Joseph Anaba V. The State (1987)
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There is no appeal before this Court. The judgment of the Court of Appeal was given on 10/12/84. Notice of appeal was filed on 24/1/85. This time cannot be extended see S.31(4) of the Supreme Court Act 1960.
The purported appeal is struck out. I must comment though that the learned counsel assigned to argue this appeal has presented to the Court an excellent Brief. I think the time has arrived when an amendment to s.31 of the Supreme Court Act should be considered. It spells injustice, especially in a case like this, where the Brief filed has disclosed some merit in this capital case. A similar amendment has been made to the Court of Appeal Act 1976 s.25 (as amended in 1979 by No. 59 of 1979).
Time within which to file Notice of Appeal has been extended from 30 days to 90 days with discretion in the Court to extend further.
The views of this Court shall be made known to the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and the Prerogative of Mercy, Imo State.
The purported appeal is struck out.
KAWU, J.S.C.: Record shows that the appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 10/12/84 and the notice of appeal to this Court was filed on 24/1/85 – a much longer period than the 30 days allowed under S.31(2)(b) of the Supreme Court Act No. 12 of 1960. The purported appeal is incompetent and it is hereby struck out.
OPUTA, J.S.C.: By the Supreme Court Act 1960 the period prescribed for this appeal is 30 days. By S.31( 4) there is no jurisdiction to extend time. That being so, the Notice of Appeal was dated 24/1/85, 14 days out of time. This Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the purported appeal which is hereby struck out.
It is unfortunate that there has not been an amendment to S.31(4) of the Supreme Court Act of 1960 as was done by Decree No. 59 of 1979 amending a similar section of the Court of Appeal Act. The Brief filed by learned counsel for the Appellant raised very many points which could be argued. The Appeal will have to be struck out for lack of jurisdiction.
The state of the law where by S.31( 4) of the Supreme Court Act No.12 of 1960 this Court cannot extend time in cases involving sentences of death should be brought urgently to the attention of the Attorney-General of the Federation. The Court will also make a recommendation for mercy in this case.
AGBAJE, J.S.C.: There is no appeal before this court. Appeal struck out.
NNAEMEKA-AGU, J.S.C.: There is no appeal before the Court. The appeal is struck out; as time cannot be extended. But the brief filed by the appellant shows some merit. It is suggested that the provision in this Court be amended in line with that relating to appeals to the Court of Appeal in Decree No. 59 of 1979.
The view of this Court in this matter should be made available to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, Imo State. Appeal struck out.
Appeal Struck Out
Other Citation: (1987) LCN/2329(SC)