Anya Irokwe & The State (1982) LLJR-SC

Anya Irokwe & The State (1982)

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This appeal clearly lacks merit. The appellant who had loaned his close relation, the deceased, his motorcycle for a return trip to Uyo from Aba took offence when the latter told him that the seat cover had got lost.

All pleas by the deceased to buy a replacement fell on deaf ears. He insisted on the lost one being produced and none other. As the argument over the seat cover continued, the head of their two families came from Port Harcourt and the appellant left the deceased to tell the head of the family that he had been waiting for him. The head of the family in an effort to pacify the appellant asked him to come into the house and tell him what the argument was all about.

The appellant declined the invitation and as the deceased was about moving away, he ran after him and stabbed him with a dagger he was holding. The deceased died from the stabbing.The attack was clearly unprovoked and premeditated and the trial court so found.

The appeal to the court of appeal was dismissed and I find no grounds for interfering with the decisions of the two lower courts. Accordingly, this appeal stands dismissed and the sentence passed on conviction is hereby affirmed.

M. BELLO, J.S.C.: The appellant stabbed his brother to death with a dagger simply because the deceased had caused the loss of the seat cover of a motorcycle belonging to the appellant. Both learned counsel for the appellant and Director of Public Prosecution have nothing useful to urge in favour of the appellant. I think the Court of Appeal rightly dismissed the appeal of the appellant against his conviction of murder. I agree that the appeal should be dismissed and the conviction and sentence be re-affirmed.

C. IDIGBE, J.S.C.:  I agree that this appeal should be dismissed since it lacks merit. Learned counsel for the appellant states in the brief filed in court by him on behalf of this appellant that he has not been able to find anything to argue in favour of the appellant. He considers the learned trial Judge’s analysis of the facts of the case as adduced by the prosecution satisfactory. Learned Director of Public Prosecutions appearing for the State has also nothing to argue in favour of the appellant. I have myself carefully read and studied the facts as recorded in these proceedings and cannot find anything which turns in favour of the appellant whose appeal, accordingly, will be and is hereby dismissed.

A. N. ANIAGOLU, J.S.C.:  From the record, it would appear that the deceased lost the appellant’s motorcycle seat cover and the appellant demanded a return of the very seat cover or the deceased would be dealt with. The deceased was unable to return the very seat cover but offered to buy a new one for the appellant who would have none of it. The appellant proceeded to deal with him by stabbing him with a dagger which he already had in his possession, concealed in his person, resulting in the death of the deceased within minutes of the stabbing and before the deceased could reach the hospital. The learned trial Judge, in a well considered judgment, found that the account of the incident, by the defence witnesses, differed because they were putting up “a hurriedly fabricated, ill digested and poorly rehearsed fanciful story designed to cover up the truth.” He said he fully understood the predicament of the appellant and his family. The family had lost one person, namely, the deceased, and for them anything done to limit the loss to only one person was justified. Having regard to all the circumstances, this, to my mind, was a good analysis of the  situation. The deceased was a half – brother of the appellant. I agree with both counsel that there is nothing useful that can be urged in favour of the appellant. It was a cold-blooded murder with no extenuating circumstances. There is no merit in the appeal. It deserves to be dismissed and is hereby dismissed.

A. NNAMANI, J.S.C.: Learned counsel for the appellant and respondent have rightly submitted that there is nothing in law that can be urged in favour of the appellant. The appellant murdered his brother for the very flimsy excuse that he (deceased) lost the seat of his (appellant) motorcycle. The learned trial Judge very meticulously, and in my view very fairly too, evaluated the evidence adduced at the trial and accepted the case of the prosecution against the appellant. On the evidence he accepted, the defences of self defence and provocation were clearly not available to the appellant. In my view the Federal Court of Appeal was right in not upsetting the findings of the learned trial Judge. I agree that this appeal lacks substance and that it ought to be dismissed. It is hereby dismissed. The conviction and sentence of the appellant are affirmed.


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