Abuja – Justice Peter Affen of an FCT High Court, Maitama, on Tuesday rejected a purported confessional statement said to have been made by one Matthew Ankyoor, standing trial for alleged culpable homicide.
The police claimed that the statement was made by Ankyoor voluntarily.
Ankyoor is standing trial on a three-count charge bordering on killing his wife who was pregnant.
He was first arraigned on Oct. 24, 2017, and he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Affen while ruling on the trial -within -trial on the voluntariness of the confessional statement made by Ankyoor to the police, held that the prosecution failed to observe the provisions of Sections 15 (4) and 17 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA).
” Sections 15 (4) and 17 (1) and (2) of ACJA imposed a duty on law enforcement agencies, for example police officers and others established by the enactment of the National Assembly, to record statements of suspects electronically.’’
He said this provision was to protect the defendants from the enormous power of the law enforcement officers, which may be abused through intimidation or bullying defendants while taking their statements.
Affen further held that the prosecution failed to call the investigation officer (IPO) Insp. Raymond Isama to come and testify in the trial -within- trial since he was the one who took the statement.
” The proper thing in this circumstance is to record an order rejecting the purported confessional statement said to have been made by the defendant on June 9, 2017 to the police, ” he held.
He adjourned the matter until May 24 for continuation of trial.
The judge, had earlier ordered for trial – within- trial to ascertain the voluntariness of the statement made by Ankyoor to the police.
Affen gave the order after the defendant’s counsel, Mr Ocheme Adama, objected to the tendering of the statement in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Donatus Abah, through his first witness, Insp. Raymond Isama. (NAN )