IBRAHIM V. C. O. P: On whether or not Prosecution should tender weapon of alleged Theft. An perception into the Supreme Court docket choice
IBRAHIM V. C. O. P: On whether or not prosecution should tender weapon of alleged theft. An perception into the Supreme Court docket choice therein Quotation: 15 NWLR PT.1746 PG. 122. Courtsey: Moruff O. Balogun Esq.
Abstract of details:
On 23/10/2007, PWI was driving a taxi, a Toyota Starlet, purple in colour with Registration Quantity BC 425 RBC alongside Aya, Asokoro, Abuja the place at about 7.30pm he picked 4 males who requested to be taken to Mpape. On reaching Mpape, near a petroleum filling station, considered one of them informed the motive force, PW1, that he wished to alight, and the motive force stopped. It was within the course of that PWI was dragged into the again seat after a gun was proven to him and one of many passengers who was one of many three  accused individuals (one of many 4 preliminary passengers escaped) took over the automobile. After driving away from the petrol filling station space on the stated Mpape, PWI was thrown out of the automobile and the accused individuals sped away with the automobile.
PWI was capable of get assist to Aya, and he reported the theft to the proprietor of the automobile, PW4, a soldier that lived at Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja. The 2 males (PW1 and PW4) then went to Aya Police station to report the theft. Thereafter, as they stepped out of the Police station to return to the Cantonment, and at a Police checkpoint, PW4 noticed the stolen starlet automobile and he pursued it. The appellant was stated to be driving the automobile. PW4 held his garments and he was ultimately arrested. The opposite occupants of the automobile tried to run away, however they have been additionally arrested within the course of. The automobile and the arrested individuals have been handed over to the police at Aya, Asokoro, Abuja the place a search of the automobile revealed a bag which appellant admitted to be his personal. When the bag was opened, a Beretta pistol and a jack knife have been discovered inside it.
The three accused individuals who boarded the stated Toyota Starlet automobile have been charged to courtroom whereas the 4th passenger who escaped was, within the means of being arrested in Mararaba, shot by the police and he died of gunshot wounds. The alleged receiver of stolen automobiles from the appellant was charged because the 4th accused individual on this case.
The 4th accused individual was discharged by the trial courtroom. The appellant was tried together with three different individuals by the trial courtroom and so they have been convicted of armed theft and sentenced to demise.
Aggrieved, the appellant appealed his conviction to the Court docket of Attraction which upheld the conviction and sentence. Nonetheless aggrieved, the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court docket. On the Supreme Court docket, the appellant urged the courtroom to carry that the prosecution didn’t show the important ingredient of armed theft by its failure to show past affordable doubt that the appellant and his co-accused individuals used arms in the midst of the theft or that they have been armed when the Toyota automobile was snatched from the motive force of the automobile. He additionally argued that the proof earlier than the courtroom didn’t show armed theft and the truth that the police so termed it didn’t essentially make it so. The respondent contended that the appellant and his co-convicts have been on a mission for theft, and that their possession of the gun introduced it into the realm of armed theft.
Held: (Unanimously dismissing the attraction):
On Whether or not prosecution should tender weapon of alleged theft –:
There isn’t any legislation requiring that the prosecution should tender the weapon of an alleged theft earlier than the guilt of the accused individual could be established.
Whether or not or not the prosecution must tender the weapon with which an accused is alleged to have dedicated a theft will depend on the circumstances of a given case. It’s because if the proof indisputably helps the truth that armed theft occurred, the absence of the weapon in courtroom wouldn’t change the course of occasions. Within the immediate case, the appellant had sought to seek out an escape route by taking difficulty with the non-tendering of the weapon used within the fee of theft. That posture was not anchored on any precept of the legislation. Extra so, PW1 testified to the truth that a gun was pointed at him when the automobile was snatched. PW3 gave proof that once they have been dropped at the station the automobile was searched and a regionally made pistol lower to dimension was discovered. In addition they discovered a dagger, a knife, a Nokia phone handset and a wristwatch. Beneath cross-examination PW3 said that once they went to look the car, the first accused claimed he had a bag and he was travelling to Nasarawa State and the reveals have been discovered within the bag.
Per PETER-ODILI, JSC at web page 142 paras. E-G:
“Certainly, the failure to tender the reveals together with the weapons talked about is just not deadly on this occasion the place the proof already on floor leaves no room for dispute that they exist and the explanations for his or her not being tendered adequately defined because the officer in custody of the weapon had died and one other exhibit keeper posted to the reveals room was not able to hint the weapons, and tender identical. The courtroom couldn’t be anticipated to attend indefinitely when the absence of these reveals wouldn’t change the character of the proof already proffered and the defence had utilized for the prosecution’s case to be closed despite the reveals not having been supplied in courtroom and the trial courtroom obliged him so the case might transfer ahead. Anyway, there was a surfeit of proof to assist using the weapons described within the institution of the elements of the offence charged”.
On Components of armed theft -:
To be able to show the offence of armed theft, the prosecution should show the next past affordable doubt:
(a) that there was theft or a collection of robberies;
(b) that every theft was an armed theft; and
(c) that the accused took half within the theft or collection of robberies.
Moruff O. Balogun Esq.
IJEBU ODE, OGUN STATE.
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