LawPavilion Online


Back

CHRISTOPHER DAVID v. COMMISSIONER OF POLICE PLATEAU STATE COMMAND

(2018) LPELR-44911(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 6th day of July, 2018

SC.696/2015


Before Their Lordships

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

JOHN INYANG OKORO 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

EJEMBI EKO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

CHRISTOPHER DAVID - Appellant(s)

AND

COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
PLATEAU STATE COMMAND - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Offence of Culpable Homicide punishable with death.
FACTS:
The Appellant was charged and tried for culpable homicide punishable with death under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law of Plateau State.

At the trial he raised defences of self-defence and provocation. The facts on which the Appellant rested his plea of self- defence was that while he was talking with a friend (one Zakka) at a beer parlor the deceased came in and interrupted the conversation, held him by the shirt and asked him (the Appellant) if he was the only person drunk there? That the deceased (one Emmanuel), in addition to rebuking him proceeded to head-butting him on the nose and mouth. The Appellant fell down; while the deceased went out of the beer parlor.

That as he was leaving the beer parlor the deceased obstructed him. The deceased had returned with an iron-pipe. He struck the Appellant on the chest with the iron pipe, and that as he was about to strike the Appellant the second time, the Appellant seized the iron pipe and hit him (the deceased) on the head with the same iron pipe.

The evidence of the PW.I, however, suggested that the Appellant upon seizing the iron-pipe from the deceased, had hit him twice on the head with it, and that the deceased, as a result, fell down and was bleeding from his mouth and nose. The PW.2 observed at the scene that the deceased was "hit near the left ear and on his head." Exhibit 7, the medical report, put the cause of death as "the hurt caused" to the deceased.

At the close of trial, the trial Court convicted and sentenced the Appellant to death. Dissatisfied with the decision, the Appellant appeal to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal set aside the death sentence imposed on the Appellant, upon his being convicted for culpable homicide punishable with death and in its stead the Appellant was "sentenced to life imprisonment under Section 222(1) of the Penal Code."

Further Dissatisfied, the Appellant brought this appeal.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the Appellants' issues as follows:
"1. Whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal were right to have held and affirmed the decision of the trial Court that the Appellant did not establish self defence in the circumstances.
2. Whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal were right to have sentenced the Appellant to life imprisonment under Section 222(1) of the Penal Code instead of Section 224 which gave (sic) options of life or less term of imprisonment or with fine or with both and if the answer is in the negative, whether the Court below was not misled by such error to the effect that the only option it had was to sentence the Appellant to life imprisonment?
3. Whether in the circumstances of the case, the imposition of life imprisonment on the Appellant by the Court below is not too harsh given the options provided by Section 224 of the Penal Code?"

DECISION/HELD:
???On the whole, the Court held that the appeal lacked merit and it was accordingly dismissed. Consequently, the decision appealed contained in the appeal No. CA/J/211C/2014 delivered on 31st March, 2015 by the Court of Appeal, Jos was affirmed.


Read Full Judgment