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(2018) LPELR-43602(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


SAMUEL CHIDOZIE - Appellant(s)



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This appeal borders on the Offence of Criminal Intimidation.
The appellant was initially arraigned along with two others before the Chief Magistrate Court, Lokoja for offences of criminal breach of trust, theft, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation. Upon his arrest, appellant volunteered an extra judicial statement denying committing the offences contrary to Sections 97(1), 306, 287, 322 and 397 of Penal Code. The appellant was the 1st accused in the case before the trial Court.
The case of prosecution is that the PW1, Godwin Ojike and the appellant are members of the National Union of Mobile Marketers and Advertisers of Nigeria (NUMMAN). Owing to some disagreements, the PW1 pulled out of the Union. The appellant and the other members of the Union started threatening him and warned him to pack out of Lokoja town or he would be killed. In order to carry out their threats, the appellant along with the other members of the union started sending all kinds of strange visitors to harass him and followed the pw1 to monitor his movements and on one of such occasions, two boys armed with guns visited pw1's house and threatened to kill him. 

The prosecution in proof of its case called two witnesses and appellant testified on his own behalf in his defence without calling any witness. At the end of the evidence of the prosecution, a submission of no case to answer was made on behalf of the appellant which the trial Court upheld, discharging the appellant of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and theft contrary to Sections 97 (1), 312 and 287 of the Penal Code respectively. The appellant was then only charged for the offence of criminal intimidation contrary to Section 397 of the Penal Code. 

The trial Court at the end of the hearing convicted the appellant and sentenced him to a fine of N2,000.00 or 12 months imprisonment in case of default for the offence of criminal intimidation. The appellant dissatisfied appealed to the High Court which affirmed what the trial Court did and the appellant aggrieved appealed to the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division to contest the validity of his conviction and sentence but the Court agreed with the High Court and further dissatisfied, the appellant has appealed to the Supreme Court.

The appeal was determined on the Respondent's issues viz:
1. Whether having regard to the totality of the evidence adduced at the trial Court below was right in affirming the conviction and  sentence of the appellant. 
2. Whether the prosecution has to prove physical injury to sustain the charge of criminal intimidation under Section 397 of the Penal Code. 

The appeal was dismissed, the decision of the Court of Appeal in its affirmation of the judgment of the High Court which in turn affirmed the judgment, conviction and sentence of the trial Magistrate Court was further affirmed.

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