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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
ON THURSDAY, THE 6TH DAY OF MAY, 1982
BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS
GEORGE SODEINDE SOWEMIMO, JSC
ANDREWS OTUTU OBASEKI, JSC
KAYODE ESO, JSC
AUGUSTINE NNAMANI, JSC
MUHAMMADU LAWAL UWAIS, JSC
NWAGWU AGWUAJA – Appellant(s)
THE STATE – Respondent(s)
F.O. Akinrele, SAN, (with him, E. A. Edigin, (Mrs.)) – For Appellant
I.C. Inko-Tariah, D.D.P.P., Rivers State – For Respondent
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE: Murder – when defence has nothing to urge on appeal – Duty of court
EMPLOYMENT AND LAW: Workplace security – Worker who ran amok slashing co-workers with matchet – Death arising therefrom – How treated
G.S. SOWEMIMO, J.S.C (Delivering the Leading Judgment):
The appellant was charged with the offence of murder, tried, convicted and sentenced to death, in the High Court. His defence of provocation and self-defence were both considered and in my view properly rejected. He appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal and this was dismissed as well. The act of the accused is very reprehensive, cutting down, killing people all around him without any cause whatsoever. Counsel for the appellant, F. O. Akinrele, SAN, having perused the records informs us both in his brief and oral statement in court that he has nothing to urge in favour of the appellant. The Deputy Director of Prosecutions of Rivers State, Mr. Inkotariah also informed the court that he has nothing to urge in favour of the appellant. I have looked through the proceedings before us and could see no point which has been raised which will justify this court to interfere with the judgment of the court below. The appeal is therefore dismissed. Judgments are therefore confirmed and the appeal stands dismissed.
A.O. OBASEKI, J.S.C.:
I agree with counsel and my learned brother, Sowemimo, J.S.C., that there is nothing that can be urged in favour of the appeal. The appellant, on the evidence, particularly, the confessional statement committed a premeditated murder. The defence of provocation and self defence put up was properly considered and rejected by the learned trial Judge. To arm himself with a matchet and run amok slashing all his 3 co-workers without provocation is uncalled for in this society. The deceased was already afflicted with stomach trouble and to hasten his death by uncalled for violence is pure murder. I hereby dismiss the appeal and affirm the conviction and sentence passed by the learned trial Judge and affirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal.
K. ESO, J.S.C.:
I agree that this appeal be dismissed and it is dismissed. There is no merit whatsoever, as both learned counsel have conceded, in the appeal. The appeal is dismissed. The conviction and sentence are affirmed.
A. NNAMANI, J.S.C.:
Having read the records, and after hearing learned counsel for the appellant and respondent, I agree that there is nothing in law that can be urged in favour of the appellant. The appellant for very frivolous reasons brutally murdered the deceased. The defences of provocation and self defence raised by the appellant were in my view rightly rejected by the learned trial Judge and the Federal Court of Appeal. This appeal lacks substance and I agree that it should be dismissed. It is hereby dismissed. The conviction and sentence imposed by the learned trial Judge and confirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal are hereby affirmed.
M.L. UWAIS, J.S.C.: I agree with both counsel for the appellant and the respondent that this appeal has no merit. The appellant attacked the deceased with matchet and thereby caused his death. There was no defence whatsoever for his action and none of the attenuating circumstances to murder avail him. I therefore agree that the appeal be dismissed and the conviction and sentence passed by the learned trial Judge and affirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal be confirmed.