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THE STATE v. ALI AHMED

(2020) LPELR-49497(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 24th day of January, 2020

SC.511/2016


Before Their Lordships

OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

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

AMINA ADAMU AUGIE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

PAUL ADAMU GALUMJE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

UWANI MUSA ABBA AJI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

THE STATE - Appellant(s)

AND

ALI AHMED - 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, Abuja division delivered on 17th day of March, 2016 wherein the appeal by the respondent was allowed and the judgment of the trial Court, which convicted and sentenced the respondent, was set aside. The respondent was accordingly acquitted and discharged.
The respondent had been arraigned in the High Court of Niger State, sitting at Suleja. He was charged with the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death.
Upon the reading of the charge, the respondent pleaded not guilty and the case proceeded to trial. 
The prosecution called three (3) witnesses - PW1, PW2 and PW3 to prove its case while the respondent testified in defence but called no other witness. 
At the close of the trial and counsel's addresses, in its reserved judgment, the trial Court found the respondent guilty as charged. He was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.
Being dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court, the respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal. In its unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal found in favour of the respondent  and his appeal was allowed. 
Dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, the Appellant (The State) appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The Supreme Court determined the appeal on a sole issue as follows:
"Whether the prosecution proved its case against the respondent beyond reasonable doubt."

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Supreme Court held that the appeal succeeds and it was allowed. The judgment of the trial Court which convicted the respondent and sentenced him to death was restored and the judgment of the Court of Appeal was set aside. The respondent's acquittal and discharge order was reversed.


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