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MR. EMMANUEL NNAMDI NNAKWE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
ON FRIDAY, THE 12TH DAY OF JULY, 2013
SUIT NO: SC.254A/2007
BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS
WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, JSC
CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA-ENEH, JSC
OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA, JSC
CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI, JSC
KUMAI BAYANG AKA’AHS, JSC
THE STATE – Respondents
FCT High Court
Kehinde Ogunwumiju with Bridget Omon Oleabhiele and Abolanle Alawoya – For the Respondents
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW:– Powers of the Attorney General to issue a fiat for the prosecution of a charge – Section 301 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 – When deemed competent – Relevant considerations
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE:- Criminal proceedings – Powers of the Attorney General to issue a Fiat to a private legal practitioner to prosecute an alleged offence – Constitutional foundation – Community reading of section 4(2)(b) of the Penal Code Act read along with section 134(a) (b) (c) and (d) of the Criminal Procedure Code Act as well as section 301 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 – Relevant considerations
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE:- Offences committed in the course of the same transaction – Assassination – Jurisdiction – When offences out of jurisdcition can be deemed automatically offences committed within jurisdiction as soon as accused persons entered jurisdiction – Relevant considerations
CHILDREN AND WOMEN LAW:- Women in public leadership/Justice administration – Sensitive public office – NAFDAC DG, Dora Akunyili and assassination attempts upon her life – How treated
CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment):
The case in this appeal is on all fours with the sister case in Appeal No.SC.254/2007 as it is predicated on the same set of facts, proceedings are in the same trial and resulting the ruling from whence the interlocutory appeal emanates.
With the same set of issues formulated, the outcome of one judgment also binds the other.
It is pertinent to state that all the counts 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the charge are deemed offences committed in the course of the same transaction (that is to assassinate P.W.1, Dr. (Mrs.) Dora Akunyili, the Director General of (NAFDAC). Counts 3 and 4 therefore automatically become offences committed in the FCT as soon as the appellant entered the FCT. This is because they are continuing manifestation of the acts in counts 1 and 2 which took place in Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
On a community reading of section 4(2)(b) of the Penal Code Act read along with section 134(a) (b) (c) and (d) of the Criminal Procedure Code Act as well as section 301 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the Attorney General of the Federation, competently issued the fiat as he did for the prosecution of the charge inclusive of counts 3 and 4.
Consequently, and on the totality of this appeal, same is devoid of any merit and is accordingly dismissed. The judgment of the lower court that the Federal Capital Territory High Court Abuja has jurisdiction to entertain counts 3 and 4 of the charge is hereby affirmed. The FCT High Court should in other words, proceed to entertain the said count and conclude the case on the merit.
WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, J.S.C.:
I have had the benefit of reading in draft the lead judgment of my learned brother OGUNBIYI, JSC, just delivered.
I agree with his reasoning and conclusion that the appeal is without merit and should be dismissed.
I consequently dismiss same.
CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA-ENEH, J.S.C.:
I read the lead judgment of my learned brother Ogunbiyi JSC in this matter with which I entirety agree. All the issues raised for determination have been rightly resolved against the Appellant. The appeal has no merit whatsoever and should be dismissed. I endorse all the consequential orders contained therein.
OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA, J.S.C.:
I was privileged to have read in draft the lead judgment just delivered by my learned brother, Clara Ogunbiyi, JSC.
I am in complete agreement with the reasoning and conclusion arrived thereat. I have nothing more useful to add. The appeal for lacking in merit and substance is, as the sister case in SC.254/2007 Marcel Nnakwe vs. The State deserves to be dismissed.
Accordingly, it is dismissed.
KUMAI BAYANG AKA’AHS, J.S.C.:
This appeal arose from the same facts as appeal No.254/2007: MARCEL NNAKWE vs THE STATE in which judgment was delivered some moments ago. As same issues were raised in this appeal, judgment in SC.254/2007 abides the judgment in this appeal. It lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed.