CASE TITLE: STATE v. WADARI (2023) LPELR-61564(CA)
JUDGMENT DATE: 24TH NOVEMBER, 2023
PRACTICE AREA: CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
LEAD JUDGMENT: ITA GEORGE, MBABA, J.C.A.
SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:
This appeal borders on Criminal Law and Procedure.
This is an appeal against the decision of Jigawa State High Court, in Charge No. JUD/325C/2020, delivered on October 17, 2021, by Hon. Justice Musa Ubale, wherein the learned trial Judge convicted the Respondent for offences of Criminal Conspiracy, contrary to Section 97 of the Penal Code; Culpable Homicide, punishable with death, under Section 221(b) of the Penal Code Law; and causing grievous hurt, contrary to Section 243 of the Penal Code.
Upon being arraigned on February 23, 2021, the Respondent (as Defendant) pleaded not guilty. After hearing the case and considering the evidence and addresses of Counsel, the trial Court convicted the Respondent on each count and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
The Appellant has appealed against the part of the judgment where the Respondent was sentenced to “life imprisonment.” A cross-appeal was also filed by the Appellant.
ISSUE(S) FOR DETERMINATION:
The main appeal was determined on a lone issue viz:
“Whether the learned trial Judge has discretion or power to alter a mandatory sentence of death, with life imprisonment for the offence of Culpable Homicide Punishable with death, under Section 221(b) of the Penal Code of Jigawa State, Cap. P3, Laws of Jigawa State, 2012 (as amended)”?
The cross-appeal was determined on a lone issue, viz:
“Whether the judgment of the lower Court can be sustained by evidence”?
The main appeal was held to be meritorious. The sentence of life imprisonment was set aside and replaced with what the law provides, which is death by hanging, for the offence of culpable homicide.
The cross-appeal was held incompetent, and the same was struck out.
• APPEAL- CROSS-APPEAL: Status and nature of a cross-appeal; whether a preliminary objection to a main appeal can be argued in a cross-appellant brief
• APPEAL- NOTICE(S) OF APPEAL: Whether a notice of appeal must be served personally on parties directly affected by the appeal; effect of service of same on counsel
• APPEAL- BRIEF OF ARGUMENT: Whether failure of the respondent to file brief of argument will make the appeal of the appellant to succeed
• CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE- OFFENCE OF CULPABLE HOMICIDE PUNISHABLE WITH DEATH: Ingredient(s) that must be proved to establish the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death
• CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE- DEATH SENTENCE: Whether a court can exercise discretion where the law has stipulated a mandatory sentence of death
• CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE- SENTENCING: Whether a Court has discretion or power to alter a mandatory sentence imposed by law