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MUHAMMADU LIKITA JABI v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44407(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 11th day of May, 2018

CA/IL/C.91/2017


Before Their Lordships

MOJEED ADEKUNLE OWOADE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

HAMMA AKAWU BARKA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

BOLOUKUROMO MOSES UGO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

MUHAMMADU LIKITA JABI - 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 Judgment of the High Court of Justice, Kwara State sitting in the ILORIN Judicial Division and delivered on the 19th day of January, 2017.
The Appellant was arraigned before the High Court as 2nd Accused along with one Muhammadu Bello as 1st Accused on 01/04/2014 for the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 6(B) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R.11, LFN 2004. Armed Robbery contrary to Section 1(2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, R.11, LFN 2004 Culpable Homicide contrary to Section 221 of the Penal Code and unlawful possession of Firearms contrary to Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R.11, LFN 2004. The Appellant pleaded not guilty to the charge.  
???The Prosecution called three witnesses and tendered thirteen (13) Exhibits in proof of its case - that the Appellant, the 1st Accused and one other at large on the 8th August 2012 along Shigwaria - Kaiama Road, Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State conspired to rob and did actually rob one TAMINU INUWA and ZUWAIRAT ABDULKAREEM whilst armed with dangerous weapons which act also resulted in the death of the said TAMINU INUWA.  The Exhibits included Exhibits 9 and 13 which are confessional statements made by the Appellant at different times in Ilorin and Kaiama. Exhibits 1 - 7 were tendered through PW1, the Exhibit Keeper whilst the other Exhibits were tendered through PW2 and PW3. 
The Appellant denied making any statement to the Police in his testimony in defence. He claimed not to know anything about the statements in issue on the ground that he does not speak Hausa, the language in which the prosecution' witnesses claimed to have recorded his statements. That he only saw the Police Officers writing something which he was asked to sign. The Appellant claimed to have been arrested on the 10th August 2012 whilst searching for his wife.
???At the end of the trial, the learned trial Judge convicted the Appellant and the 1st Accused person for all the offences as charged. Dissatisfied with the decision, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the issues raised by the Appellant and couched as follows:

1. Whether the learned trial Judge was right when after agreeing that the Respondent's witnesses (PW2 and PW3) were not cross examined in the main trial, proceeded to hold that it is not on record that the Appellant was denied the right to cross examine the witnesses.

2. Whether the learned trial Judge was right when it admitted and subsequently relied on the Appellant's extra judicial statements made in Hausa language to convict and sentence him to death when it is on record that the only language the Appellant understand is Fulfude.  

3. Whether the learned trial Judge was right when it held that the Respondent proved the offence of criminal conspiracy against the Appellant as required by law.

4. Whether the learned trial Judge was right when he held that the Respondent proved the offence of unlawful possession of firearm against the Appellant as required by law. 

5. Whether the learned trial Judge was right when he held that the prosecution proved the offence of culpable homicide against the Appellant as required by law.

6. Whether the learned trial judge was right when he disregarded the defence of alibi raised by the Appellant. 

7. Whether the learned trial judge was right when he convicted and sentenced the Appellant to death without an identification parade.

8. Whether the learned trial Judge was right when it relied on the Respondent's weak, unsubstantiated and unproven evidence to convict and sentence the Appellant to death. 

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.


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