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DAN OWUNNA v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44636(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 25th day of May, 2018

CA/E/18C/2017


Before Their Lordships

HELEN MORONKEJI OGUNWUMIJU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

TOM SHAIBU YAKUBU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JOSEPH TINE TUR Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

DAN OWUNNA - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.
FACTS:
The appeal is against the ruling of the Anambra State High Court of Justice, Aguata-Ekwulobia Judicial Division, delivered on 06/02/17.

The Appellant was arraigned before the High Court of Anambra state on the 30th day of June, 1997 with Charge No: AG/26C/1997 on a six count charge of malicious damage, rioting, stealing and riotous demolition of Property. The Appellant pleaded not guilty to the said charges. The trial of the Appellant commenced on 8th November, 1999 and the Respondent called P.W.1. The trial did not make progress until sometime in 2015. The proceedings were then before Ezeani. J., who admitted the Appellant and his co-defendants, to bail.

???On 9th of March, 2016, the Appellant filed a motion on notice wherein he sought an order to the effect that the charges preferred against him, be quashed/dismissed, which would lead to his discharge from the said charges. There was a written address filed in support thereof. The Respondent opposed the application and filed a counter-affidavit against it with a written address by the Respondent's counsel. Thereafter, the Appellant filed a Further Affidavit and a Reply on Points of Law. 

The Learned trial judge, in the ruling delivered on 6th February, 2017, dismissed the Appellant's application as lacking in merit.

Dissatisfied with the decision, the Appellant brought this appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on a sole issue formulated by the Court as follows:
Whether the Appellant's fundamental right to fair hearing within a reasonable time had not been breached and the learned trial judge was right to dismiss the application to quash and/or dismiss the charges against him.

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court held that the appeal lacked merit and it was accordingly dismissed. Consequently, the ruling of the trial Court was affirmed.


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