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SHINA AKINRIONOLA v. THE STATE

(2016) LPELR-40641(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 1st day of July, 2016

SC.524/2014


Before Their Lordships

SULEIMAN GALADIMA Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

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

KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

JOHN INYANG OKORO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

SHINA AKINRINLOLA - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the offences of conspiracy and armed robbery.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Akure Judicial Division.

The facts leading to this appeal as can be garnered from the record of appeal shows that the appellant on or about the 11th of December, 2003 at about 9.00 pm at No. 126 Oba Adesina Road. Akure popularly known as NAO Supermarket in the Akure judicial Division, while armed with guns and other dangerous weapons did rob one Ndubuisi Agatha (the Director of NAO Supermarket) of properties and cash valued at about four hundred and forty thousand naira (N440,000.00) only.

That in January 2004, while a team of detectives were investigating a robbery case at Araromi, the appellant and one other confessed to a previous case of robbery which happened at NAO Supermarket on the 11th December, 2003.

The case of the defence in respect of the appellant was that he was a victim of police random arrest at Araromi where he was waiting to take a bike. About seven of them were arrested. He also denied in open Court his participation in the robbery. At the close of evidence and addresses of counsel, the learned trial judge delivered judgment on 2nd November, 2010 and found the appellant guilty of conspiracy and armed robbery and thereby sentenced him to death accordingly.

Being dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial Court, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal which dismissed the appeal in a judgment delivered on 25th, June, 2014. The appellant has further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The appellant distilled three (3)issues for the determination of the appeal. The issues are as follows:-
''(1) Whether the prosecution discharged the burden of proving that Exhibit B1 - the alleged confessional statement was corroborated or confirmed as true in line with a plethora of Supreme Court authorities?
(2) Whether there was any reliable evidence in proof of the identity of the appellant as committing the offence in view of the material contradicting evidence of PW1, PW2, PW3 and PW4 in respect of the identification?
(3) In view of the evidence before the Court, whether the Court of appeal was correct to have held that the prosecution proved the case of armed robbery against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt?''

 The respondent also formulate three(3) issues for the determination of the appeal as follows:
''(1) Whether the learned justices of the Court of Appeal were right in affirming the conviction and sentence of death imposed on the appellant (solely on the appellant's confessional statement) in the light of evidence before the Court.
(2) Whether the procedure adopted for identifying the appellant as one of those who commited armed robbery at NAO Supermarket on 11th December, 2003 is valid in law?
(3) Whether the learned justices of the Court of Appeal were right in holding that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt at the trial Court.''
DECISION/HELD:
The three issues were resolved against the appellant, the appeal was held to be lacking in merit and it was accordingly dismissed. The judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on 25th June, 2014 which upheld the conviction and sentence of the appellant to death for the offence of armed robbery by the High Court of Ondo State was affirmed.


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