Joseph Omoyoma Tobi V. The State (1982) LLJR-SC

Joseph Omoyoma Tobi V. The State (1982)

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The appellant who had shot and critically injured one “YELLOW”, a female, who had rejected his love advances, and escaped was being sought by a posse sent out by the villagers. As the search party had him in sight and appeared to be gaining on him, he turned round and shot the deceased an ex-soldier who was at the vanguard of the pursuing party.

The other members of the party on seeing the deceased fall, broke up and ran. The deceased died from gun-shot injuries soon after.The Ughelli High Court (Amissah, J.,) carefully considered all the evidence as well as the defence of the appellant and found him guilty of murder as charged. The evidence produced against the appellant was overwhelming and any other verdict in the circumstances in the face of this evidence would have been perverse.

I have no doubt that the Court of Appeal was right in dismissing this appeal and that learned counsel before us were equally right in stating that they had nothing to urge in favour of the appellant.

The appeal clearly lacks merit and I would dismiss it. Appeal dismissed and the conviction and sentence are affirmed.

A. NNAMANI, J.S.C.:  This was a clear case of cold blooded murder. The appellant started by shooting at a girl named Yellow for allegedly calling him an impotent man. A search party was organised to find the appellant who ran away after shooting at Yellow and believing her to be dead.

As the search party closed in on the appellant, apparently not wanting to be apprehended, he shot at and instantly killed the deceased who was a member of that search party. His defence was a bundle of contradictions and the learned trial Judge was right in describing him as a liar.

As regards the killing of the deceased, the appellant in his statement to the police claimed that the deceased was about to grab him when he (deceased) fell on a sharp stick which pierced his eye; but there was no medical evidence of any injury to deceased’s eye. In his testimony in court he changed and now said that as deceased was about to grab him, a struggle between then ensued, and while they were both on the ground the deceased was shot by one John Oyabenen.

The learned trial Judge again in a considered judgment rejected these fabricated stories and convicted the appellant. The defences of provocation and self defence put up by the appellant were considered and rejected. At the Federal Court of Appeal, the appellant put up a ground of appeal based on some technicalities – the dates on which the judgment of the trial Judge was delivered as they appeared on the record. The learned Justices of the Court of Appeal fully considered this and rejected it.

Both learned counsel for the appellant and respondent have in their briefs of argument submitted that this appeal lacks substance. I agree with them. The appeal is hereby dismissed. The judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal is affirmed.


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