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(2018) LPELR-43604(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 19th day of January, 2018


Before Their Lordships

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

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

CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI 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


TERLUMEN GIKI - Appellant(s)


THE STATE - Respondent(s)

Other Citations

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This appeal borders on the offence of armed robbery.

This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Calabar Division which affirmed the decision of the High Court of Cross River State convicting and sentencing the appellant to death on the offence of armed robbery.

At about 1.30 am on 15th day of December, 2005, the appellant and three others while armed with offensive weapons - two locally made pistols and a dagger were alleged to have robbed one Ogbaji Pius Ogar (PW1) of the sum of N31,700.00 at Alifokpa in Yala Local Government Area of Cross-River State. Ogbaji Pius Ogar, a motor Cyclist, went to drop a passenger at Wuese, a village located on the boundary between Benue and Cross River State. On his way back, he came across a road block allegedly mounted by the appellant and the three co-accused persons. As PW1 was about to reverse his motor cycle, the robbers emerged from the bush armed with pistols and a dagger. They robbed PW1 of the sum of N31,700.00, tied his two hands behind his back and ordered him to accompany them to Osina, some thirty minutes away, for further robbery operations. ???On getting to Osina village, PW1 raised an alarm. The villagers came to his aid and rescued him from the robbers who fled into the bush. In the process of trying to escape, the robbers shot indiscriminately. As a result, a stray bullet hit a girl, PW2 (Rose Omagu) on the forehead. She was injured and had to be rushed to the local hospital for treatment. The robbers were eventually arrested even though one of them, Sunday Makai managed to escape arrest. 

The appellant and two of the robbers, Manaseh Jiwunde and Aondowase Songo were jointly charged and tried for the offence of armed robbery contrary to Sections 1(2)(a) and (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R, 11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Manaseh Juwunde was the first accused person at the trial. The appellant was the second accused while Aondawase was the third accused. The appellant denied the charge in every respect. In response, he said that he went to buy palm wine in Osina for the burial of a classmate. As he was making enquiries about the palm wine, he was accosted by a vigilante group, beaten, arrested and handed over to the police on suspicion of stealing. 

At the trial, the prosecution called three witnesses and tendered ten exhibits, whereas the appellant, as accused person, testified on his own behalf without calling any witness to testify for his defence. In the end the learned trial Judge found the appellant guilty as charged and convicted him of the offence of armed robbery and sentenced him to death. Naturally aggrieved by his conviction and sentence by the trial Court, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal which dismissed his appeal and affirmed the conviction and sentence. 

Still dissatisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Court determined the appeal on a lone issue as follows:
"Was the Court below right to affirm the Judgment of the trial Court on the ground that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt."

On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and it was accordingly dismissed.

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