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ABUBAKAR MOHAMMED v. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

(2018) LPELR-43908(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 9th day of March, 2018

SC.726/2013


Before Their Lordships

OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR 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

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

EJEMBI EKO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

ABUBAKAR MOHAMMED - Appellant(s)

AND

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.
FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Judicial Division. The appellant was charged before the Federal High Court, Ilorin Division on a one count of charge as follows:
"That you Abubakar Mohammed, male, adult on or about the 18th day of March, 2011 along Jebba/Mokwa express Way at Bode Sa'adu in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without lawful authority dealt in 20 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa (otherwise known as Indian Hemp) a drug similar to cocaine, heroin, LSD etc and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 11(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap. N30 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004."

???He was arraigned on 12/4/2011. He pleaded guilty to the charge after it was read and interpreted to him in Hausa Language. The following items were tendered by the prosecution without objection and marked Exhibits A-H:
??? Statement of the appellant in Hausa and translated into English Language - Exhibit A.
??? Packing of substance form - Exhibit B.
?????? Certificate of test analysis - Exhibit C.  
??? Request for scientific aid form - Exhibit D
??? Brown sealed envelope - Exhibit E 
??? Evidence pouch containing sample of the analysed drug - Exhibit F 
??? Drug analysis report - Exhibit G 
??? Bulk Exhibit - Exhibit H.

Thereafter the prosecution applied that the appellant be convicted as charged. There was no objection from M.A. Lawal Esq. who represented the appellant. He was convicted as charged and sentenced to 2?? years imprisonment commencing from 12/4/2011. Being dissatisfied with his conviction and sentence he appealed to the Court of Appeal. In a unanimous judgment delivered on 26/6/2013 the Court of Appeal resolved both issues against the appellant and dismissed the appeal. 

The appellant still aggrieved further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the issues couched as follows:

Issue 1
Whether the lower Court rightly affirmed the appellant's conviction and sentence in the face of the appellant's invalid arraignment and unfair trial.

Issue 2
Whether with regard to the offence of unlawful possession of Indian Hemp, the lower Court was right when it held that the Indian Hemp Act (vide its Section 8), Cap 16 Volume 7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, is inconsistent with, or has been repealed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N30, Volume 9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, thereby conferring jurisdiction on the Federal High Court. 

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.


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