LawPavilion Online



(2018) LPELR-43776(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 22nd day of February, 2018


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

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


THE STATE - Appellant(s)



Other Citations

; ;


This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.

This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Ebonyi State delivered by Hon. Justice A.A. Nwaigwe.

On 15/12/2008, along Water Works road, Abakaliki, one Ameafula Chidiebere Peter (PW1) was robbed of his Motorola Handset, his ID card and the sum of one thousand, one hundred naira by three gun wielding assailants who took to their heels after the victim raised an alarm. The residents went after the armed robbers. The residents apprehended the Respondent and on getting to the scene where the Respondent was apprehended, PW1 identified him as one of the men who attacked him and he was handed over to the police. The handset and the ID Card of the victim was found in his possession on the spot.

???The Respondent's evidence on oath was that, he was on his way to see his friend, one Chijioke Oko who had invited him to his house, when he saw some people running after thieves. The fleeing thieves dropped a Motorola Handset and an ID card and ran into the bush. The residents who were running after the thieves suddenly got a hold of him (Respondent), picked up the items which the thieves had dropped, put them inside the Respondent's bag and accused him of being friends with the thieves. He was handed over to the police. The police started beating him and asked him to name the other thieves but he told them he knew nothing about the offence alleged as he was not one of those who attacked the PW1.

The Respondent was arraigned before the trial High Court, having been charged with the offence of armed robbery, contrary to Sections 2(a) (b) and 3 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap. R 11 Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. At the end of the trial, the Respondent was discharged and acquitted by the learned trial judge. Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The following sole issue was resolved in the appeal:
"Whether the learned trial judge was right in finding that the prosecution did not prove the case against the Respondent beyond reasonable doubt and to consequently discharge and acquit the Respondent of the offence of Armed Robbery."
In the final analysis, the appeal was allowed. The decision of the trial Court was set aside and substituted with conviction for the offence of armed robbery. The Court of Appeal imposed the sentence of death on the respondent.

Read Full Judgment