Nwankpu Nworie Vs Commissioner Of Police (1960) LLJR-SC

Nwankpu Nworie Vs Commissioner Of Police (1960)

LawGlobal-Hub Lead Judgement Report

HUBBARD, AG F.J 

This is an appeal by Nwankpu Nworie against a judgment of the High Court of Eastern Region upholding his conviction by a Magistrate’s Court sitting at Abakaliki, on a charge of stealing three cows. He appeals also against the sentence passed on conviction. There is no substance in the appeal against conviction. The appellant was caught red-handed, together with two others of his co-accused, holding stolen cows, according to the evidence of a prosecution witness of whom the learned Magistrate said: ‘The second prosecution witness impressed me immensely as a witness of truth.”

As regards the sentence of two years imprisonment passed on conviction, this does not appear to us to be excessive. On appeal, however, the learned Judge increased this sentence to one of four years imprisonment. This the learned Judge had no power to do (see s.38(2) of the High Court Law, 1955).

In the result the present appellant’s appeal against conviction is dismissed. His appeal against sentence is allowed and the sentence is reduced to two years imprisonment. The learned appellant Judge also Increased to four years imprisonment the sentence passed by the Magistrate upon each of the other five persons convicted with the appellant, who have not themselves appealed to this court. As this increase was contrary to law, it follows that it was a nullity and the sentences of two years imprisonment passed on each of these five convicted persons by the Magistrate must stand and are the sentences to be served by them.

Appeal against conviction dismissed.

Sentence of appellant reduced.

Sentence of non-appellants reduced.


Other Citation: (1960) LCN/0861(SC)

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