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ADEBAYO OJO v. THE STATE

(2018) LPELR-44699(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 8th day of June, 2018

SC.89/2013


Before Their Lordships

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMIRU SANUSI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

ADEBAYO OJO - Appellant(s)

AND

THE STATE - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on the Offence of Armed Robbery.
FACTS:
The appeal emanated from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Ekiti division delivered on the 5th day of December, 2012. 

The facts giving rise to this appeal are simply that on 12th July,2003 the appellant attacked the PW1 in front of her shop with a matchet and inflicted some injuries on her left hand. According to the PW1, when the appellant tried to strike the second blow on her, the mask he was wearing on his face fell off and she was thereby able to see and recognise the appellant even though it was at night, but the moonshine was then very bright.

???The PW1, the victim also testified that she knew him since both of them attended the same church i.e the Redeemed Christian Church of God at Ogotun, Ekiti. She also testified that during the attack, the appellant robbed her of her bag containing N22,000 and some goods valued at N8,400. She said when attacked, she shouted for help and she was rescued and rushed to hospital for treatment. 

The appellant was later arrested and when taken to police station he volunteered a confessional statement. The appellant happened to be a student of a Polytechnic in Ekiti State. The appellant was later arraigned before the trial Court on allegation of armed robbery, contrary to Section 1(1) of Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap. 389 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 1990. When the charge was read and explained to the accused/appellant, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecution/Respondent called only one witness (PW1) the victim, to testify and closed its case. After the close of the case for the Prosecution, the accused testified on his own behalf as DW2 and called only one witness who happened to be his own mother, who had earlier testified as PW1 and he later closed his case for the defence. The learned trial judge in her considered judgment found against the accused/appellant and convicted the accused of committing the offence of armed robbery and sentenced him to death by hanging. 

The accused/appellant dissatisfied with the conviction and sentence, appealed to the Court of Appeal without success, as the Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction and sentence passed on the appellant by the trial Court. 

Further dissatisfied, the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The apex Court determined the appeal on the Appellant's issues three and four. They are renumbered as follows:
1. Whether the appellant was denied fair hearing because he was not represented by a counsel of his choice and also was not promptly arraigned before the trial Court.
2. Whether the reliance on the evidence of PW1 and Exhibit A to convict the appellant was justified?

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Supreme Court held that the appeal lacked merit and it was accordingly dismissed. Consequently, the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had earlier on affirmed the decision of the trial Court was affirmed.


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