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ATAT OF MANGOR
FEDERAL SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
12TH DECEMBER, 1956
CWLR (1956) 3
CHILDREN AND WOMEN LAW – WIFE KILLING: – Women and Domestic violence – Husband stabs wife to death – Plea of drunkenness and provocation – Degree of drunkenness and provocation required to reduce murder to manslaughter – Relevant considerations
BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS:
OLUMUYIWA JIBOWU, AG. F.C.J. (Presided and Read the Judgment of the Court)
M.C. NAGEON DE LESTANG, F.J.
PERCIVAL CYRIL HUBBARD, AG. F.J.
Applicant not represented.
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE: – Murder – Defence of drunkenness and provocation – When not applicable
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – LEAVE OF COURT: – Leave of court to appeal against conviction for murder – Whether can be refused
JIBOWU, Ag. F.C.J. (Delivering the Judgment of the Court):
The applicant was convicted of murdering his wife, Ullo, by Bairamian, S.P.J., at the High Court, Jos, on the 24th October, 1956. His application for leave to appeal against this conviction was refused on the 7th December, 1956, and we now give reasons for the refusal.
Medical evidence called at the trial showed that the deceased had died of haemorrhage from the liver and lung as a result of stab wound on the back between the 8th and 9th ribs which cut the upper part of the liver, right diaphragm, and lower lobe of the right lung. It was proved by the prosecution and the applicant, then accused, admitted inflicting the wound from which the deceased died.
The applicant relied on the defences of drunkenness and provocation, both of which the learned trial Judge rejected. The evidence did not show that the applicant was so drunk that he did not know what he was doing but showed, that although he had been drinking, he yet knew what he was doing and that it was wrong at the time of the stabbing and afterwards.
With regard to the defence of provocation, the applicant made a statement to the police that he stabbed his wife because she had expressed a wish to cease to be his wife. At his trial he added that his wife also insulted him. This the Judge did not believe as the allegation of insulting language which the applicant did not make to the police appeared to be an afterthought. It appeared that the learned Judge reached a right decision on the evidence before him, and we therefore refused the application for leave to appeal.
DE LESTANG, F.J.: I concur.
HUBBARD, AG. F.J.: I concur.