Godwin Anyanwu V. The State (1981)
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S. SOWEMIMO, JSC.
There is no merit on ground two. The record of proceedings before Anya, J., (as he then was) was not produced before the court. The ground of appeal argued in the Federal Court of Appeal in Enugu is one of law on the information filed. There was nothing on the facts. There is definitely no merit in this appeal. The D.P.P. is not being called upon to answer. The appeal is hereby dismissed. The conviction and sentence of the appellant in the High Court and confirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal, Enugu are hereby affirmed.
C. IDIGBE, JSC.: This appeal plainly has no chance of success. It failed in the Federal Court of Appeal on a point of law on the validity of the information filed in the lower court which was the only point taken in that court. In this court learned counsel after tentatively pursuing the two grounds he filed virtually abandoned them. He obviously had no faith in those grounds. The facts in this appeal are overwhelmingly in favour of the decision of the learned trial Judge. What is more, the appellant admits killing the deceased on the flimsy ground that he, as an elder member of the family did not care for him or for his mother.
The learned trial Judge found he was quite sane at the time of the commission of the act; and that the defence of provocation which was put up rather naively on his behalf did not avail him. I am satisfied that this appeal has no merit whatsoever and it is hereby dismissed. The conviction and sentence of the learned trial Judge are hereby affirmed.
A. O. OBASEKI, JSC.: Having heard counsel for the appellant who has withdrawn ground 1 of the two grounds of appeal he filed and conceded that there is no merit in ground 2, the fate of the appellant’s appeal is sealed. I have read and studied the record of proceedings both in the High Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. The appellant, who stood trial for murder in the High Court, made an extra-judicial confession to the Investigating Police constable which was confirmed before a superior police officer and accepted by the trial court. His denial was rejected and the Judge considered and rightly justifiably rejected any plea of insanity. His appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal was fought on the ground of nullity of information and lost. On all grounds, I see no merit in this appeal. His jubilation at having killed his enemy should have found more courageous expression in the court. His cover of insanity was exposed by the chief consultant who testified as a weak cover and he was found to be quite sane and alert and fit to plead. Before this court, we have been treated to the ground of participation of a Judge in the hearing of the appeal at the Federal Court of Appeal when he heard an undisclosed and unknown part oI would dismiss this appeal and I hereby dismiss it and affirm the conviction and sentence passed by the High Court and affirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal.
K. ESO, JSC.: Learned counsel for the appellant having made some submissions on ground 2, conceded there is no merit in that ground. As regards ground 1, he abandons it. There is indeed no merit whatsoever in this appeal. The point decided by Justice Anya in the Court of Appeal was only in regard to point of law as to whether or not the information was null. Any Judge whether he had previously been seised of the facts or not could decide it. What is more, there was no challenge rightly in my view to the learned Justice taking part in the appeal in the Court of Appeal. In any event, the facts of whatever might have been taking place before Justice Anya, though it would be a matter of record, has not been placed before us. We would not determine issues in vacuo or for pure academic exercise. This appeal is dismissed and the conviction and sentence passed on the appellant affirmed.
A. N. ANIAGOLU, JSC.: Mr. ’Shola Rhodes has abandoned ground 1 of the further grounds of appeal which raises issue of insanity. It was, in my view, a wise action to take as, indeed, the issue of insanity was not only not raised before the Federal Court of Appeal (before which the only complaint was as to the power of the Attorney-General of Imo State to file the information) but also it was an issue which, on the facts, was without foundation. This court has lately dealt exhaustively with the issue of insanity in Ngene Arum v. The State (1979) 11 S.C. 91. Neither counsel referred to that case in the brief filed in this appeal. The reasoning of this court in that case, against the background of the facts of the present appeal, is a complete answer to the question of insanity. As ’Shola Rhodes has conceded, in respect of ground 2, the record of proceedings before Anyah, J., has not been produced before us. His submissions of the issue of natural justice based upon the non-produced proceedings is imaginary. That ground of appeal has no merit. Perhaps, ideally, in order to avoid any argument on that score, Justice Anyah could have decided not to sit on the appeal, but I do not see that his sitting infringed any principle of natural justice. I would dismiss this appeal and hereby dismiss it. It was a dastardly early morning murder for which the law should take adequate remedy. The verdict of guilt and the sentence passed, are hereby confirmed.
Other Citation: (1981) LCN/2132(SC)