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YUSUF AKEEM v. THE STATE

(2017) LPELR-42465(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 2nd day of June, 2017

SC.589/2014


Before Their Lordships

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMIRU SANUSI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

YUSUF AKEEM - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on criminal law and procedure.

FACTS:
The Appellant was arraigned and prosecuted at the High Court of Justice of Ondo State sitting at Akure, in Akure judicial Division for the offence of Armed Robbery contrary to Section 1(2) (a) the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R11, Vol 14 Laws of the Federation, 2004. The offence was allegedly committed on the 2nd January, 2011.

On the 2nd January, 2011 at about 12.40am, the Appellant was said to have entered the house of Mrs. Oguntoyinbo (PW.2) at Orita Obele estate on a robbery operation and informed her that the house was surrounded by his gang. He thereafter demanded for her Jewelry and money and also threatened to open the door and the Appellant carted away her money and Jewelry, but just before he left the house, he saw the picture of her late husband on the wall and asked her where her late husband hailed from and his name. She then told him, he was from Oba Akoko and also told him his name to which he exclaimed "oh lord ". He collected her phone and that of her daughter and a sum above N2,000. The Appellant led the daughter of Pw2 to one Mr. Lanre Alonge (PW3) trying to get access to Pw3's house. Mr. Lanre raised an alarm and the daughter took advantage of the opportunity to escape and the appellant also fled.

On the 10th January, 2011, PW. 2 received a call from father of her daughter's friend, that she should see him at home. She went to see the man, and he told her that someone had been flashing his number and when he called back, a girl picked the phone and asked to speak with Aderonke who is PW.2's daughter. On further enquiries as to why she wanted to meet Aderonke, the girl said she wanted to meet her because of the design on the phone (the stolen phone) that she would love to learn and would want to meet Aderonke to teach her. She also said someone gave her the phone and Aderonke's name, always came up whenever she used the phone. After the conversation, PW.2 strategized on how to get the girl and enlisted the help of Mr. Lanre (PW.3) to help her. PW.3 established a relationship with the girl on phone and thereafter planned to meet her. They agreed to meet at Oke - Ijebu area of Akure and at the meeting point they saw the phone that was robbed from PW.2's Daughter on the day of the incident. The girl was thereafter arrested and taken to the police station. At the Police Station she disclosed that the accused person gave her the phone and she led the police to where the accused person was arrested.

The appellant made an extra-judicial statement on the 13th January, 2011 which was admitted by the High Court and marked as Exhibit B. It is on these facts that the Appellant was prosecuted and charged for committing Armed Robbery. The High Court, in its judgment dated 21st January, 2013 found the Appellant guilty and convicted him for Robbery contrary to Section 1(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act. The Appellant was however aggrieved. His appeal to the Court of Appeal, sitting at Akure, against his conviction and sentence for the offence of Robbery was on 5th June, 2014 dismissed, and the conviction and sentence were affirmed.
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It is from the decision of the Court of Appeal, affirming the conviction and sentence of the Appellant for Robbery that the Appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The Appellant formulated 3 issues for the determination of the appeal. The Court determined the appeal on the issues formulated by the Appellant as follows:
1. Whether the Court of Appeal was right in affirming the validity of the Appellant's arraignment as being in compliance with fundamental principle of fair hearing.
2. Whether the non-consideration by the Court of Appeal of the Appellant's defence of alibi occasioned miscarriage of Justice.
3. Whether the guilt of the appellant, as affirmed by the lower Court, i.e the Court of Appeal, was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, all the issues for determination were resolved against the Appellant. The Court held that there was no merit in the appeal and it was thereby dismissed. The conviction and sentence Under Section 1 (1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) of the Appellant was reconfirmed.


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