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OTOR OKANGA v. THE STATE

(2017) LPELR-43259(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 20th day of October, 2017

CA/I/214C/2016


Before Their Lordships

MONICA BOLNA'AN DONGBAN-MENSEM Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

MODUPE FASANMI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

CHINWE EUGENIA IYIZOBA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

OTOR OKANGA - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Offence of Robbery.

FACTS:
This appeal emanated from the High Court Ogun State, Abeokuta, delivered by Lamina, J.

The Prosecution's case was that on 15/11/2006, at about 5.30 pm the Appellant and his co-accused boarded a commercial motorcycle driven by PW1 at Lafenwa. They had asked PW 1 to take them to Fadage village after Elega in Abeokuta. While on the way, PW1 was beaten by the Appellant and his co-accused and robbed of his motorcycle and money. The driver of a tipper lorry later came to the rescue of PW1 and took him to the motorcycle garage at Elega junction where he narrated what happened to other motorcycle (Okada) riders present. They followed PW 1 to Fadage village where they were directed to the house of the Baale of the village (PW2) who promised to look into the matter. They also reported the matter at the police station in company of PW3, the owner of the motorcycle. On the 2nd day, PW1 and PW3 were invited by the police and taken to the house of PW2 at Fadage village where they saw the motorcycle and PW1 identified the Appellant and his co-accused as those who robbed him of his motorcycle. The Appellant and his co-accused were taken to the Police Station where they made confessional statements Exhibits A and B. They were arraigned on a two count charge of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with Violence and Robbery with Violence, contrary to Section 6(b) and Section 1(2) (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R.11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. They pleaded not guilty to the two counts.

The Appellant and his co-accused denied the charge and retracted their confessional statements. They claimed that an argument had arisen between them and PW1 because PW1 refused to take them to the agreed destination insisting on the payment of more money. In the course of the argument PW1 ran away leaving his motorcycle behind.

???In his judgment, the learned trial Judge discharged and acquitted the Appellant and his co-accused on the 1st count but convicted them of the lesser offence of Robbery and sentenced them to 21 years imprisonment. Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.
ISSUES:
The following issues were resolved in the appeal:
1. Whether having regard to the evidence before the trial Court, the respondent could be said to have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Appellant committed the offence of robbery.
2. Whether the learned trial judge was in error when he believed the evidence of PW1 despite its inconsistencies.
3. Whether the learned trial judge sufficiently considered the defence of the appellant.
4. Whether the appellant's statement in Exhibit B is a confessional statement to the offence of robbery.

DECISION/HELD:
In the final result, the appeal was dismissed.


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