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Idirisa Mohammed V. The State (1972) LLJR-SC

Idirisa Mohammed V. The State (1972)

LawGlobal-Hub Lead Judgment Report

I. LEWIS, J.S.C.

We now give our reasons for dismissing on the 5th of April, 1972, the appeal of Idirisa Mohammed from his conviction of culpable homicide punishable with death contrary to Section 221 of the Penal Code by Hague Ag. J., in the Maiduguri High Court on the 6th of July, 1971 in Charge No. NEM/31C/1971.

On the 20th of June, 1969, in Maiduguri at about 4.30 a.m., the 1st P.W. according to his evidence went to an outside toilet when a torch was shone in his face and on the face of the accused who lived in the same compound. The accused then shouted and stabbed the 1st P.W. in his left side.

The 1st P.W. ran back into his room which he shared with the deceased and the deceased then ran outside and was out about 5 minutes during which time the 1st P.W. heard nothing before the deceased returned to the room sobbing “Mallam, Mallam”. The 1st P.W. then went off to the uncle of the deceased to report to the N.A. Police Station where he was taken to the hospital and remained for a week as an in-patient. The 2nd P.W., a single woman who lived in the compound, said she saw the corpse of the deceased about 5.30 a.m. that morning but her evidence as to what took place earlier in the night was:

“I heard accused say, ‘who will talk Anyone who wants to talk, let him talk’. It was then about 4 a.m. I opened my door and said to accused, ‘what happened Accused said, ‘Come out, let me finish you!’ I went back inside and kept silent. I came out at about 5 a.m. and saw policemen in the compound. I heard no one’s voice except that of accused. I did not open the door. I shouted, ‘what happened’ through a closed door. I saw accused at 5 a.m. standing alone. Police came immediately, my door and his were very close. I did not see him with anything except a kettle. Accused wore a short gown with matching trousers. I cannot remember the colour. I did not notice anything else.”

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The 6th P. W., the senior medical officer, Maiduguri examined the body of the deceased about 9.30 a.m. on the 20th of June, 1969, and found him to be a boy aged about 15 years and in his evidence found:

“There was a big stab wound on upper part of the front of chest in an oblique direction. Another stab wound back of right fore-arm above the wrist. On dissection chest cavity found full of blood. Blood vessels of lung and heart were cut. Death was caused by severe bleeding and shock.”

The 5th P. W., a police constable, on the 20th of June, 1969, saw the accused sharpening a knife and the accused got up and struggled with the 9th P.W., a police sergeant, knocked the 9th P.W. to the ground and ran off but was caught with a knife on him. The 9th P.W. saw the accused run into his room and followed him and saw him put a knife under the mattress before running off.

The accused in his evidence denied ownership of any of the three knives mentioned which were produced at the court but admitted that as he was a meat seller, he did own other knives. He admitted speaking to the 2nd P.W. that night but said it was about midnight that he did so and not at 4 a.m. as she said.

He denied killing the deceased but the learned trial Judge believed the stories of the 1st and 2nd P. W. and believed the evidence of the police men as to the finding of the three knives and was satisfied that though there was no apparent motive nonetheless it was the accused who killed the deceased and convicted him accordingly.

Mr. Akinrele could not find anything to urge on behalf of the accused and as we were of the view that the learned trial Judge was entitled to come to the conclusion that he did on the evidence before him we dismissed the appeal.

See also  Felix Nwosu V. The State (1986) LLJR-SC

SC.194/1971

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