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(2019) LPELR-47835(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 31st day of May, 2019


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

SIDI DAUDA BAGE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

UWANI MUSA ABBA AJI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria




THE STATE - Respondent(s)

Other Citations

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This appeal borders on the offence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery.
This appeal is against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, delivered on 6th March, 2015 wherein the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the High Court of Ogun State which convicted and sentenced the appellant to death for the offence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery contrary to Section 1(2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap 398 LFN 1990 as amended by The Tribunal (certain consequential offences ETC) Act 1999.

On 15th March, 2006, at Oke Bode, Abeokuta in Ogun State, the PW1 (Tomori Osoko (f)) was going to Kuto to buy fish when the Appellant and two others who were on a motorcycle, pushed her into a drainage and robbed her of the sum of N9,000:00. That shortly after the incident, the PW2 (Otun Bashir Adekunle) drove by and the Pw1 tried to caution him from going into the street on which she had just been robbed. He ignored her and ran straight into the robbers who were using a motorcycle. The robbers also attempted to rob the Pw2 but he called their bluff even after the appellant showed him a gun he was holding. The three robbers then took off on a motor cycle, shooting in the air when they noticed Pw2 was giving them a chase. Pw2 actually gave them a chase. He drove behind them until they got to a corner where he drove and overtook them. He immobilized them and caused an accident. Two of the robbers were injured well enough to be immobilized and were caught, one at the scene and the other at a nearby school where he ran to hide. It was the appellant who escaped with minor injury and was able to flee the scene of the "accident" with the weapon of assault - a gun. The other two accused persons were eventually handed over to the police and by information emanating from them, the Appellant was arrested at his house. The appellant and the other accused persons made confessional statements which they each resiled from at the trial. The prosecution sought to tender the statements, but was each rejected upon objection raised by the learned counsel to the accused persons. The ground of objection was that the statements sought to be tendered were recorded in English, contrary to the claim of the accused persons that they each spoke in Yoruba.

At the trial, the appellant denied the charge and stated that himself and the 2nd accused person were victims of a motor accident when they were knocked down by the Pw2 while riding a motor cycle. The appellant asserted that it was Pw2 who brought police to his house on the following day where he was arrested.

At the end of trial, the learned trial Judge convicted the three accused persons and sentenced them to death for armed robbery. 

The appellant was dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court and he appealed to the Court of Appeal. On 6th March, 2015, the Court of Appeal affirmed the Judgment of the High Court and dismissed the appellant's appeal.

Again, dissatisfied with the Judgment of the Court of Appeal, the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Court determined the appeal on a sole issue as formulated by the respondent thus:
"Whether from the entirety of the evidence on record as well as material available, the respondent as prosecution established the offences of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery against the Appellant beyond reasonable doubt to warrant a dismissal of the Appeal on 31st March, 2015."

In conclusion, the Court in a unanimous decision dismissed the appeal.

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