place and posture of the deceased at the time he was stabbed in my view are not material. In the case of Jimmy v State (2013) 18 NWLR (pt 1386) 229 relied on by the Appellant, Fabiyi, JSC observed at page 253 B – C as follows:- “It must be pointed out that the contradiction in the evidence of the prosecution that will be fatal must be substantial. Minor or miniature contradiction which did not affect the credibility of witnesses or which did not touch on any of the ingredients of the offence charged will not be of any moment. Contradiction must relate to substance, in the man. Trivial contradiction should not vitiate a trial. See Ankwa v The State (1969) 1 All NLR 133 (1969) 1 SCNLR 197; lyanda v Queen (1960) SCNLR 595; Omisade v Queen (1964) 1 All NLR 233, Sele v The State (1993) 1 SCNJ15 at 22 – 23, (1993) 1 NWLR (pt269) 276″ ?Following from the above therefore, I agree with the findings of the two lower Courts that the contradictions in the prosecution’s case pointed out by the Appellant are not substantial and have no effect to the core of the case.” Per JOHN INYANG OKORO, JSC in WOWEM v. STATE (2021-LCER-40502-SC) (Pp 37 – 38; Paras D – F)

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