RATIO DECIDENDI
1. EVIDENCE - BURDEN OF PROOF: On whom lies the onus of establishing the defence of drunkness
which amounts to insanity and unsoundness of mind

"The law is settled and beyond dispute that the onus of establishing the defence of drunkenness which
amounts to insanity and unsoundness of mind, not to know what he did, rests squarely on the accused
person. The burden is discharged on a preponderance of evidence led by and for the accused person.
John Imo v. The State (1991) 9 NWLR (pt. 213) 13; (1991) 11 SCNJ 137 at 159 - 160. Generally, the law
presumes that every human being is sane, until the contrary is proved. Section 27 of the Criminal Code."
Per YAKUBU,J.C.A. (P.22,paras.C-F) (...read in context)

2. EVIDENCE - COMPETENT WITNESS: Whether a child is deemed a competent witness in law and under
what circumstance will a child's sworn testimony not be needed in criminal trials

"It is no doubt the settled position of the law that a child is a competent witness unless the court
considers the child in question to be prevented from understanding the questions put to him by reason
of tender years (i.e. his age). See Section 154 of the Evidence Act, Cap. 112 LFN, 1990. With specific
reference to criminal proceedings the position of the law is that a child need not give sworn testimony if
the child in the opinion of the court does not understand the nature of an oath but possesses sufficient
intelligence to justify the receipt of his evidence and understands the duty of speaking the truth. See
Section 182(1) and (2) of the Evidence Act (supra). The Supreme Court interpreted the provisions of
Sections 154 and 182(1) and (2) of the Evidence Act (supra) in the case of OKON v. STATE (1988) 19 NSCC
156. In DAGAYYA v. THE STATE (2006) All FWLR (Pt.308) 1212 at pages 1232 - 1233 the Supreme Court
per Tobi, JSC reiterated or echoed the position in Okon's case thus:- "As correctly pointed out by learned
counsel for the respondent this court dealt with the matter in 1988 in the case of Okon v. State (supra)
........This court held that: (1) Once a witness is a child, by the combined effect of Sections 154 and
182(1) and (2) of the Evidence Act, the first duty of the court is to determine first of all whether the child
is sufficiently intelligent to understand the questions he may be asked in the course of his testimony and
to be able to answer rationally. This is tested by the court putting on (sic) him preliminary questions
which may have nothing to do with the matter before the court. (2) If, as a result of these preliminary
questions, the court comes to the conclusion that the child is unable to understand the questions or
answer them intelligently, then the child is not a competent witness within the meaning of Section

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