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SAIDU HARUNA v. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

(2019) LPELR-48008(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Wednesday, the 3rd day of July, 2019

CA/YL/194C/2017


Before Their Lordships

CHIDI NWAOMA UWA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JAMES SHEHU ABIRIYI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

ABDULLAHI MAHMUD BAYERO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

SAIDU HARUNA - Appellant(s)

AND

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.

FACTS:
This appeal is against the judgment delivered on 9th May, 2016 in the Federal High Court, Yola Judicial Division holden at Yola wherein the Appellant and seven others were tried, convicted for conspiracy to obstruct and obstruction of officers of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) from carrying out their lawful duty contrary to Sections 14 (b) and 49 (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act.

According to some of the witnesses called by the Respondent, officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency went out on an operation on 21st March, 2012 from Yola to a village called Loko. They were attacked in the village by a mob leaving two of their officers dead. According to Pw2, Pw3 and Pw9, the Appellant was seen in the mob moving towards one of the NDLEA officers. Pw7 told them to move back. But the Appellant and the mob continued to move towards the officer. Pw7 shot the Appellant on the leg.

???In his defence, the Appellant stated that he was on his way to the abattoir when he was shot on the leg. He fell down. He was taken by the police to Song hospital. Later at about 2:00am, some soldiers came and took him to NDLEA office.

After considering the evidence adduced by the parties and addresses of learned counsel, the Federal High Court found the Appellant and the others guilty on both counts, convicted and sentenced him to a prison term of twenty (20) years for conspiracy to obstruct officers of the NDLEA from discharging their lawful duties and another twenty (20) years prison term for the offence of obstruction of NDLEA officers from carrying out their lawful duties in the process of which two officers lost their lives and two others were seriously injured. Both sentences were to run concurrently. Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on these issues couched as follows:
1. Whether considering the evidence adduced by parties and the entire circumstances and the approach adopted by the trial Court in this case in delivering the Judgment, whether the trial Court was right in convicting and sentencing the Appellant as charged.
2.  Whether considering the evidence adduced by the Respondent at the trial, it has proved the case of conspiracy and obstruction of officer (sic) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency beyond reasonable doubt against the Appellant.

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


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