IFEANYI UKONU OBI v. THE STATE (2016) LPELR-40543(CA)
FACTS: on the 18th day of May 2007, the appellant Ifeanyi Ukonu Obi was
alleged to have maimed the victim Abuchi Ejimkonye who was six years by
cutting off his wrists with a machete and making away with them. On being
charged, he pleaded not guilty and at the conclusion of trial he was convicted and
sentenced to an imprisonment term of 30 years with hard labour. Dissatisfied he
appealed.
ISSUE: What a judge is required to do in determining competency of a child to
give evidence
JUDGEMENT:
The court relied on the ruling in Michael Peter v. The State (1997) 12 NWLR Pt.
531 and the provisions of Section 183 and 209 of the Evidence Act in stating that
the trial judge has to ask the child witness certain preliminary questions to test
his/her ability or intelligence to answer questions and weigh whether such child
understands the implication of speaking the truth and this step must be recorded.
Nonetheless, the court went on to rely on the provisions of Okoyomon v. The
state (1973) NSCC (vol.3) 170 in stating that where a trial judge is of the opinion
that a child is capable of understanding the nature of an oath, it is not necessary for
him to carry out preliminary investigation in that regard.

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