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MOHAMMED SARKI FULANI M v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-45195(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Thursday, the 14th day of June, 2018

SC.501/2015


Before Their Lordships

IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

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

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE 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

MOHAMMED SARKI FULANI M - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the decision of the High Court of Kogi State, where appellant was charged with the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death, contrary to Section 221(b) of the Penal Code.

The Appellant, in his extra-judicial statement, narrated how he was waylaid on his way from farm by the deceased, who attacked him with plank on his head, hand and back. He fell down. The deceased still continued with the attack. The Appellant then reached out to the knife he had on him. He thereafter stabbed the deceased on the neck, abdomen and back. The deceased later died at a Primary Health Centre, two days after. He had earlier bled profusely from the stabbings. The medical report gave the said profuse bleeding as the cause of death.

The learned trial Judge, upon a thorough review of the totality of the evidence, formed an opinion that the Appellant ought, in the first place, to have been charged for culpable homicide not punishable with death, under Section 224 of the Penal Code. He accordingly, convicted the Appellant and sentenced him under Section 224 of the Penal Code for culpable homicide not punishable with death.

Appellant was dissatisfied with the decision of the trial Court. Being aggrieved, he appealed to the Court of Appeal, unsuccessfully. Appellant appealed further to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The issues for determination are:
"A. Whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal, Abuja were legally right when they were of the opinion, that the Appellant had inflicted injuries on the deceased and that the Respondent had established the cause of death of the deceased since the assault on the deceased was so proximate to this death.
B. Whether the learned justices of the Court of Appeal, Abuja was legally right when they were of the opinion that the alleged Appellant confessional statement is not a mere narration of what happened which culminated to the charge brought against the Appellant and if the alleged confessional statement positively linked the Appellant to the commission of the crime of culpable homicide not punishable with death.
C. Whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal, Abuja were legally right when they made a finding that the confessional statement met the necessary criteria for the ascription of probative value by the trial High Court and if apart from the said confession, the evidence of PW1 and Exhibit F have sufficiently corroborated the confessional statement.
D. Whether the learned Justice of the Court of Appeal, Abuja were legally right when they held the opinion that the non-signing of the alleged confessional statement of the Appellant by the police after the word of caution is not sufficient to render the confessional statement inadmissible but that what is material in that case is that the Appellant was cautioned and that the Appellant understood the caution before Appellant signed the said confessional statement.
E. Whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal, Abuja were legally right when they formed and held the opinion that it is immaterial whether or not the photographs of the deceased victim Exhibits C, C1 - C3 and their negatives Exhibits D, D1 - D3 were tendered by PW1 (I.P.O.) but that what is material was whether the deceased died from stab wounds inflicted on him by the Appellant as per the medical and circumstantial evidence before the trial High Court notwithstanding or having regard to the issues that both Exhibits C, C1-C3 and Exhibits D, D1-D3 are inadmissible documentary evidence.
F. Whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal, Abuja were legally right when they held the opinion that the Appellant had exceeded the right of self defence and if the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal, Abuja in law were legally right when they were of the opinion that the private defence of self defence will not avail the Appellant in this case."

DECISION/HELD:
In conclusion, the appeal was dismissed.


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