Be in the know…Legally

WHEN AN ORDER OF RETRIAL WILL BE MADE

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CASE TITLE: FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA v. NASIRU YAHAYA (2019) LPELR-46379(SC)

JUDGMENT DATE: 25TH JANUARY, 2019

PRACTICE AREA: CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

LEAD JUDGMENT: IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD, J.S.C.

SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT

INTRODUCTION:

This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.

FACTS:

This is an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto.

The background facts of the case are that the respondent who was a businessman and who specialized in the supply of fertilizer was engaged by the PW1 to supply him with 36 truckloads of fertilizer at the cost of N64,800,000.00 which money was paid into respondent’s bank account. The respondent immediately distributed the money to his business partners for the supply of the trucks of fertilizer and no particular period was agreed upon by the parties within which the transaction would be perfected.

After the distribution of the money to his business partners, PW1 called the respondent stating that he was no longer interested in the business and that the respondent should return the money. No reason was proffered for the change of mind.

The respondent pleaded for a period of one month within which to get back the monies from his business partners and PW1 agreed. However. four days after the agreed arrangement EFCC operatives started harassing the respondent in his house and the EFCC operative beat up and arrested security personnel of the respondent and later respondent himself was arrested and charged before the High Court of Zamfara State for criminal misappropriation. The High Court acquitted and discharged the respondent and the appellant dissatisfied appealed to the Court of Appeal which reversed that decision and ordered a re-trial which dissatisfied the appellant leading to this appeal to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION:

The Court determined the appeal on a sole issue viz:

“Whether the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal were right in making an order of re-trial having set aside the acquittal of the respondent?”

DECISION/HELD:

On the whole, the Apex Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same.

RATIOS:

  • CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE- OFFENCE OF CRIMINAL MISAPPROPRIATION: Ingredients of the offence of criminal misappropriation; standard of proof required to prove the offence
  • JUDGMENT AND ORDER- ORDER OF RETRIAL/TRIAL DE NOVO: Power of the Court of Appeal to order a retrial; instances when same will be exercised
  • JUDGMENT AND ORDER- ORDER OF RETRIAL/TRIAL DE NOVO: Instances where an order of retrial will be made

lawpavilion • February 4, 2019


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