Case of Opolot Justine & Another V Uganda Scca No. 20 Of 2014

In the judgment delivered on the 27thof January 2019, the Justices of the Supreme Court; Hon Lady Justice Arach Amoko, Hon. Justice Mwangusya, Hon Justice Opio Aweri, Hon. Lady Justice Mwondha, and Hon Lady Justice Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza confirmed the appellants’ sentence of life imprisonment while discussing the importance of corroboration of identification evidence where the witnesses are children of tender years. The court should be able to look at the evidence as a whole and at the factors favoring correct identification of suspects

The Appellants Opolot and Richard were found guilty of the murder of Janet Amit and sentenced to life imprisonment. They contested the finding of the court. They claimed that they were not positively identified at the scene of the crime because identification was made by children of tender years 7, 11 and 18 by use of a wick lamp and who had been woken up by their frightened mother.

The court found that although the factors favoring improper identification were present, there were also factors favoring correct identification.

The attackers were very well known to the witnesses since they were very close relatives, the distance between the witnesses and the attackers was very short. The witnesses were able to identify the 2ndappellant by voice when he called out the 1stappellant. From the evidence, the attack took about an hour which is a long period sufficient enough for one to identify an assailant who is well known to him/her.