Abiodun V. Odediran V. The State (2006)
LAWGLOBAL HUB Lead Judgment Report
Appellant had been convicted and sentenced on the offence of murder. The Constitution of Nigeria guarantees to the appellant an automatic right of appeal up to the Supreme Court. The record before us shows that this appeal was dismissed by the court below for want of diligent prosecution.It seems to me that the court below in the circumstance had the duty to appoint counsel for the appellant to prosecute the appeal, if counsel who brought the appeal had been dilatory. This is the only method in my view, to give true effect to the constitutional provision guaranteeing automatic right of appeal.I am satisfied that the court below was in error to have peremptorily dismissed the appeal. In the final conclusion, appeal is allowed. The order dismissing the appeal is set aside. It is directed that the appeal be heard by another panel of the court below.