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VINCENT OKOLO v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44638(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 25th day of May, 2018

CA/E/19C/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

VINCENT OKOLO - 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 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 pursuant to Section 6(6) B and 36(1) and (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), 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.

The Respondent resisted the application and filed a counter-affidavit against it with a written address.

The Learned trial judge in the ruling delivered on 6th February, 2017, dismissed the Appellant's application as lacking in merit. Aggrieved by the decision of the trial Court, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the following issue viz:-

"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:
On the whole, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.





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