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THE STATE v. EMMANUEL GBAHABO & ORS

(2019) LPELR-48117(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 21st day of June, 2019

SC.729/2013


Before Their Lordships

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

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

JOHN INYANG OKORO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

UWANI MUSA ABBA AJI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

THE STATE - Appellant(s)

AND

1. EMMANUEL GBAHABO
2. ZAKAL NYAN
3. KAZEEM ADEWOYE - 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 Division delivered on the 13th day of June 2013, setting aside the judgment of the Kwara State High Court in suit No. KWS/15C/2008, delivered on the 18th day of July 2008, convicting the respondents for the offence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery contrary to Sections 1 (2) and 6 (b) of the Robbery and Fire arms (Special Provisions) Act CAP R11 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

At the High Court, the prosecution tendered one locally made gun, two life cartridges and the statements of the accused persons as exhibits. Each of the respondents testified for himself.

???At the end of the trial, the three respondents along with one James Gwangwan were convicted as charged and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment each. James Gwangwan has had his conviction and sentence set aside by the  Court of Appeal in Appeal No. CA/IL/C76/2008 in the Court's decision delivered on 26th January 2011.

The judgment had been affirmed by the Supreme Court on 3rd July 2015 in Appeal No. SC. 504/2012. Respondents' appeal against their conviction and sentence by the High Court was similarly upheld by the Court of Appeal in appeal No. CA/IL/C6/2010 leading to their discharge and acquittal.

Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

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

ISSUE NUMBER ONE (1)
Whether the Court Below was right to have set aside the decision of the Learned trial that the prosecution has established the offence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery contrary to the provisions of Section 6 (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act, Cap R 11 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 against the Respondents.

ISSUE NUMBER TWO (2)
Whether the Court Below was right to have held that the Learned trial Judge simply relied on the alleged confessional statements of the Appellants to convict the sentence them notwithstanding the Respondents' defence of being tortured and forced to sign statements they said they never made.

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


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