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[BASED ON POLICY, PRACTICE AND PUBLISHING LAW REPORT, 3PLR, PROTOCOLS]
FEDERAL SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
16TH JANUARY, 1955
BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS:
SIR STAFFORD FOSTER-SUTTON, F.C.J. (Presided)
M.C. NAGEON DE LESTANG, F.J.
MYLES JOHN ABBOTT, F.J. (Read the Judgment of the Court)
Applicant absent and unrepresented.
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE:– Murder- Defence of provocation – When not established
CHILDREN AND WOMEN LAW:- Women and Murder – Women as Indirect Victims of murder – Murder in polygamous family – Appellant killed deceased who was his brother after failing to kill his step-mother– How treated
HEALTHCARE AND LAW:- Murder of a person proved to be ill and unable to defend himself by cutting his throat with a knife – Relevance in discharging a plea of self-defence or provocation – Attitude of court thereto
ABBOTT, F.J. (Delivering the Judgment of the Court)
The applicant, Salau Atanda, applied to this Court for leave to appeal from the conviction for murder of his half-brother, Braimoh Atanda.
We refused leave on 10th January 1958, and now give our reasons for doing so.
The evidence disclosed, beyond possibility of doubt, that the applicant killed the deceased, who was ill at the time and unable to defend himself, by cutting his throat with a knife. The applicant had previously attacked and threatened to kill his step-mother (the mother of the deceased) but she managed to escape before he could carry out his threat.
The applicant made a statement to the police when he was arrested, and also gave evidence on his own behalf at his trial. In both the statement and evidence, the applicant sought to establish some provocation for his act, alleging that, four years before, the deceased had cut the applicant’s hand with the result that that hand had become incapable of holding anything: that, on the day of the crime, he had quarrelled with his father and had been abused by his step-mother: and that he got so angry that he did not know what he was doing, and cut his brother’s throat.
The learned trial Judge quite rightly in our view, rejected the defence of provocation because, first, he did not believe in the truth of the excuses the applicant made, and secondly, even if they were true, they did not amount to provocation in law.
We found ourselves fully in agreement with the learned trial Judge, and we accordingly refused leave to appeal.
FOSTER-SUTTON, F.C.J.: I concur.
ABBOTT, F.J.: I concur.
Leave to appeal refused.