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(2018) LPELR-45163(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 14th day of June, 2018


Before Their Lordships

IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD 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

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


EMEKA MBACHU - Appellant(s)


THE STATE - Respondent(s)

Other Citations

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This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.
This is an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Port-Harcourt.

The appellant who was the accused at the High Court (Rivers State High Court) was the driver of a bus with Registration No. RV 1863 PC. At about 6:45pm along the Port-Harcourt - Aba expressway, by a place known as Artillary Junction, he was stopped by the members of the Road Marshall, known as Special Marshall, on the alleged offence of driving with only one headlight. The deceased a member of the Road Marshall, was assigned to book him for the alleged infraction. 

While the deceased was in front of the bus to examine the headlight, the appellant, allegedly drove over him, crushed him and drove away. The deceased was taken to a private clinic where he died shortly thereafter. 

After taking and evaluating the evidence from the parties, the learned trial judge found the appellant guilty of the offence as charged, convicted and sentenced him to death.

On appeal to the Court of Appeal, Port-Harcourt Division (Court below), the Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the High Court's decision.

Further dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Court determined the appeal on the issues raised by the Appellant and couched as follows:

1. Whether having regard to the divergent evidence produced by the prosecution on the immediate facts of this case, the Court of Appeal was right in affirming the judgment of the trial Court that charge of murder was proved against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.

2. Having regard to the facts established before the learned trial judge, was the Court of Appeal correct in law, in refusing to invoke the provisions of Section 179(2) of the Criminal Procedure Law of Eastern Nigeria.

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

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