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AMECHI NWORU v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44640(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 25th day of May, 2018

CA/E/26C/2017


Before Their Lordships

HELEN MORONKEJI OGUNWUMIJU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JOSEPH TINE TUR Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

MISITURA OMODERE BOLAJI-YUSUFF Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

AMECHI NWORU - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Offence of Murder.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Ebonyi State, Abakaliki Judicial Division.

The Appellant by the information filed on 6/11/09 was arraigned together with Ikechukwu Nwafor, Michael Chukwu Obasi, and Chinedu Ekuma before the High Court of Ebonyi State, Abakaliki Judicial Division, Ebonyi State on a one count charge of murder to wit:

STATEMENT OF OFFENCE

MURDER contrary to Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 30 Vol. II, Laws of Eastern Nigeria as applicable in Ebonyi State.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE

Ikechukwu Nwafor, Amaechi Nworu, Michael Chukwu Obasi and Chinedu Ekuma on the 22nd day of August, 2008 at Okpoduma Road, Effium in Ohaukwu Judicial Division murdered one Moses Akpa Nwafor.

In proof of its case, the prosecution called four witnesses. The Appellant testified in his own defence to the charge against him. In the course of the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses namely PW1 Peter Eze, PW 2 Mrs. Ngozi Nwafor Akpa, PW3 Sergeant DanjiIllya, and PW4 ASP Elias Ude Chukwu. There were also documentary Exhibits tendered in the proceedings through PW3 and PW4, which were mainly extra judicial statements of the appellant, the co-accused persons and some of the witnesses. The Appellant raised the defence of alibi. 

The prosecution claimed that Moses Akpa Nwafor had died and it was the Appellant and the other accused persons that killed him. The prosecution claimed that the 4th accused person at trial made a confessional statement to the effect that he and the other accused persons grievously assaulted the deceased and subsequently handed him over to some men in Benue State. At the end of the trial, the Appellant and other co-accused were all convicted of the offence of murder and sentenced to death by hanging. 

Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the sole issue it couched as follows:

"Whether the prosecution proved that the Appellant is not entitled to the defence of Alibi and  Malice and had successfully established a case of murder against the Appellant. "

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found merit in the appeal and accordingly allowed same. The decision of the High Court was set aside. The Appellant was therefore discharged and acquitted.


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