Udo Ndo V. The Queen (1953)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Confession of murder—Circumstantial corroboration—Killing an escaping burglar.
The body of-the deceased was found about a quarter of a mile from the house of the accused; it had a number of severe wounds, and the accused said in a statement he made after caution after being arrested and charged with murder, that the deceased broke into his house during the night and stole some meat (pieces were found in the deceased’s pocket), that he chased the deceased (who, be it noted, was unarmed) and cut him with his matchet (which he showed to the police, to whom he also showed the damage done to his house).
Though he had confirmed his confession before a senior officer, he denied in Court that he had made it but the trial Judge accepted it as having been made. He was convicted of murder and applied for leave to appeal.
(1) The circumstantial corroboration of the statement, coupled with the statement, which was accepted by the Judge, provided ample evidence of guilt.
(2) The applicant was entitled to apprehend the deceased as a felon but was not justified by the circumstances in killing the deceased, who was unarmed.