RESOLUTION OF ISSUES:Powered by John Johnson (NBA ABA DIGITAL LEGAL ADVISER) & C.K. Anyanwu (Lawyer of Promise) STATE v. ALI SA’ DU (2019) LPELR-47397 (SC)


In resolving issue one, the Court held that there is no doubt that Exhibit 8A, the main statement made in Hausa by the Respondent was actually thumb printed by him. However, the grouse of the Respondent is that the translated version was not signed by the Respondent though signed by the translator.


The Court agreed with the Appellant that the instant case is distinguishable from Ogudo v The State (2011) 18 NWLR (pt 1278) 1 because in Ogudo’s case, it was the statement recorded in the language understood by the accused/Respondent (English language) that was unsigned by the Respondent and not the translated version which requires the signature of the translator and not that of the accused person.

 The Respondent’s confessional statement, though retracted, was duly signed by him as made in Hausa which he understands. The translated version, even if it was read over to him in English language would not have made any meaning to him as he would not have understood same.

The Court held that as far as the translator had signed the said translated version, it does not make any difference that the accused did not sign it and that in any case, it has not been alleged that the content of Exhibit 8B are different from that in Exhibit 8A. The Court’s opinion was that it is only the signature of the translator that is relevant and not that of the accused in a translated version of the statement. Conclusively it was held that, the statement of the Respondent in Exhibit 8A was duly thumb printed by him and was thus duly authenticated. 

The translated version was also duly signed by the translator. Thus, the confessional statement of the Respondent was duly signed and not worthless as held by the Court of Appeal. This issue was resolved in the Appellant’s favor.


In resolving the second issue, the Court held that confession alone even without corroboration can support a conviction so long as the Court is satisfied of its truth. Also that even where an accused person resiles or retracts from his confessional statement, the retraction notwithstanding, the confessional statement must be considered along with other evidence by the Court which will decide whether or not the accused did make the statement.

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