Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Home » Nigerian Cases » Court of Appeal » Alhassan Auwalu V. Federal Republic of Nigeria & Anor (2016) LLJR-CA

Alhassan Auwalu V. Federal Republic of Nigeria & Anor (2016) LLJR-CA

Alhassan Auwalu V. Federal Republic of Nigeria & Anor (2016)

LawGlobal-Hub Lead Judgment Report

MOHAMMED MUSTAPHA, J.C.A. 

This is an appeal against the ruling of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja delivered on the 20th of April, 2015, dismissing the appellant?s motion to quash the charge against him on the following grounds, shorn of their particulars:
”GROUND ONE:
The learned trial judge erred in law and acted without Jurisdiction when he dismissed the appellant?s application dated 16th March, 2015 and assumed jurisdiction to try the appellant on the charge filed and served before the leave to prefer same was obtained by the Prosecutor.
GROUND TWO:
The learned trial judge erred in law and acted without jurisdiction when after dismissing the Appellant?s objection to quash the charge he ruled that the Appellant should face the two counts on the charge thereby breached the appellant?s right to fair hearing and fair criminal trial.
GROUND THREE:
The learned trial judge erred in law and thereby breached the Appellant’s right to fair hearing when he dismissed the appellant’s application to quash charge against him, when he

1

ruled on the second ground of the objection that it was premature at that stage.
GROUND FOUR:
The learned trial judge erred in law and came to a wrong decision by summarily dismissing the Appellant’s application to quash the charge against him without considering and pronouncing on the grounds that is ground (ii) of the application and submission of counsel.
GROUND FIVE
The learned trial judge erred in law and thereby breached the appellants right to far hearing when he dismissed the appellants application to quash the charge against him, brought under a non-existing law.?

?From these grounds the following issue were formulated for determination for the appellant:
1. Whether the learned trial judge was nor in error, when after misconceiving ground 3 of the Appellant?s Motion on Notice to quash the charge before him by equating “Commencement of Criminal proceedings” with “Commencement of Trial” he assumed jurisdiction to try the Appellant in the face of the overwhelming evidence of fundamental constitutional irregularity in the commencement of the proceedings before him (Ground 1 and 2 of the Notice of Appeal).
2.

2

Was the learned trial judge right in holding that the second leg of the Appellant?s Motion touching on want of prima-facie for him to be tried should await the stage of No-case submission and in any event, on a dispassionate consideration of the totality of the proofs of evidence in support of the charge is any prima-facie case disclosed to warrant the trial of the Appellant? (Grounds 3 and 4).
3. Whether the learned trial judge was right in holding that the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 is an existing taw in the face of Section 55 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, Cap C31, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Ground 5 of the Notice of Appeal).

The 1st respondent also formulated three issues for determination which are fundamentally the same with those formulated by the appellant and for reasons of clarity and brevity this appeal will be determined on those issues. They are as follows:
a. Whether the trial Court had the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter the way it did considering the procedure for commencement of the trial adopted by the prosecution.
b. Whether the

3

Charge and proofs of Evidence before the trial Court disclose any prima facie case against the Appellant to warrant the grant of leave and arraignment of the appellant.
c. Whether the Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Act 2000 has been successfully repealed by Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.

The 1st respondent filed a Notice of preliminary Objection pursuant to Order 17 Rules 3 and 6 of the Rules of Court and the inherent jurisdiction of the Court on the following grounds:
1. The appellant filed and served on the respondent a Notice of Appeal intending to challenge the ruling delivered on the 20th of April, 2015 by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Coram Honourable Justice M.B. Idris.
2. The appellant did not first seek leave of the trial Court nor that of this Honourable Court before filing the Notice of Appeal dated April 23rd 2015.
3. That the grounds of appeal numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Notice of Appeal are both mixed law and facts.
4. The Notice of Appeal is arising from an interlocutory decision of the trial Court.
5. That grounds number 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Notice of

4

Appeal dated April 23rd 2015 are incompetent by virtue of non-compliance with Order 17 Rules 3 and 6 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2011.

Learned counsel for the 1st respondent formulated a sole issue for determination as:
”Whether the appellant’s Notice of Appeal dated and filed on the 23rd of April, 2013 without leave is competent.”

It is submitted for the 1st respondent that leave of Court is required to file this appeal as the decision being complained of is interlocutory, grounds 1, 2, 3 and 4 being grounds of mixed law and fact; learned counsel referred the Court to Sections 241 (1) and 242 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, hereinafter referred to as the Constitution; learned counsel referred the Court to MOHAMMED v. OLAWUMI (1990) 4 SC Page 40 at 57 and ALAIEYESEIGHA v. C.J.N (2005) 1 NWLR part 906 at 76.

That where an appeal requires leave and the leave was not sought and obtained before filing, it follows that such notice is incompetent and ought to be struck out; learned counsel referred the Court to AKINDIPE v. THE STATE (2009) 15 NWLR part 1111 at 565 and urged the Court to dismiss grounds 1, 2, 3 and 4.

5

In response it is submitted for the appellant that Section 241 (1) (b) (c) and (d) confer right of appeal without leave on the appellant as long as the Notice of Appeal is filed within 14 days, learned counsel referred the Court to AQUA LIMITED v. ONDO STATE SPORTS COUNCIL (1988) 10-11 SC at 43.

He further argued this is more so, since all the grounds complained of bother on issues of statutory conditions to file a criminal charge and issues of misapplication of law to disputed set of facts before the Court, as such grounds of law do not require leave; he referred the Court to U.B.A. LTD v. STAHLBAU G.M.B.H (1989) 3 NWLR part 110 at 399.

It does appear that the appellant has a right of appeal without leave by reason of Section 241 (1) (b), (c) and (d) of the Constitution, provided he does so within 14 days as prescribed by Section 25 (2) (a) of the Court of Appeal Act.
Section 241 of the Constitution states:
“an appeal shall lie from decisions of the Federal High Court or a High Court to the Court of Appeal as of right in the following cases:
a. Final decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings before the Federal High Court

6

or High Court sitting at first instance;
b. Where the ground of appeal involves questions of law alone, decisions in any civil or criminal proceeding;
c. Decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation or application of this Constitution;
d. Decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to whether any of the provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to any person;…”.

The grounds complained of indeed bother on issues of law relating to the filing of a criminal charge, and issues related to fair hearing; and that being so the preliminary objection has no basis clearly.

?No less important is the need to bear in mind that the sole purpose of a preliminary objection is to terminate the appeal in its entirety, usually on grounds of incompetence; that being so an attack on one or more grounds of appeal leaving several other grounds that can sustain the appeal does not come within the realm of preliminary objection. See MUHAMMED v. MILITARY ADMINISTRATOR, PLATEAU STATE (2001) 16 NWLR (Pt.740) 524; NDIC v. ORANU (2001) 18 NWLR

7

(pt. 744) 183.

See also  Christian Nwokedi V. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. (1997) LLJR-CA

Where there are minor defects in the appellant’s process or there are some grounds that can sustain the appeal, as in this case, a preliminary objection should not be filed, a motion on Notice to strike out the incompetent grounds would be most appropriate.

Once a preliminary objection succeeds the hearing of the appeal comes to an end. See ODUNUKWU v. OFOMATA & ANOR (2010) 12 SC (PT. III) p.101, GENERAL ELECTRIC COY v. AKANDE & 4 ORS (2010) 12 SC (PT. IV) P.75.

Having said that this Court always prefers hearing out an appellant rather than shutting him out, in the absence of any hindrance, appellants are encouraged to ventilate their grievances and their appeals heard on their merits in the overall interest of justice, rather than gagging them or shutting them out; the preliminary objection has no merit, for that reason it is dismissed accordingly.

Having dismissed the preliminary objection now I proceed to the substance of the appeal.

Issue One:
Whether the trial Court had the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter the way it did considering the procedure for commencement of the trial adopted by the prosecution.

8

It is submitted for the appellant that the trial Court misconceived the basis of the appellant?s contention on the third leg of his motion to quash the charge to mean when trial of the accused commences from “when criminal proceedings are commenced”, the two being different, and that meant the issue that the Court ruled on, is different from the one raised by the appellant.

That there were breaches of the mandatory procedure required by law in preferring a criminal charge, when the prosecutor, contrary to Section 185 (B) of the Criminal Procedure Code filed a criminal charge, served the accused, who also filed and served his motion for bail while he was in the dock, and then the motion ex parte for leave to prefer a charge be moved against the accused while he was still in the dock, and the application be granted by the Court, leading to the arraignment of the accused, all in one fell swoop.

?That the procedure adopted dispensed with the exercise of discretion in granting leave, because it assumed leave must be granted; when the application to prefer a charge is only an intention to commence criminal proceedings, leave may or

9

may not be granted, where granted then the charge is preferred; learned counsel referred the Court to BATURE v. STATE (1994) 1 NWLR part 320 page 267, OHOWOVORIOLE v. F.R.N (2001) 13 NWLR part 703 page 428 at 454.

Learned counsel submitted that the issue of competence to file a charge and institution of criminal proceedings is fundamental, he referred the Court to ONWUKA v. STATE (1970) 1 All NLR 159 at 163.

That the purpose of Section 185 (b) of the CPC is to guard against the filling of frivolous or vexations charges, as a charge preferred contrary to Section 185(b) is a nullity.

That the procedure whereby the appellant was already in the scene, docked before the application for leave to prefer a charge was moved and granted is wrong, learned counsel referred the Court to R. v.BARNET MAGISTRATES’ COURT, EXP. WOOD (1993) CRIM. L.R 78 DC. And OLAWUNMI v. MOHAMMED (1991) 4 NWLR part 186 at 527.

It is submitted for the 1st respondent in response that the prosecution fulfilled all the conditions required by law for the grant of leave to prefer charges against the appellant, and the presence of the Accused/Appellant in Court is not a ground

10

for challenging the jurisdiction of the trial Court.

That the accused persons were never in the dock when leave was sought and granted but in the open Court where they merely stood up to acknowledge their presence in compliance with the practice directive of the High Court of the FCT.

That Section 185 (b) talks of “trial” and not “filing” as trial only commences when an accused is docked and the charge read to him and his plea taken; learned counsel referred the Court to MRS E.A. LUFADEJU v. EVANGELIST BAYO JOHNSON (2007) LPELR-SC at 43, ASAKITIPI v. STATE (1993) 5 NWLR part 296 at 641 and EFFIOM v. STATE (1995) 1 NWLR part 373 at 582.

Criminal proceedings are said to commence when an accused person is arraigned before a Court, or at least, when information or a charge has been filed against him in Court.
See FAWEHINMI v. C.O.P (2002) 5 SCNJ PG. 18 AT 127.
A criminal trial on the other hand is said to have commenced when as held in ASAKITIKPI v. THE STATE (1993) 5 NWLR (Pt.296)641:
“…with the arraignment of the accused person and arraignment in turn consists of the charging of the accused or reading over the charge to the

11

accused person and taking his plea therein…Arraignment therefore involves two things:
(1) The reading of the charge or information to the accused.
(2) The response to the charge by the accused.
The plea can either be guilty or not guilty. It is only when the above procedure is followed that Court of law will be said to have taken appropriate proceedings.”

Learned counsel for the appellant sought to make a lot of capital from whether or not ”proceeding” or “trial” commenced, with splendid legalese; because according to him the prosecutor cannot within the con of Section 185 (b) of the Criminal Procedure Code, file a charge, serve same on the accused, and the accused file and served motion for bail, all while still in the dock, and the ex parte motion for leave to prefer a charge moved and granted.

Learned counsel to the 1st respondent contends the appellant was not in the dock anyway, when leave was sought and granted, because he was in Open Court and was merely asked to stand up to acknowledge his presence.

?This version of events is more credible, because first, learned counsel to the appellant who alleged the

12

?irregularity? did not indicate where in the record of appeal all these ‘irregularity’ happened, and second, because the Court could not find it in the record of appeal either, and even if it could, the Court is not supposed to be saddled with the responsibility of searching through the record of appeal to find what is where; the duty of Court is not to sieve and sift through the arguments, doing the bidding of the other party see JEV & ANOR v. IYORTYOM & ORS (2012) LPELR-9291-CA.

Besides the version of the learned counsel to the respondent is indeed in compliance with the practice direction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Practice Direction, 2014, which states inter alia at Paragraph 3 that;
a) “in all applications seeking the leave of Court to prefer a criminal charge made by either the EFCC or the ICPC or any agency charge with the prosecution of cases covered by this practice direction, a Court may not hear the application until the accused is brought physically before the Court;
b) The hearing of the application whether ex parte or on notice must be considered in Open Court.”
?So clearly the

13

presence of the accused is even mandatory; and better still, filing the charged before seeking leave of Court to prefer a charge against the accused appellant, as was done in this case does not in the considered opinion of this Court offend the letter and spirit of Section 185 (b) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which provides that:
“No person shall be tried by the High Court unless: a charge is preferred against him without the holding of a preliminary inquiry by leave of a judge of the High Court.”
The emphasis here contrary to the contention of learned counsel for the appellant is on ‘trial’ and not the ‘filing’ of the charge but even if it were not, it is the considered opinion of this Court that prosecution of a criminal offense cannot be torpedoed merely on account of leave having been sought and obtained when the accused was in Court, it is often said, and indeed trite, that law has gone beyond technicality, especially where the overall interest of justice is concerned, bearing in mind always that justice is a double edged sword; defense counsel generally should wake up to the reality that law has moved on, substance always takes precedence

See also  Alhaji Ibrahim T. Aminu V. Mrs. Elizabeth Onaolapo Ogunyebi & Anor (2003) LLJR-CA

14

over form:
“Appellant cannot be allowed to latch on abstract technicality to boost his case to the detriment of substantial justice…What the appellant complained of is trivial or formal or merely academic and not prejudicial to his substantial right. It no way affected the final outcome of the case…” ADEBESIN v. STATE (2014) LPELR-22694-SC.

There was no clear case of prejudice against the accused appellant, much less miscarriage of justice, at best there might have been irregularity and that alone is not enough to necessitate the setting aside of the considered ruling of the learned trial Court:
“…It is not every irregularity that automatically nullifies an entire proceeding, particularly where the irregularity did not in any way materially affect the merits of the case, or occasion a miscarriage of justice …” per Iguh JCS in EGBO v. AGBARA (1997) 1 NWLR part 481.
In EMEDO v. STATE (2002) 15 NWLR ART 789 at 196 the Supreme Court held:
“An irregularity is not a factor justifying the setting aside of a verdict or decision unless it is established that there has been a miscarriage of justice by the Court’s decision…”

15

The trial Court was right in the circumstances to have assumed jurisdiction to try the accused, the irregularity if any before the trial court did not occasion a miscarriage of justice; accordingly, this issue is resolved in favour of the 1st respondent against the appellant.

Issue Two:
Whether the Charge and Proof of Evidence before the trial Court disclose any prima facie case against the Appellant to warrant the grant of leave and arraignment of the Appellant.

It is submitted for the appellant that there was no reason given by the Court for its decision even though the law required specific pronouncements on points set out for determination on ground two of the motion to quash.

That the motion to quash was based on affidavit evidence, and the respondent did not file a counter affidavit, even though both parties made legal submissions on points of facts, law and mixed facts and law, and therefore proof was in issue between the parties before the Court, as to whether on totality of evidence there was prima facie case for the appellant to answer on the charge; and that the 1st respondent is deemed to have admitted the contention of the appellant.

16

Yet the trial Court dismissed the motion to quash without giving reasons for so doing; learned counsel referred the Court to OBMIAMI V. BRICK & STONE NIG. LTD (1992) 3 NWLR part 229 at 299.

That the motion to quash the charge on the ground that it disclosed no prima facie case against the appellant was in view of Exhibit A an abuse of Court process and falls within the provisions of Section 251 (5), (3) ,294 (1) and 318 of the Constitution; learned counsel referred the Court to DEDUWA v. OKORODUDU (1976) 1 NWLR at 246.

Learned counsel submitted that there is no indication to suggest that the appellant made false statement, and mere suspicion is not sufficient for the purpose of proving a fact; nor was there any suggestion in the proof of evidence that the 2nd respondent induced the 1st accused.

That also there was no evidence on the proofs that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised any issue of falsehood against any document made to the director regarding request for note verbally; he referred the Court to STATE OF MAHARASHTRA v. SUKHDEO SINGLE  AIR 1992 SC, 2100.

?In response it is submitted for the 1st respondent while referring to

17

IKOMI v. STATE (1986) 3 NWLR part 28 at 240 and ABACHA v. STATE (2002) 11 NWLR part 779 at 437 that the trial Court is to look only at charge and proofs of evidence and decide if there are questions for the accused to answer, and not to decide the guilt of the accused at this stage.

That also this Court is urged to exercise its powers under Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, 2010, as amended to treat any failure by the trial Court to pronounce on any issue.

It is very clear to this Court that the trial Court heard both sides before arriving at the conclusion that the motion to quash the charges does not have merit; what the Court did, essentially at this point in time is to arrive at the conclusion that prima facie the Accused/Appellant has a case to answer.

Where a trial Court makes findings of facts which are in no way perverse, but were sufficiently justified from the pleadings and evidence, it is not the duty of an appellate Court to interfere with the findings of facts made by the trial Court, which had the advantage of hearing and seeing witnesses testify, so long as those findings are reasonably supported by evidence. See OKOLO v.

18

UZOKA (1978) 4 SC 77; EBBA v. OGODO (1984) 1 SCNLR 372, (2000) FWLR (PT.27) 2094.

What is important at this stage is whether there is prima facie evidence linking the appellant with the offence charged, and prima facie evidence is evidence, which on the face of it, is sufficient to sustain the charge against the accused ? see SHATTA v. F.R.N. (2009) 10 NWLR (PT. 1149) 403, where this Court adopted the following definition:
“… It only means that there is ground for proceeding. But a prima facie case is not the same as proof which has to find whether the accused is guilty or not guilty, and the evidence discloses a prima facie case when it is such that if uncontradicted and if believed it will be sufficient to prove the case against the accused”.

The 1st respondent did not indeed file counter affidavit to the affidavit evidence of the appellant seeking to quash the charge, and generally speaking where affidavit evidence is not contradicted it is deemed admitted.
Admittedly, it is sound proposition of law that any averment in an affidavit not challenged or contradicted in counter-affidavit must be accepted and acted upon by the Court

19

as true, see: EGBUNA v. EGBUNA (1989) 2 NWLR (PT. 106) 773; be that as it may, it is equally the law that a counter-affidavit is not always necessary to rebut the contents of an affidavit.
The fact that there is no counter affidavit alone should not be construed to mean the trial Court has to believe what is before it hook line and sinker, though unchallenged facts are deemed to be admitted by a party, the Court does not have to believe such facts on the face of them, when they will lead to absurdity if accepted as being the truth of what they try to establish.
It is perfectly within the rights of the trial Court to ignore an affidavit in such a scenario, especially when taken against the background of the fact also that the trial Court dismissed the application to quash the charges on account of a finding of prima facie evidence, to call upon the appellant to defend himself.
Courts are now justifiably reluctant to throw back charges at the prosecution, without hearing the substance of the case where there appears the need to do so ,after all, the fact that an accused person is found to have a prima facie case to answer does not preclude the Court

20

from discharging him if at the end of the day no sufficient evidence is adduced in proof of the charges.

Learned counsel to the appellant argued that the evidence was only one way, his way; an abuse of Court process, and the trial Court?s failure to give reasons to the 2nd leg of the motion denied the appellant fair hearing.

See also  Emmanuel Chijoke Orlu V. Chief a. Gogo-abite (2002) LLJR-CA

That the entire proofs of evidence in support of the charge against the appellant are either fabricated or contrived by the prosecution in bad faith with the intention only of linking the appellant with the commission of the offences charged; claims which are clearly matters of fact requiring proof.

Now, in an application such as this, it is very important to bear in mind that the duty of the trial Court is simply to take a cursory look at the proof of evidence so as to determine if facts have been raised which appear in law to constitute an offence of offences known to the law, See Section 36(12) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which states inter alia:
“(12) subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence

21

is defined and the penalty therefor is prescribed in a written law; and in this Subsection, a written law refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a Law of a State, any subsidiary legislation or instrument under the provisions of a law.”
In the determination of the issue, the trial Court has no duty to make any investigation, as investigation is not the duty of the Courts the Court has only to determine if the facts are provable, because once the facts as disclosed by the proof of evidence tend to bring the conduct of a person within the character of acts prohibited by Law, it will then be sufficient to proceed to trial, without much ado.
Thus, the information as a comprehensive document consists of the materials which will guide the accused, the prosecution and indeed the Court at the trial and that is why:
“…information and the proof of evidence should consist of the following materials:
(a) The charge which consists of the statement of the offence, and particulars of the offence;
(b) Statement(s) of the prosecution witness or witnesses;
(c) The statement or statements of the accused person or persons;
(d) The

22

list of Exhibits, if any; and
(e) All other relevant documents that the prosecution intends to rely on at the trial”. RALPH UWAZURUIKE & ORS. v. THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION (2013) LPELR-2039(S.C).
It is the documents listed above that a trial Court will look at in the discharge of its duty of determining whether or not a prima facie case has been disclosed against the accused person from the proof of evidence, these are the documents in their totality referred to as the proof of evidence.
In other words, the proof of evidence is the materials to be considered in the determination of the issue; See CHIEF LERE ADEBAYO v. THE STATE (2012) LPELR-9494(CA).
“When an application is made to quash an indictment on information, it is necessary for the trial Court to attend to such an application dispassionately and rule on it. The best way to do this is to read all the depositions made by potential witnesses and accused persons so as to find if there is a prima facie case for the accused to answer; Per Belgore JSC (as he then was), in ABACHA v. THE STATE (2002) 11 NWLR (PT.779) 437 AT 486.” PER PETER-ODILI, J.C.A then.
“It is

23

the duty of the judge to examine the entire proof of evidence to see if he can conclude that a prima facie case of the offences charged has been made out against the accused person. See EDE v. STATE (1977) 1 F.C.A. P 95 at P 115. Only facts and events are taking unto consideration when examining the charge/s” PER RHODES-VIVOUR, J.C.A then.
Where a trial Court comes to the conclusion that there is a prima facie case against an accused person, as in this case, it is clearly an informed decision, which should not be disturbed, by an appellate Court unless it is found to be perverse, IWUOHA & ANOR v. NIPOST LTD & ANOR (2003) LPELR-1569- SC.

From the totality of facts and evidence available no reason exists to warrant the setting aside of the decision of the trial Court in this case. On this score; accordingly this issue is resolved in favour of the 1st respondent, against the appellant.

Issue Three:
Whether the Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Act 2000 has been successfully repealed by Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.

It is submitted for the appellant that by virtue of Section 55 of the Corrupt

24

Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2004, the Act of 2000 under which the appellant was charged is dead; and so there is a breach of Section 36 (8) and (12) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as 201 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

That the 2004 Act is an existing Act of parliament, that is later in time to the repealed 2000 Act; and so the question of whether or not the 2000 Act was invalidated by the Courts does not arise.

That also an amendment is the function of the legislature, and the Courts cannot fill in a gap even where there is one, learned counsel referred the Court to OKUMAGBA v. EGBE (1985) All NLR 62 at 65.

Alternatively learned counsel submitted the decisions relied upon were by the trial Court were reached per incuriam because no interpretation of the law was done in either, he referred the Court to ODIDO v. STATE (1994) 3 NWLR part 333 at 511.

In response, it is submitted for the 1st respondent that the validity of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Act 2000 was decided by the Court in BITRUS BAKKAT v. FRN (2014) 2 ICPCLR 455 at 458 and FRN v. WABARA (2014) 2 ICPCLR 1.

?This issue is straight forward,

25

and requires no rigmarole; this Court earlier held in AYUBA BITRUS BAKKAT 2 v. FED REP OF NIG. ICPCLR page 455 that:
“Now the bone of contention in this issue is whether or not the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Act, 2000 has been repealed? The answer to this poser is so very simple and straight forward and it is that the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 is solidly in existence, it is yet to be repealed…”
It is equally important to bear in mind that this decision was delivered on the 3rd of December, 2013; again this Court also held on the 23rd of February 2015 in the unreported case of TEMPLE NWANWOALA (DSP) v. FRN CA/B/106C/12 per Barka JCA:
“It is my candid view therefore that the 2000 Act solidly stands, and the appellant was duly and rightly tried under the 2000 Act, which was the law in force.”
There does not appear to be any decision of the Supreme Court invalidating the 2000 Act or setting aside any of these decisions referred to here; it would be foolhardy therefore for anyone to assume, least of all this Court, that the 2000 Act is not in force or invalidated, far from it.
The trial Court was

26

therefore correct in the circumstances to hold that the 2000 Act was not repealed in the absence of any decision of the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court setting aside those decisions; accordingly this issue too is resolved in favour of the 1st respondent, against the appellant.

Having resolved all the three issues for determination in favour of the 1st respondent, against the appellant, the appeal fails for lack of merit, and it is hereby dismissed as the trial Court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter, the subject of this appeal. The ruling of the trial Court, of the 20th April, 2015 is hereby affirmed.


Other Citations: (2016)LCN/8623(CA)

More Posts

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LawGlobal Hub
LawGlobal Hub is your innovative global resource of law and more. We ensure easy accessibility to the laws of countries around the world, among others