Ebue Akwo Vs The State (1972)
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We dismissed this appeal at the hearing on the 29th November, 1971 and now give our reasons for doing so. The appellant was charged with the murder on the 9th March, 1970, of one Cecilia Elias at Araru village in Obudu in the Calabar Judicial Division. He was tried by Inyang, J., (High Court, Calabar), convicted as charged and sentenced to death. Two eye-witnesses, P.W. 2 (Juliana Isaiah) and P.W.3 (Joseph Ochui) testified to seeing the appellant dealing matchet blows on Cecilia Elias; indeed the 3rd P.W. disarmed the appellant of his matchet only after he had knocked it out of his hand with a stick.
The appellant did not give any evidence at his trial and in the course of a reserved judgment in which he convicted the appellant as stated, the learned trial Judge observed thus:-
“I am satisfied that there is clear evidence that the death of the deceased was the direct result of the matchet cuts dealt on her body by the accused using Exhibit 1 and to no other cause. I am further satisfied that the prosecution has proved its charge of murder against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”
The appellant had appealed to this court against his conviction. Learned counsel assigned to argue his appeal was unable to urge any grounds in favour of the appellant.
We concluded ourselves that the facts of the case were not applicable to any other grounds than that of murder. The doctor who performed the autopsy on the corpse of the deceased (Dr. Edet Udo Uyere Nya) stated thus:-
“I certify the cause of death to be due to haemorrhage from the traumatic wounds with concomitant shock. The deceased was a pregnant woman and for that reason there was an imacerated dead male foetus in her uterus.”
The action of the appellant remained unexplained and the wounds inflicted were of such severity that death must have been anticipated as the only natural outcome of the butchery. We therefore dismissed the appeal at the hearing.
Other Citation: (1972) LCN/1563(SC)