3PLR – AVO BUGAN V. THE QUEEN

POLICY, PRACTICE AND PUBLISHING, LAW REPORTS  3PLR

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AVO BUGAN

V.

THE QUEEN

FEDERAL SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

17TH AUGUST, 1959.

F.S.C. 140/1959

3PLR/1959/35 (SC)

 

OTHER CITATIONS

BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS

MYLES JOHN ABBOTT, AG. F.C.J. (Presided)

LOUIS NWACHUKWU MBANEFO, F.J.

ALEXANDER WILLIAM BELLAMY, AG. F.J. (Read the Judgment of the Court)

 

REPRESENTATION

Appellant not represented.

SOMIARI -for the Respondent.

 

MAIN ISSUE[S]

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE: – Murder – How proved – Deceased failing to pre­vent a third party from interfering with accused’s property – Whether justification for killing – relevant considerations

MURDER WEAPON: Matchet

CHILDREN AND WOMEN LAW: – Women and Justice administration – Unresolved dispute over land – Brutal murder of a woman for ‘failing’ to prevent a third party interfering with killer’s land – Whether justifies killing

 

MAIN JUDGMENT

BELLAMY, AG. F.J. (Delivering the Judgment of the Court):

The ac­cused was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On the 28th July, 1959, we heard this application for leave to appeal against his conviction and dismissed it. We now give our reasons for our decision.

There can be no question, to start with, that the appellant killed Ofuo Ugang, the woman named in the information. This was proved by the clearest evidence called by the prosecution, and was, in fact, frankly admit­ted by the appellant himself who said in evidence: “I killed the mother (Ufuo Ugang) because she did not stop Anwusie’s interference with my property.” The only question which the learned trial Judge (Sir Alfred John Ainley, C.J.) had to consider was whether the circumstances in which the deceased was killed by the appellant amounted in law to murder or manslaughter.

Now it is clear to anyone who considers the evidence that the appellant went out armed with a matchet with a definite intention to kill, and the fact that the appellant was angry because the deceased did not prevent a third party’s interference with his property cannot by any possibility be said to be any justification for killing the deceased. In our opinion, the facts admitted by the appellant himself constituted murder, and the conviction was right.

Leave to appeal refused.

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