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WASIU AMAO v.THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44167(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 19th day of April, 2018

CA/AK/48C/2017


Before Their Lordships

UZO IFEYINWA NDUKWE-ANYANWU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

MOHAMMED AMBI-USI DANJUMA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

RIDWAN MAIWADA ABDULLAHI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

WASIU AMAO - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Ondo State delivered by Hon. Justice O. O. Akeredolu on 10th day of October, 2016 convicting the Appellant for Murder.

Briefly, the facts of the case are as follows: On 8th June, 2013 at about 5.30 pm, PW1 (Samuel Adegoke) returned home from a party and discovered that the doors to the front and back entrance were locked from the inside. As he continued knocking at the door, the Appellant opened the door. He queried the Appellant about his presence in his (PW's) house and that was when he saw that the Appellant's hand were soaked with blood. PW2 later traced the blood to the passage of the house and found two blood stained knives on the ground beside the corpse of the deceased later identified as Joshua Fadeyi. PW2 called the Divisional Police Officer of Oke-Igbo Police Station whose number he had and reported the incident to the police. When the police arrived at the scene, the Appellant escaped through the back door into the bush. He was later arrested by the police the following day. In his extra-judicial statement to the police, the Appellant confessed that he stabbed the deceased in the neck which resulted in the death of the deceased. 

The Appellant was charged vide information filed on 3rd of October, 2014 with a lone count of murder. The lone count was charged under Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.  The particulars of the offence charged was that the Appellant was alleged to have murdered one Joshua Fadeyi on or about the 8th day of June, 2013 at Fasawe Compound, Oloruntele, Oke-Igbo, Akure, Ondo State.  Upon arraignment the Appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge. At the trial, the Prosecution called four witnesses and tendered Exhibits P1 and ID 1 - 7. The Exhibits included the Confessional Statement of the Appellant (Exhibit P1) and Pictures (ID 1 - 7). While the Appellant testified in his own defence and called no other witnesses. At the conclusion of the trial and after the adoption of addresses by the learned counsel, the learned trial judge in a judgment delivered on the 10th October, 2016 found the Appellant guilty of murder and convicted and sentenced him accordingly.  Being dissatisfied with the said judgment, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the issues raised by the Appellant and couched as follows:

1. Whether the decision by the learned trial judge to apply the inconsistency rule to discountenance Exhibit P1 and Appellant's testimony thereby denying the Appellant its defence to the charge rendered the judgment and conviction of the Appellant for the offence perverse, unreasonable and unwarranted.
2. Whether the learned trial judge erred in law by convicting the Appellant for murder when the prosecution failed to prove the charge against the Appellant beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.


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