Baba Ijesa: CCTV Footage Presentable In Law Court. Osun Commissioner

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May I make a brief clarification to members of the public claiming that the CCTV evidence against baba Ijesha is inadmissible in Court because of the defence of entrapment. Entrapment is a means of inducing people to offend against established rules and regulations and it is not a defense in criminal law. Delving into details here would make it become academic. Basically however, entrapment falls in 2 divisions; Fair and Unfair entrapment. Fair trapping involves a situation where police agents or anyone merely provides opportunity, WITHOUT any inducement or instigation, to an offender in pre-existing criminal schemes or to someone who is already under a prior reasonable suspicion to commit the offence. Unfair trapping, on the other hand, is “where the accused was INCITED, INSTIGATED or PERSUADED to commit the offence by state officials or agents AND there was no prior reasonable suspicion that the accused was engaged in criminal conduct. While unfair trapping is generally frowned upon and condemned, fair trapping is generally accepted as a necessary part of crime detection and law enforcement. What the Foster mother of the victim in baba Ijesha's case did can at worst, only be brought under Fair entrapment. In Nigeria, If the trapping is unfair, implying that law enforcement agents have acted beyond merely providing opportunity for the accused person to commit the offence, but had incited or instigated him, the agents will be held to be agent provocateurs whose evidence requires corroboration before the accused can be If the trapping is fair: that is, law enforcement agents merely provided an enabling environment for the commission of the offence by the accused person without more, they are not regarded as agent provocateurs whose evidence requires corroboration before the accused can be convicted. The implication of this is that once the evidence of the agent-provocateur is corroborated such evidence becomes relevant and admissible to ground conviction. In baba Ijesha's case, neither the mother nor the child could be regarded as an agent provocateur. Implying that their evidence requires no corroboration. Agreed, there is entrapment. It was however, a fair one implying that the evidence is admissible and require no corroboration before the accused can be convicted. Looking at the case from the angle of an improperly obtained evidence, Section 15 of the Evidence Act, gives guidance by stating the matters which the court shall take into account in deciding a case. 1. The probative value of the evidence. 2. The importance of the evidence in the proceeding. 3. The nature of the relevant offence, cause of action or defence and the nature of the subject-matter of the proceeding. 4. The gravity of the impropriety or contravention. 5. Whether the impropriety or contravention was deliberate or reckless 6. Whether any other proceeding (whether or not in a court) has been or is likely to be taken in relation to the impropriety or contravention. 7. The difficulty, if any, of obtaining the evidence without impropriety or contravention of law. Basically, the judge has the discretion, whether or not to allow such illegally or improperly obtained evidence taking into consideration the factors listed in Section 15 which are dictated by the circumstances of each case. However, it is safe to say that in criminal cases, our law is generous to the prosecution. Regardless of how the evidence is obtained, if the judge considers it to be of probative value, it will be admitted in evidence. Therefore, it is safe to say that the CCTV evidence against baba Ijesha is more likely admissible in Court. This however, must not be construed to imply that the CCTV evidence is an improperly obtained evidence, I am just painting the worst case scenarios. By Olaboopo Olubukola Commissioner for Women Affairs Osun State

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