EVIDENCE – DYING DECLARATION – Meaning of a dying declaration and instance where the rule applicable to dying declaration will be inapplicable


“…The argument that the confession by Madam Onaiwu is a dying declaration which ought to be admitted and acted upon is unacceptable. A dying declaration is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary 6th Edition as statement made by a person who believed he is about to die in reference to the manner in which he received the injuries of which he is dying, or other cause of his death, and in reference to the person who inflicted such injuries or the connection with such injuries of a person who is charged or suspected of having committed them. Generally, the admissibility of such declarations is limited to use in prosecutions for homicide. However, in prosecution for homicide or in civil action, a statement made by declarant while believing that his death was imminent, concerning the cause or circumstances of what he believed to be his impending death is not excluded by the hearsay rule. In the instant case, the statement was not made in reference to the cause of the declarant’s death and so the rule applicable to dying declaration is inapplicable in the circumstances of this case.” per GALUMJE, J.S.C. in SGT. STEPHEN IDAHOSA v. CHRISTOPHER IDAHOSA (2020-LCER-39164-SC) at p. 26 – p. 27

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