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ADEYEMI PEDRO v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44460(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 11th day of May, 2018

SC.209/2015


Before Their Lordships

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

JOHN INYANG OKORO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMIRU SANUSI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

ADEYEMI PEDRO - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the offence of Armed Robbery.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Akure Division delivered on 20th day of March, 2015 which dismissed the appeal against the judgment of Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure and upheld the conviction and sentence of the appellant to death by hanging.

The facts of the case are that on the 13th day of November 2012, the Appellant was arraigned before an Akure High Court, on a one count charge of armed robbery pursuant to Section 1(2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms(Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R 11, Vol.14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2OO4. The Appellant pleaded not guilty to the offence contained in the charge. The case thereafter proceeded to trial wherein the Prosecution (Respondent) called 4 witnesses, while the Appellant refused to give evidence and thereupon the  trial judge adjourned for counsel's final address which was filed and adopted by Parties. Exhibits P1, P2, and P3, P4, P4 and P5 were tendered and admitted in the course of the trial. 

The case for the prosecution was that on the 23rd day of May, 2011, PW1 was moving towards Arakale at about 09:15pm, when he met the Appellant who flashed a torch light at him. The Appellant later moved closer to PW1, brought out a gun which he then pointed at PW1's head, gave him a slap, forcibly collected the sum of N11,300 and two Nokia phones from PW1, and finally pushed him into mud water on the road. After the Appellant left PW1, the latter narrated the incident to a team of Police Officers that he met when he was walking along the road. When the phone of one of the police officers was later used to call PW1's phone, the Appellant picked the call and ordered PW1 to come and collect his sim with the sum of N10,000 at a Hotel which PW1 could not remember its name. PW1 was later advised by the Police Officers to decline the offer made by the appellant. At about 11:00pm of the same day, PW1 received a call from the Appellant instructing him to wait for him at Ijomu Junction, PW1 later waited at the said junction after informing some plain clothes Policemen who were also present at the said junction at about 20 minutes afterwards, PW1's phone rang again and he saw the Appellant standing directly opposite him, thereafter the Appellant asked "where is the N10,000?" but as the PW1 was trying to beg him, the Appellant attempted to leave the scene. At this point, PW1 suddenly jumped across the Taxi cab that was between them, and the Police Officer quickly came out to effect Appellant's arrest. However, the Appellant was holding on to the gun while the policemen were beating him. About five bullets were shot to disperse people away from the area and afterwards the Appellant was arrested and taken to the Police station. The Appellant refused to give evidence at the High Court, although he admitted in his two extra-judicial statements made to the Police which were rightly admitted as Exhibits P1 and P2, that he was actively involved in how PW1 was robbed.  

At the close of evidence from both sides, and address by the counsel, learned trial judge in a judgment delivered on 9th day of July, 2013, found the Appellant guilty of the offence of armed robbery.  The Appellant being dissatisfied with his conviction and sentence appealed to the Court of Appeal which upheld the decision of the High Court. The Appellant, not also being satisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The apex Court determined the appeal on the sole issue raised by the Appellant and couched as follows:

"Whether from the facts before the Court, the prosecution was able to prove the offence of armed robbery beyond reasonable doubt as required by law."

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


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