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(2019) LPELR-47047(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Monday, the 25th day of March, 2019


Before Their Lordships

OYEBISI FOLAYEMI OMOLEYE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JAMES SHEHU ABIRIYI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

SAIDU TANKO HUSSAINI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria




THE STATE - Respondent(s)

Other Citations

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This appeal borders on the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death.

This appeal is against the judgment delivered in the High Court of Adamawa State, Yola.

According to the confessional statement tendered by the respondent, on 13th November, 2014, at about 4.00am Michael Timothy, Richard Ate and appellant went hunting. On reaching the bush, each of them went in different directions. On 14th November, 2014 at about 6.45pm, appellant saw something moving like a pig. He shot in that direction not knowing that it was Richard Ate that he shot to death. On 15th December, 2014, he returned home and was afraid to report to the police until he was arrested by the police at Toungo.

The defence of the Appellant was completely different from what is contained in the confessional statement. In Court, the Appellant stated that he was sitting in his house when the police came, arrested, and took him to Toungo police station and locked him up. When he asked the police the offence he committed, he was told that he killed somebody in the bush while hunting. He denied going hunting or killing anyone. After considering the evidence adduced by both parties, and addresses of learned counsel for the parties, the Court found the Appellant guilty of the offence charged, convicted and sentenced him to death by hanging. Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Appellant presented the following two issues for determination:
"1. Was the Trial Court not wrong when it found that the Appellant did not raise timeously his defence of alibi, and thereby refused and failed to consider the Appellant's alibi, even though same was neither investigated nor disproved by the Respondent?
2. Was the Trial Court correct when it held that the Respondent proved against the Appellant beyond reasonable doubt the offence of Culpable Homicide punishable with death, convicted and sentenced the Appellant to death?"

In the final analysis, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. Appellant was discharged and acquitted.

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