chapter One

1.1 Introduction

A negative confession related to the question of guilt in a criminal case is called a confession in common law, and the same term is used in the Evidence Act 1990. As noted above, confessions are the most important and most common exception to the rule against hearsay in criminal cases. To understand, understand the principle of admissibility developed in common law that governs the admissibility of confessions. It seems to summarize the most important aspects of the case law rule before moving on to the new legal definition of confession and admissibility rule.

Common law recognizes that a confession is reliable and persuasive evidence of guilt and, in fact, does not challenge a conviction if the confession is the only evidence against the defendant. It is considered trustworthy only if it is given freely and voluntarily. When coerced, it can completely undermine the credibility of confessions and undermine the integrity of the judicial system itself. The exclusion of evidence obtained by torture, force, or other coercive methods was a means of protecting defendants developed by judges in the 18th and 19th centuries, and such methods were still common. It was a reminder of the times. Its significance is that in English law the rule that a confession obtained by repression must be prohibited in circumstances that could render it unreliable, whereas evidence illegally or wrongfully obtained is prohibited. A classical common law account of the admissibility of a confession comes from Lord Sumner, Ibrahim V. R1

“Any testimony by the defendant has been shown by the prosecution to have been voluntary, in the sense that the testimony was not produced out of fear, prejudice, or hope out of an advantage exercised or conferred by a person. It has been inadmissible as evidence against the defendant unless it is in power.”

In common parlance, “voluntarily” simply means “of our own free will.” This voluntary test, defined by Sir Sumner, was added by Sir Parker C.J. Callis.V. Gunn2 he

1. (1914) AC 559, 609

2. (1964) IQB 495.501

Added requirement that there should be no confessions

His observations, obtained in an “oppressive manner”, were strictly bystanders and concerned with the admissibility of fingerprint evidence. However, when the Rules of Judges appeared in revised form in 1964, it began to be introduced that the rules did not affect the principles that prevailed in all cases.

… that a person’s verbal response to questioning by a police officer and that person’s statements must be voluntary in the sense that they were not made by him. It is a basic requirement of admissibility as evidence. Out of fear of the prejudices and hopes that those in power acquire, exercise, or maintain for their own gain. 3. (1975) I.W.L.R. 716.721-2

Interestingly, Lord Sumner’s phrases ‘fear of prejudice’ and ‘hope of superiority’ are usually referred to as ‘threat’ and ‘incentive’ respectively. This poses some problems in the application of common law admissibility rules. In particular,

Under current law, barring confessions as a matter of law because they are not voluntary always involves abusive or unfair conduct on the part of authorities. The phrase “inappropriate or unreasonable” must, of course, include an offer of inducement. In this context, it is unacceptable for the person responsible to try to get the suspect to confess.

The view of the law is that if the interrogator, without undue intent, perhaps unwittingly, created in the suspect a prejudice or fear of hope of gain, the defendant could not have recourse. In such cases, the resulting confession may be involuntary, but still permissible under the Isequila rule. D.P.P.V. The House of Lords, Ping Lin 4, was asked to decide whether it was the questioner’s mental state or the suspect’s mental state that governed the question of voluntary sexuality. The House firmly believes that the latter has resolved the question of whether the confession is voluntary, and therefore must also resolve the question of admissibility.

In fact, the permissive rule only applied when there was fear.

4. (1976) AC, 574

Oppression in which prejudices and hopes for superiority are aroused or sustained, or produced by “authorities”. However, the question of which persons were or were not authority figures has been resolved and whether an authority figure must have or whether the suspect has any influence over the arrest, detention or prosecution. can reasonably be inferred that A person whose threat or agitation is believed to be credible. Limiting the rule in this way is not a major concern, as the majority of confessions were undoubtedly made to persons of authority, police officers and others, and was clearly abolished by the Evidence Act of 1990. was. However, in light of the rules of common law, it is still pertinent to consider that fears of prejudice or hopes of profit must have been generated by authority figures, and consequently self-generated fears and hopes are do not destroy the spontaneity of Even if a confession is made against a former authority figure, the situation is different under new legal regulations.

In addition to admissibility rules, judges had discretionary powers to bar confessions if they were obtained by or as a result of criminal offenses.

judge the rules. Judge rules were codes of conduct and procedures designed to guide police officers and others involved in the arrest, detention, and interrogation of suspects. They were first promulgated by his 1912 judge of the then King’s Bench Division and have been revised from time to time since. The rules are not legal norms and do not affect legal principles of admissibility of confessions. However, in R.V. May6 Sir Goddard C.J ruled that a judge may refuse to admit testimony where there is a breach of the rules. However, the main implication of the rules has always been that breaking the rules could provide evidence that the resulting confession was not voluntary.

Also in Gbadamosi .V. State10, Confessions was defined as:


“By law, the word ‘confession’ means a confession of a crime by the accused and means a confession of a crime by the accused. It is a confession that is always made.”

In order for a confession to be admissible as evidence, it must be submitted freely and voluntarily. Defendants must do so of their own free will and choice. 1.3 Nature and Scope of Reliance Statements

A confession is either judicial or extrajudicial. A court confession is a confession made as part of a relevant proceeding in court. Article 27 of the Penal Code is clearly broad enough to cover both, but confessions in court are also explicitly covered by Articles 218 and 314 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 37 of the Code of Evidence, and Article 157(1). are treated in 161(2) and 187(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. when the defendant confesses in court during trial

(1991) 6 NWIR PT 196 pg 182 at 189, Ikemson. V. State (T.989) 3 NWTR PT 100 p.455
218 StPO regulates the consequences of such confessions.



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