LawPavilion Online


Back

BENJAMIN FRIDAY v. THE STATE

(2016) LPELR-40640(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 1st day of July, 2016

SC.382/2014


Before Their Lordships

IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

NWALI SYLVESTER NGWUTA Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUMAI BAYANG AKA'AHS Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMIRU SANUSI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

BENJAMIN FRIDAY - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION: This appeal borders on the offence of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery. FACTS: This appeal is against the judgment of the Court of Akure Division delivered on 16/5/2014 affirming the judgment of the High Court of Ondo State which convicted and sentenced the Appellant to death by hanging on 16/8/2012. The offences for which he and two others were found guilty were conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery. The appellant who was the 1st accused and two others were arraigned before the Ondo State High Court sitting at Akure on a two count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery contrary to Sections 6(b) and 1{2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap RII Vol. 14 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.

The appellant and the other accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. In proof of its case, the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered several Exhibits. PW1 and PW2 were victims of the robbery while PW3 and PW4 were Police Officers who investigated the case. Apart from the toy gun which was recovered during the search of the appellant'??s premises and tendered in evidence as Exhibit B, none of the items which were taken away during the robbery operation could be seen. The appellant explained that the toy gun and other items which were recovered inside a bag in his apartment belonged to his cousin Enete but he never called the said Enete to testify. The appellant denied robbing PW1 and PW2. At the end of the trial, all the three accused persons were found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and also the offence of armed robbery and sentenced to death by hanging. Dissatisfied with the conviction, the appellant unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Appeal which dismissed the appeal. This is a further appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 16th May, 2014.
ISSUES: The appellant's Counsel formulated the following two issues for determination namely:-
(i) Whether the lower Court was right in affirming the decision of the learned trial judge that the prosecution led credible evidence of identification of the appellant as one of the armed robbers that attacked PW1 and PW2
(ii) Whether having regard to the circumstances and from the totality of the evidence on the record the lower Court was right in upholding the decision of the trial Court that the prosecution proved the offences of conspiracy to rob and armed robbery against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.

The respondent adopted the two issues formulated in the appellant's brief. DECISION/HELD: On the whole, the Court held that the appeal completely lacks merit and was dismissed. The Court further affirmed the judgment of the Court of appeal, Akure delivered on 16th May, 2014.


Read Full Judgment