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(2018) LPELR-44388(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 27th day of April, 2018


Before Their Lordships

WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD 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


BAMIDELE SIMEON - Appellant(s)


THE STATE - Respondent(s)

Other Citations

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This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.
This is an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure.

The facts of the case, as stated by PW1, Assistant Superintendent of Police Obetan are as follows: The appellant, a Police officer who was on posting in Abuja, came to Akure where his family resides late in the evening on Sunday, 26h April 2009. Upon entering his bedroom, he found one Godwin apparently engaged in sexual intercourse with his wife. He tried to catch him but he escaped. He reported the matter to the provost of the barracks who advised him to make a formal complaint at the Police station. He accordingly reported the matter at the Oda Divisional Police Station. He was told to return the next morning, 27th April, as it was rather late. About thirty minutes later, the appellant's wife made a report at the station that she had been attacked by the appellant and some other people. The appellant was invited back and he repeated his accusation that he found her having intercourse with the said Godwin in their matrimonial home. His wife denied this. 

The appellant returned to the Police station the following day and made a statement regarding what had transpired the previous day. Sometime after the appellant left the Police station, PW1 received a message that the corpse of a man was found lying beside the road. Accompanied by other Police officers, he went to the scene. They discovered that it was Godwin's corpse. The corpse was deposited at the mortuary. A search for the appellant was initially unsuccessful. It was later found that he had returned to Abuja and resumed duty. He was arrested and taken back to Akure. The case was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (C.I.D.). ???Apart from PW1, two other witnesses testified for the prosecution. They tendered several exhibits marked Exhibits A, B, C, D, E, E1 and F - F3 respectively. Exhibit C is a confessional statement. The appellant testified in his own defence and did not call any other witness. 

At the conclusion of the trial, and after considering the written addresses of learned counsel, the High Court, in a considered judgment delivered on 27/6/2012, found the appellant guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter, having found that the defence of provocation availed him. He was convicted and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. He was dissatisfied with the judgment and appealed to the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, which dismissed the appeal on 14/11/2014. Further aggrieved, the Appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Court determined the appeal on this sole issue it couched as follows:

"Whether the Lower Court was right in affirming the appellant's conviction for manslaughter."

On the whole, the Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.

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