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OJO ESSEYIN v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44476(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 18th day of May, 2018

SC.371/2017


Before Their Lordships

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

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

OJO ESSEYIN - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Offence of Culpable Homicide punishable with Death.
FACTS:
The appellant was charged before the High Court of Kogi State sitting at Kabba with two counts of rape and culpable homicide punishable with death, punishable under Sections 283 and 221 (a) of the Penal Code respectively. The appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

It was the prosecution's case that on 21/11/2011, the appellant invited the deceased, Sefiyat Umoru, into the uncompleted building where he was working under the pretext of buying some of the cow milk (known as nunu) which she was hawking and allegedly proceeded to rape, beat and kill her. Her corpse was discovered in a cassava farm a short distance from the uncompleted building. On the day in question she was in the company of two other girls who were also hawking cow milk. When the appellant beckoned on the deceased, the other two ladies continued with their journey to Kabba. In the course of the investigation, they identified the appellant as the person who lured the deceased into the uncompleted building. She was not seen alive thereafter.

The prosecution called four witnesses in proof of its case while the appellant elected to rest on the prosecution's case and called no evidence in his defence. At the conclusion of the trial, the appellant was acquitted and discharged in respect of the charge for rape. He was however found guilty of culpable homicide punishable with death. Dissatisfied with the decision, he appealed to the Court of Appeal. His conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on 24/4/2015.

Further dissatisfied, the brought this appeal.


ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on a sole issue formulated by the Court as follows:
Whether the lower Court was right in affirming the decision of the trial Court on the ground that the prosecution did prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court held that the appeal lacked merit and it was accordingly dismissed. Consequently, the decisions of the trial Court and Court of Appeal were affirmed.


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