Matthew UBA V. The State (1981) LLJR-SC

Matthew UBA V. The State (1981)

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The facts in this case are cold. The learned trial Judge in a very well written judgment dealt with extreme care with the evidence tendered by the prosecution as well as the appellant. He accepted the evidence of P.W. 1 who deposed that, after the appellant and the deceased who had been  engaged in a fight had been separated, the appellant went into his store, took out a pair of scissors and used same to inflict the mortal wound on the deceased. He inflicted the said wound with considerable force. This latter piece of evidence was corroborated by the doctor, P.W.2.

The learned Judge equally rejected the testimony of the appellant, who had deposed, inter alia, that the injury on the deceased was inflicted accidentally by a pen-knife which the latter was holding while the fight was in progress. As stated above, the learned Judge examined all the possible defences open to the appellant and rightly, in my view, came to the conclusion that this was a deliberate killing, and thus murder within the section charging the offence.

I am of the view that the lower court was right in dismissing this appeal and I would also order that it be dismissed as lacking in substance. The conviction and sentence affirmed by the Court of Appeal are hereby re-affirmed.

M. BELLO, J.S.C.: I agree the appeal has no merit and it should be dismissed. The conviction and sentence are re-affirmed.

A. O. OBASEKI, J.S.C.: This is a murder appeal, the appellant appealing against conviction.

Having read the record, the grounds of appeal and the brief of the appellant’s counsel, I can find no merit in this appeal.

The learned trial Judge dealt meticulously with all the possible issues raised. These were the issues of the relationship of P.W.1 to the deceased and the defences of provocation and self defence and rightly convicted the appellant of the offence of murder. The appeal court, Federal Court of Appeal, also gave detailed considerations to the appellant’s complaint of these issues and dismissed the appeal to it. I find that there is overwhelming support for the decisions of both the High Court and the Federal Court of Appeal  in the evidence on record. Further, the abandonment of  the grounds of appeal without leave does no credit to the appeal. Even if leave had been granted, I can find no substance in this appeal. The appellant admitted stabbing the deceased. His defences of provocation and self defence were rejected. His complaint of P.W.1’s evidence being that of a relation of the deceased was dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal because the learned trial Judge duly warned himself of that fact as the record shows before acting on the evidence.

I therefore agree that this appeal be dismissed and it is hereby dismissed. The decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal and the High Court are hereby affirmed.

K. ESO, J.S.C.: This is a simple case of murder, dastard though it is. The parties had a quarrel over a loan and or loudness of a radio. The appellant took a scissors, drove it through the heart of the deceased, tearing the pericadium into shreds. The learned trial Judge most carefully assembled the facts, gave them thorough consideration, warned himself most meticulously, convicted the appellant and sentenced him to death.

The Federal Court of Appeal has looked thoroughly into the facts and dismissed, rightly in my view, the appeal of the appellant.

In this court, the appellant through a verbose brief said nothing new. He has only complained of the facts again and these have been most throughly examined by two courts.

There is no merit whatsoever in this appeal. It is dismissed.

A. NNAMANI, J.S.C.: After reading through the records and the briefs of argument as well as hearing learned counsel for the appellant, I am satisfied that there is no substance in this appeal. There is no defence in law that can be urged in favour of the appellant. The trial Judge who convicted the appellant properly and beautifully evaluated all the  evidence before him. He also duly considered in detail all the defences in law that were raised in favour of the appellant. I  think all the issues that learned counsel for appellant has raised in his brief of argument were duly considered by the Federal Court of Appeal and rightly rejected. I think too that court was right in affirming the judgment of the trial Judge. The appellant cannot escape from the result of cold blooded murder on his part. This appeal is accordingly dismissed. Conviction and sentence are hereby affirmed.


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