ABUBAKAR v. THE STATE (2017)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 8th day of June, 2017

CA/J/178C/2014

Before Their Lordships

UCHECHUKWU ONYEMENAM Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
HABEEB ADEWALE OLUMUYIWA ABIRU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
ELFRIEDA OLUWAYEMISI WILLIAMS-DAWODU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

USMAN ABUBAKAR –Appellant

AND

THE STATE –Respondent

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ELFRIEDA OLUWAYEMISI WILLIAMS-DAWODU, J.C.A.(Delivering the Leading Judgment): The Judgment of the Bauchi State High Court delivered by Hon. Justice A. H. Suleiman on November 22nd 2013, wherein, the Appellant was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, is the subject matter of this appeal.

At the Court below, as contained in the printed Record before this Court, the Appellant faced a three Count charge as follows:
COUNT 1
That you Usman Abubakar Male, 32 year (sic) old, Civil Servant of General Hospital Kirfi, in Kirfi Local Government of Bauchi State, which (sic) the jurisdiction of the Hon. Court, on 05/02/2012 at about 0800hrs or there about at a spot along Kirfi-Zamani Road, you used a hoe to hit a 60 year old woman Maman Suleh Mahmud and also used the hoe to cut her legs, which resulted in her instant death, and thereby committed an offence punishable underSection 221 of the Penal Code Law of Bauchi State, Cap. 108 Vol. 3 Laws of Bauchi State.
COUNT 2
That you Usman Abubakar of the same particulars as in Court (sic) 1, above on the same date and at about the same time or there about at chelechi you 
used the same hoe and hit one blind man in (sic) person of Chindo Makaho Dewu, as a result of which he fell down unconscious, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 229 of the Penal Code, of Bauchi State, CAP. 108, Laws of Bauchi State Vol. 3 (2007).
COUNT 3
That you Usman Abubakar of the same particulars as mentioned in count 1, above and on the same date and time or there about, you threatened to kill Bakuwa Madaki if she deared pass through the place you stood during which you caused fear in her, as a result of which she was not able to proceed to Zamani Village from Kirfing Kasa in Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi State, within the jurisdiction of the Hon. Court, contrary to Section 396 an (sic) punishable under Section 397 of the Penal Code, CAP. 108, Laws of Bauchi State. Vol . 3. (2007).

See pages 7-8 of the Record.

The Respondent prosecuted the case by calling seven (7) witnesses and the Appellant testified for himself in defence. The Court after close of trial, found the Appellant with no defence and guilty of culpable homicide not punishable with death under Section 224 of the Penal Code Law of Bauchi State 2007 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Being aggrieved by the judgment, the Appellant on May 13 2014, filed his Notice of Appeal dated February 17th 2014, with twelve grounds of appeal.
The relief being sought is for an order allowing the appeal and setting aside the Judgment, Conviction and Sentence of the lower Court and to discharge and acquit the Appellant.
In pursuit of this appeal, parties have in compliance with the Rules of this Court, exchanged briefs of argument. The Appellant’s brief dated February 19th 2017, was filed February 21st and was deemed as properly filed and served on February 22nd 2017. The Respondent’s brief dated March 20th 2017, was filed same date. The Appellant’s brief was settled by S. G. Idrees Esq. and the Respondent’s by M. M. Adamu Esq.
ISSUES SUBMITTED FOR DETERMINATION
APPELLANT’S ISSUES
1. Whether from the evidence adduced by the prosecution before the trial Court, a case of culpable homicide was established against the Appellant to warrant his conviction and sentence by the Court
(Grounds 1,2,3,5, 10 and 11).
2. Whether the trial judge was right in convicting the

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Appellant based on the confessional statement (Grounds 4, 7 and 9).
3. Whether from the entire evidence adduced at the trial Court the learned trial judge was right in holding that the accused person has failed to discharge the burden and or onus placed on him by law to sufficiently prove the defence of insanity (Ground 6).
RESPONDENT’S ISSUES
The Respondent adopted Issues 1 and 3 of the Appellant’s.

In determining this appeal, one is satisfied that, fairness and justice will be achieved by considering Issue 1 submitted by the Appellant as it will afford a global consideration of all the issues involved. Issue 1 is hereby adopted.
APPELLANT’S SUBMISSION
The learned Appellant’s Counsel submitted that there was insufficient evidence before the Court for the conviction and sentence of the Appellant since the Appellant denied his confessional statement. He cited in support the cases of MUSA v. STATE (2013) 9 NWLR (PT. 1359) 214 and SOWEMIMO V. STATE (2012) 2 NWLR (PT. 1284) 372. He argued that, the use of the evidence of PW5 to corroborate the Appellant’s confessional statement did not suffice as the good character of the Appellant was never an issue before the Court. That, the Appellant’s case was not an exceptional case where evidence of bad character would be admissible and cited Sections 77-82 of the Evidence Act 2011. He contended that, the Appellant was not capable of making reliable statement to be held as confessional because his thought was fragmented. That, since the rank of the said Detective Kardako who took the Appellant’s statement was not given and no evidence that there was attestation of the said statement by a Superior Police Officer, the statement should be discountenanced. He argued further that, the defence of insanity was available to the Appellant and especially with the evidence of the PW5, the said medical expert in psychiatry. Further that, the submission of the prosecution on voluntary intoxication should not have been accepted by the Court and cited the case of POPOOLA V. STATE (2013) 17 NWLR (PT. 1382) 96. In conclusion, he submitted that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the Appellant beyond reasonable doubt, that such doubt should be resolved in favour of the accused person and urged that the conviction and sentence of the Appellant be set aside.
RESPONDENT’S SUBMISSION
Opposing the position of the Appellant’s, the learned Respondent’s Counsel submitted that the prosecution adduced direct, circumstantial and real evidence to prove its case against the Appellant. That, the Appellant voluntarily got intoxicated and committed the offence as charged. He urged this Court to discountenance the submission of the learned Appellant’s Counsel on the admissibility or otherwise of the confessional statement of the Appellant. He contended that, the Appellant was not insane but voluntarily intoxicated and therefore, ought to be responsible for his acts upon being sober. In conclusion, urged that, the conviction and sentence by the Court below be affirmed.
THE COURT
ISSUE 1
Whether from the evidence adduced by the prosecution before the trial Court, a case of culpable homicide was established against the Appellant to warrant his conviction and sentence by the Court.

Where a person is accused of committing a criminal offence, the onus is always and understandably so on the prosecution, to prove the charge against the accused person beyond reasonable doubt. See Section 137 (1)

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of the Evidence Act 2011 as amended and the cases of JOSHUA ALONGE V. IGP (1959) IV FSC 203, R V. OLEDIMA & 6 ORS 6 WACA 202.

One has painstakingly gone through the gamut of the printed Record before this Court, particularly, the Judgment of the Court below in its findings and reasoning. One issue in particular which the learned Appellant’s Counsel strenuously canvassed, was the defence of insanity and that it was available to the Appellant. On the part of the Respondent, it was that of voluntary intoxication and that the Appellant’s case was rightly and properly determined on its legal consequence. It is necessary at this point to state that out of the three (3) Count charges against the Appellant, the Court discharged and acquitted the Appellant on Counts 2 and 3 and convicted him on Count 1, as it stated as follows:
“…I hereby find Usman Abubakar not guilty for the offences of attempt to commit culpable homicide punishable under Section 229 of the Penal Code Laws of Bauchi State Cap 108 Vol. 3 of Laws of Bauchi State and criminal intimidation as defend (sic) under Section 395 and punishable under Section 297 of the Penal Code Laws of Bauchi State Cap 108 Laws of Bauchi State. The Accused person is therefore, discharged and acquitted on the 2nd and 3rd counts charges.”
See pages 106-111 and 121 of the Record.
The Court held and rightly that, for the prosecution to get conviction for culpable homicide it has to prove the following:
1. That the death of a human being has actually taken place.
2. That such death was caused by the act or omission of the accused.
3. That the act was done with the intention of causing death or it was done with the intention of causing such bodily injury which the accused knew or had reason to know that death would be probable consequence of his act or the bodily injury which the act was intended to cause.”

See page 95 of the Record.
On whether there was a death or not of a human being, the proof is beyond reasonable doubt for culpable homicide. The Court was satisfied with the evidence of PW1, one Umar Mohammed Sarkin Kirfi, and on page 98 of the Record it stated thus:
“The evidence of this witness goes to show that he saw the corps (sic) of the deceased before she was buried. The evidence of PW1 was never questioned and was not discredited in his testimony on the fact that one old woman called Mama and same (sic) called, her Mama Hafsatu had died. In the circumstances, I hereby find and do hold that the prosecution has been able to prove bond (sic) reasonable doubt that one old woman called mama Hafsatu died on o (sic) about 5/02/2010.”
On the 2nd ingredient of the offence that, there must be proof beyond reasonable doubt that, the death of the deceased was caused by the act or omission of the accused; the Court found on page 99 of the Record that there was no eye witness to the commission of the offence and the Respondent relied on the confessional statement of the Appellant. It also found that the Appellant denied ever making the said confessional statement during his oral testimony. See page 101 of the Record where it correctly stated the law in that regard thus:
“The law is now settled that there is nothing sacrosanct about a retraction of a confession. Thus, the fact that an accused person has retracted a confessional statement does not mean that the Court cannot act upon it.”

In consequence, on page 104 of the Record it stated further:
I have carefully and soberly reflected on all the question (sic) I am required to ask myself before I act on the said confessional statement of the accused person and I am satisfied that those statements are true. Hat (sic) is more so when the accused person as DW1 said he agreed entirely with the evidence of pw5 and on top of that those statements were admitted without any objection whatsoever. On the whole, I hereby find and do hold that the prosecution has been able to prove that the deceased (Mama Hafsatu also called Maman Saleh Mahmud) died as a result of the act of the accused person.”

Indeed it is correct and the law is trite that, mere denial of making or signing a confessional statement by accused persons is not sufficient ground on which to reject its admissibility in evidence, when properly tendered. See the cases of AKWUOBI V. THE STATE (2016) LPELR-SC379/2011, OKWESI V. STATE (1995) NWLR 119 and EZENGE V. THE STATE (1999) 14 NWLR (PT. 637) P.1. Further, where an accused person disputes the correctness of a confessional statement or states that he made no statement at all, it is not necessary to conduct a trial within trial. See the cases of AKWUOBI

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V. THE STATE supra and MADEJEMESI V. THE STATE (2001) 5 SCNJ 59. As correctly noted there was no objection to the admissibility of the confessional statement of the Appellant which was admitted and marked as Exhibit PC1.
See page 56 of the Record.
The apex Court in the case of AKWUOBI V. THE STATE supra had this to say on voluntary confessional statement:
“It is trite law and settled that a free and voluntary confession of guilt by an accused person, if direct and positive, duly made and satisfactorily proved before the trial Court, is alone sufficient to warrant a conviction, even if there is no corroborative evidence. Therefore a conviction based on such a confessional statement will not be quashed on appeal, merely because it is based entirely on the evidence of confession by the appellant. What is important is that the Court must be satisfied with the fact and circumstance in which the confession was made.
See also R V. AJAYI OMOKARO (1941) 7 WACA 145 and ANTHONY EJINIMA v. THE STATE (1991) 6 NWLR (PT. 200) 627.

As regards the third ingredient, whether or not death was the probable or only a likely consequence of an act or of any bodily injury, would seem obviously to be an issue of fact.
The Court after considering the evidence of PW1, the Sarkin Kirfi, (who testified that the report of the incident was made to him that he saw the body of the deceased) and the confessional statement of the Appellant, found thus:
“….This failure to tender the medical report has denied this Court of the required evidence as to he (sic) nature and degree of injury sustained by the deceased that led to her death…the only conclusion I have arrived at considering the nature of the weapons used that deaths of the deceased could only be a likely consequence of the acts of the accused person. That being so he cannot be convicted for an offence punishable with death under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law Cap 108, Laws of Bauchi State Vol. 3 of 2007.
I however hold that he can be punished under Section 224 of the Penal Code Law, Cap 108 Laws of Bauchi State Vol. 3 of 2007……I am entitled to do that under Section 218 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). I therefore, find the accused person guilty of committing culpable homicide not punishable with death which is punishable 
under Section 224 of the Penal Code Law 108 Laws of Bauchi State Vol. 3 of 2007.
See pages 105-106 of the Record.
It is necessary to hereunder state the provision of the said Section 218 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which in my view and humbly was applicable and correctly used by the Court since the Appellant was charged with culpable homicide punishable with death under Section 221:
Section 218 (2)
When a person is charged with an offence and facts are proved which reduce it to a lesser offence, he may be convicted of the lesser offence although he is not charged with it.

Before concluding, the Court below in my view and humbly, thoroughly dealt with the aspect of the defence/defences available to the Appellant. It did justice to the question whether or not the defence of insanity raised by the learned defence Counsel was available to the Appellant vis a vis the legal consequences of voluntary intoxication.
The law as instructively stated by the apex Court as well as this Court and correctly applied by the Court below is that, where an accused person pleads insanity or insane delusion as a defence to a criminal prosecution, the onus is on him to rebut the basic presumption of law which is that he is sane and to establish that he is insane as contained in our Criminal law. The standard of proof required is the balance of probabilities or the preponderance of evidence. See the cases of EDOHO V. THE STATE (2010) 4 PT. 1 MJSC 4, GUOBADIA V. STATE (2004) 5 NWLR (PT. 869) p. 340, ONAKPOOYA V. THE QUEEN (1959) NSCC p. 130, ONYEKWE V. STATE (1988) 1 NWLR (pt. 72). p. 555 and ARISA V. STATE (1988) 3 NWLR (PT. 83) P. 388. The following was the finding of the Court on whether or not the Appellant was sane as contained on page 115 of the Record:
“There is no evidence before the Court as to the past history of the accused person; there is also no evidence placed before the Court as to the conduct of the accused person immediately preceding the killing of the deceased. Equally; there is also no evidence either from the Prison officials who had custody of the accused before and during the trial on the behaviors of the accused or from the relatives of the accused person on his general behaviors; and finally; there is no evidence from all angles that insanity runs in the family history of the accused person.”

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Continued thus:
“……the law is that, the evidence of the accused alone would not be sufficient to prove insanity.
In the whole, I hold that the accused person has failed to discharge the burden and or onus placed on him by law to sufficiently prove the defence of insanity raised by him.”

See page 118 of the Record.
On the issue of the legal consequence of voluntary intoxication, the Court referred to Section 44 of the Penal Code Cap 108 which provides that,
“A person who does an act in a state of intoxication is presumed to have the same knowledge as he would have had if he had not been intoxicated” and held on page 121 of the Record as hereunder thus:
“In the instant case as in the case of GOZIE OKEKE VS THE STATE (SUPRA) – THE Accused Claims to be insane after he voluntarily took cannabis, Indian hemp, valium five suck and die and other assorted substances and killed the deceased Mamman Sule Mahmud an old woman for that matter and is now asking for shelter under the defence of insanity. The law says he cannot and I so hold.
At my own end; I have made frantic efforts in search for 
alternative defence to the accused person, but, all my efforts ended in futility.
In the circumstances there, I hold that the accused person has no defence at all in this case.”

In consequence, from the foregoing, the Court concluded as follows on page 121 of the Record, correctly in my considered view and humbly:
“On the whole, I hereby find Usman Abubakar guilty of culpable homicide not punishable with death under Section 224 of the Penal Code Law of Bauchi State Cap 108 Vol. 3 laws of Bauchi State 2007.

Further, in my view and humbly, given the fact of the sanctity of life, the entire facts, the circumstance of this appeal and the applicable laws herein, one will not and has found no reason to disturb the conviction and sentence of the Appellant by the Court. One would only add however, that, the Appellant should serve his sentence under appropriate available rehabilitation programme.
In the result, the sole issue is hereby resolved against the Appellant. This appeal hereby fails and accordingly is hereby dismissed. The Judgment of the Court below is hereby affirmed.
UCHECHUKWU ONYEMENAM, J.C.A.:I read the draft judgment of my learned brother ELFRIEDA OLUWAYEMISI WILLIAMS-DAWODU, JCA and I am in full agreement with him. My Lord adduced cogent reasons in dismissing the appeal, having been unable to establish a reason for disturbing the conviction and sentence of the Appellant by the Court. Appeal therefore fails; it is hereby dismissed. I abide by the consequential orders.
HABEEB ADEWALE OLUMUYIWA ABIRU, J.C.A.: I have had the privilege of reading before now the lead judgment delivered by my learned brother, Elfrida Oluwayemisi Williams-Dawodu, JCA. His Lordship has considered and resolved the issues in contention in this appeal. I agree with and abide the conclusion reached therein.
The Appellant was arraigned in the lower Court on a three count charge and he was found guilty by the lower Court on only the first count of culpable homicide and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The complaints of the Appellant in this appeal were focused on the use made by the lower Court of the confessional statement of the Appellant and on the failure of the lower Court to properly consider the defence of insanity that his Counsel said was evident on the face of the evidence led at trial.
Counsel to the Appellant berated the lower Court for relying on the confessional statement as (i) it was made without complying with the Judges Rules in that the accused was not taken before a Superior Police Officer to attest to the statement; (ii) it was made at a time that the Appellant was suffering from insane delusions and thus not credible; (iii) it was not corroborated by any other evidence. Before considering these complaints of the Appellant, it is pertinent to state that the records of appeal show that counsel to the Appellant did not object to the tendering of the confessional statement at the time it was put forward in evidence by the fourth prosecution witness, the Investigating Police Officer who recorded the statement. It is a settled principle in criminal litigation that where a confessional statement of an accused defendant is tendered in evidence without any objection or protest from the accused defendant or his Counsel, the confessional statement will be deemed to have been made voluntarily and its contents will be deemed true – Osung Vs State (2012) 18 NWLR (Pt 1332)

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256, Ajibade vs State (2013) 6 NWLR (Pt 1349) 25 at 44 E-H, Stephen Vs State (2013) 8 NWLR Pt 1355) 153 at 173 D-H.

Further, the records of appeal show that the fourth prosecution witness testified on the manner of the recording of the statement of the Appellant. The witness stated that he put the Appellant in a conducive room and that he explained the nature of the charge against him and that he wrote, read and explained to the Appellant the cautionary words and that the Appellant confirmed that he understood the charge and the words of caution and thereafter voluntarily gave his statement which he recorded in English Language. The witness stated that at the conclusion of the statement, he read same over to the Appellant and asked him if it represented his statement and that the Appellant confirmed that it did and after which the Appellant signed and he countersigned. The records of appeal show that Counsel to the Appellant declined to cross-examine the witness. The witness was not asked any question challenging his narration of the circumstances of the making of the confessional statement. The law is that, in such circumstances, the testimony of the witness on the making of the statement by the Appellant will be believed and any subsequent suggestion otherwise by the accused defendant is to be treated as an afterthought – Oforlete Vs State (2000) 12 NWLR (Pt 681) 415, Iwunze vs Federal Republic of Nigeria (2013) 1 NWLR (Pt.1334) 119, Chukwu Vs State (2013) 4 NWLR (Pt.1343) 1, Egwumi Vs State (2013) All FWLR (Pt 678) 824. This point was succinctly made by Belgore, JSC (as he then was) in Okasi Vs State (1989) 2 SCNJ 183 at 188-189 thus:
In all criminal trials the defence must challenge all the evidence it wishes to dispute by cross-examination. This is the only way to attack any evidence lawfully admitted at trial. For when evidence is primary, admissible in the sense that it is not hearsay or opinion and not that of an expert, and an accused Person wants to dispute it, the venue for doing so is when that witness is giving evidence in the witness box. The witness should be cross-examined to elucidate fact disputed, for it is late at the close of the case to attempt to negative what was left unchallenged; it is even an exercise in futility to demolish it on appeal and it is like building a castle in the air to find fault in such evidence in this Court.”
Thus, the records of appeal show that the voluntariness of and/or the manner of the making of the confessional statement was not challenged or put in issue before the lower Court in the course of trial and neither was it raised or canvassed by the Counsel to the Appellant in his final written address. In other words, the complaint of the Appellant on non-compliance with the Judges Rules in the making of the confessional statement and on the state of the Appellant at the time he made the confessional were not raised in the lower Court. The law is that that they cannot now be raised by the Appellant on this appeal. A party must be consistent with the case he presents in Court – Suberu Vs State (2010) 8 NWLR (Pt 1197) 586 and Ologun Vs Fatayo (2013) 1 NWLR (Pt 1335) 303.

Going forward and assuming that the Appellant could raise the issues, the present position of the law as laid down by the Supreme Court on non-compliance with the Judges Rules is that they are rules made by English Judges to guide English Police Officers and that they are not rules of law but rules of administrative practice, made for the more efficient and effective administration of justice and therefore should never be used to defeat justice. The Courts must take care not to deprive themselves by new artificial rules of practice of the best chances of learning the truth. Thus, where the practice is not followed, a confessional statement should not necessarily be viewed with suspicion as the sole purpose of the Judges Rules is to ensure that confessions are voluntary – Smart Vs State (2016) 9 NWLR (Pt 1518) 447 and Hassan Vs State (2017) 5 NWLR (Pt 1557) 1. In the instant case, the Appellant having not contested the voluntariness of the confessional statement when it was tendered in evidence and/or by discrediting the evidence of the fourth prosecution witness thereon, the failure to take the statement and the Appellant before a Superior Police Officer for attestation cannot be a valid ground to oppose the use of the statement by the lower Court.
On the allegation that the confessional statement was made at a time that the Appellant was suffering from possible insane delusions, no such evidence was led before the lower Court. The fourth prosecution witness who

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recorded the statement testified that the Appellant was calm and normal at the time he made the statement, and the witness was not cross examined on the point. Counsel to the Appellant placed reliance on the evidence of the fifth prosecution witness, the Consultant Psychiatrist who attended to the Appellant while he was in Police Custody, in making the allegation. The report of the fifth prosecution witness, Exhibit PC2, was to the effect that as the time he examined the Appellant on the 17th of February, 2010, the Appellant was suffering from Cannabis Induced Psychosis caused by the abuse of cannabis, but the witness did not say categorically that the mental state of the Appellant made it impossible for him to comprehend what he was saying. The confessional statement was made by the Appellant on the 8th of February, 2010, a week before his diagnosis and there was nothing in the evidence led to suggest that the Appellant was suffering from the insane delusions at the time he made the statement. The contention of Counsel to the Appellant was thus predicated on conjecture and speculation. The Courts do not work on such postulations, but on hard facts.
On the issue of non-corroboration of the confessional statement, the records of appeal show that in his testimony in his defence before the lower Court as the sole defence witness, the Appellant made no reference to the confessional statement; he did not deny making the statement, nor did he contest its contents or his signature thereon and neither did he contradict the testimony of the fourth prosecution witness on the making of the statement. It is settled law that during trial, an accused defendant who desires to impeach his statement is duty bound to establish that his earlier confessional statement cannot be true by showing any of the following (i) that he did not in fact make any such statement as presented; or (ii) that he was not correctly recorded; or (iii) that he was unsettled in mind at the time he made the statement; or (iv) that he was induced to make the statement – Hassan Vs State (2001) 15 NWLR (pt 735) 184, Kazeem Vs State (2009) WRN 43 and Osetola Vs State (2012) 17 NWLR (Pt 1329) 251.

The Appellant did not raise and/or establish any of these situations in his evidence before the lower Court. All that the Appellant did in his testimony was to give evidence inconsistent with the contents of the confessional statement by denying everything. Thus, in actual fact, the Appellant did not resile from the confessional statement as there was no specific denial from him that he did not make the statement tendered in evidence as Exhibit PC1. The law is that where an accused defendant does not challenge the making of his confessional statement but merely gives oral evidence which is inconsistent with or contradicts the contents of the statement, the oral evidence should be treated as unreliable and liable to be rejected and the contents of the confessional statement upheld unless a satisfactory explanation of the inconsistency is proffered – Gabriel Vs State (1989) 5 NWLR (Pt 122) 457, Ogoala Vs State (1991) 2 NWLR (Pt 175) 509, Egboghonome Vs State (1993) 7 NWLR (Pt 306) 383, Oladotun vs State (2010) 15 NWLR (Pt 1217) 490, Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Iweka (2013) 3 NWLR (Pt 1341) 285, Osuagwu Vs State supra. In the instant case, the Appellant did not offer any explanation for the inconsistency.
There was nothing presented by the Appellant to warrant the need for the lower Court to look for corroborative evidence – Osung Vs State supra. In Bassey Vs State (2012) 12 NWLR (Pt 1314) 209, the Supreme Court held that where an accused person confesses to an offence in his extra-judicial statement and had no objection to the statement being tendered and admitted in evidence and did not lead any cogent evidence in his testimony in Court resiling from the contents of the statement, there would be no need to look for evidence outside the confession anymore. It is trite that a Court is entitled to convict an accused defendant solely on the basis of his direct, positive and unequivocal confession so long as it is satisfied of its truth even without corroboration – Stephen vs State (1986) 5 NWLR (Pt 46) 978, Yahaya vs State (1986) 12 SC 282, Oseni vs State(2012) 5 NWLR (Pt 1293) 351, Oladipupo vs State (2013) 1 NWLR (Pt 1334) 68, Abdullahi vs State (2013) 11 NWLR (Pt 1366) 435.

On the defence of insanity, it is trite law that in all cases attracting capital punishment, it is incumbent on the Court to consider all the defences put up by the accused person express or implied, in the evidence before the Court. No matter the level of the defences whether

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they are full of figments of imagination, fanciful, replete with porous lies or even doubtful, the Court must not be wary to give them due consideration. Thus, if from the totality of evidence, a particular defence avails an accused person in a criminal matter, he should be given the benefit of that defence notwithstanding the fact that he did not specifically raise it. It must be stated however, that the Court is only under an obligation or duty to consider such defences open to an accused person as disclosed or supported by the evidence on the printed record. A Court of law will not presume or speculate on the existence of facts not placed before it –Ani Vs State(2003) 11 NWLR (Pt 830) 142, Yaro Vs State (2007) 18 NWLR (Pt 1066) 215, Shalla Vs State (2007) 18 NWLR (Pt 1066) 240, Edoho Vs State (2010) 14 NWLR (Pt 1214) 651, Adelu vs State (2014) 13 NWLR (Pt 1425) 465.
The records of the appeal show that the lower Court did consider the defence of insanity. The lower Court evaluated every piece of evidence that was suggestive of abnormal behavior on the part of the Appellant and it came to the conclusion that the defence of insanity was not proved.Now, the law is that it is the primary responsibility of a trial Court to evaluate the evidence presented by parties before it, ascribe probative value to the evidence and then come up with a decision. Where the records of proceedings show that a trial Court assessed the evidence produced before it and accorded probative value to them and placed them side by side on an imaginary weighing scale before coming to a conclusion, such a finding must be accorded due weight so long as it is not unreasonable and not perverse. In other words, an appellate Court will not interfere with the evaluation of evidence carried out by a trial Court and will not substitute its own views for that of the trial Court unless the conclusion reached from the facts is perverse – Woluchem Vs Gudi(1981) 5 SC 291 at 326, Nwankpu vs Ewulu (1995) 7 NWLR (Pt 407) 269, Ajibulu Vs Ajayi (2014) 2 NWLR (Pt 1392) 483, Ikumonihan Vs State (2014) 2 NWLR (Pt 1392) 564.
An appellate Court will only interfere with the evaluation of evidence carried out by a trial Court where an appellant visibly demonstrates the perversity of the findings made by the lower Court by showing that the lower Court (i) made improper use of the opportunity it had of seeing and hearing the witnesses; or (ii) did not appraise the evidence and ascribe probative value to it; or (iii) drew wrong conclusions from proved or accepted facts leading to a miscarriage of justice. Where an appellant fails to do so, an appellate Court has no business re-evaluating the evidence and interfering with the findings of the lower Ccourt – Njoku vs Eme (1973) 5 SC 293 at 306, Kale vs Coker (1982) 12 SC 252 at 371, Oke vs Mimiko (No 2) (2014) 1 NWLR (Pt 1388) 332 at 397-398, Gundiri vs Nyako(2014) 2 NWLR (Pt 1391) 211, Busad vs State (2015) 5 NWLR (Pt 1452) 343 at 373. 
It is not enough for an appellant to go before an appellate Court to repeat the case he presented before the lower Court with the hope that the appellate Court will come to different decision; he must attack the findings of fact made by the trial Court from the evidence led – Uor Vs Loko (1988) 2 NWLR (Pt 77) 430 at 441, Onyejekwe Vs Onyejekwe (1999) 3 NWLR (Pt 596) 482 at 500-501, Jov Vs Dom (1999) 9 NWLR (Pt 620) 538 at 551, Awudu vs Daniel (2005) 2 NWLR (Pt 909) 199 at 231, Ojeleye Vs The Registered Trustees of Ona Iwa Mimo Cherubim & Seraphim Church of Nigeria (2008) 15 NWLR (Pt 1111) 520 at 543.

Counsel to the Appellant herein merely rehashed and repackaged the arguments presented and rejected by the lower Court on the defence of insanity without exactly stating where the lower Court went wrong in its evaluation of the evidence led on the point. It settled law that every person is presumed to be of sound mind, and to have been of sound mind at the time that comes into question, until the contrary is proved. Therefore, an accused person who contends that he is insane or suffers from insane delusions has the onus of displacing the presumption by credible evidence. And to succeed in establishing the defence of insanity there must be cogent and credible evidence showing not only that an accused person was suffering from a mental disease, natural mental infirmity, psychosis or insane delusions, it must be established this state of health was such that, at the relevant time, deprived the accused of the capacity (i) to understand what he was doing; or (ii) to control his action; or (iii) to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission – Mohammed Vs Kano State (2014) 4 NWLR (Pt 1397) 320, Adamu Vs State (2014) 10 NWLR (Pt 1416) 441, Adelu Vs State (2014) 13 NWLR (Pt 1425) 465. In the instant case, the Appellant led no evidence to prove the defence of insanity and that though there were pieces of evidence from some of the prosecution witnesses, like the third and fifth prosecution witnesses, suggesting that the Appellant had a mental health problem, there was nothing showing that the mental health deprived him of his necessary capacities. The finding of the lower Court that there was no evidence on the record of the Court to sustain the defence of insanity cannot thus be faulted.
It is my view that the Counsel to the Appellant has not given this Court any reason to tamper with the decision of the lower Court. It is for this reason that I too find no merit in the appeal and I agree that the appeal be dismissed. I affirm the conviction and the sentence passed on the Appellant in the judgment of the High Court of Bauchi State delivered in Suit No BA/38C/2012 by Honorable Justice A. H. Suleiman on the 22nd of November 2013

Appearances

Mr. S. G. Idrees Esq. –For Appellant

AND

Mr. M. M. Adamu Esq. –For Respondent

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