LawPavilion Online


Back

EX CPL IKECHUKWU NWABUEZE v. THE PEOPLE OF LAGOS STATE

(2018) LPELR-44113(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 23rd day of March, 2018

SC.290/2014


Before Their Lordships

OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

EJEMBI EKO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

EX CPL IKECHUKWU NWABUEZE - Appellant(s)

AND

THE PEOPLE OF LAGOS STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Offence of Manslaughter. 
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division delivered on the 22nd day of November 2013 setting aside the appellant's conviction and sentence for murder contrary to Section 316(3) of the Criminal Code Cap 17 Laws of Lagos State 2003 and substituting in its place a conviction and sentence for manslaughter contrary to Section 317 of the same code.

The appellant, a policeman, on the 5th April 2009 shot and killed three year old Kafusara Muritala. Along with four other police officers, the appellant was deployed to Obanle-Aro/Mr. Biggs axis of Ketu Alapere, in Lagos, to prevent criminal activities of hoodlums. The team mounted a check point at the black spot. On the fateful day, PW1 Muritala Saliu, his wife, the deceased and some other passengers were being conveyed by one Saheed in a Nissan Sunny Saloon car towards Mile 12 from a naming ceremony in a friend's house. At about twelve meters from the check point and soon after the sound of a gunshot, Kafusara's mother on noticing the deceased had slumped raised alarm.

PW1, the deceased's father, carried the deceased back to the check point shouting profusely that the police had killed his daughter. Further to the complaint lodged on the incident and the investigation conducted thereon, the appellant, who had confessed shooting at the tyres of the vehicle in which the family of the deceased were being conveyed, was arraigned, convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of the deceased.

Dissatisfied, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal Lagos Division which decision of 22nd November, 2013 allowed the appeal in part.

Still aggrieved, the appellant has further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The appeal was determined on the following issues:

1. Whether the Court of Appeal was right, in view of the Appellant's confessional statement and other pieces of evidence, to hold that the deceased died of gunshot and the failure of the Respondent to tender post-mortem report was not fatal to its case
2. Whether, from the circumstances of this case, the Court of Appeal was right to have convicted the Appellant for the offence of manslaughter and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
3. Whether any defence was available to the appellant in this case.
4. Whether, considering the state of evidence, the Court of Appeal denied the Appellant his right to fair hearing."


DECISION/HELD:
The appeal was unanimously dismissed. The decision of the Court of Appeal dismissing the appeal of the Appellant against his conviction and sentence by the trial Court was affirmed.


Read Full Judgment