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Nwinasuami Thompson Vs The State (1972) LLJR-SC

Nwinasuami Thompson Vs The State (1972)

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The appellant was tried in the High Court, Port Harcourt, on a charge of murder. He was alleged to have mudered one Baridom Ziidee at Kpaa Village, Ogoni, on the 11th day of March, 1971.

The case for the prosecution was that the appellant, Baridom Ziidee, (the deceased), and others including the 2nd P/W were returning home from work on the day in question. All of a sudden, while they were all walking along the road leading to the village, the appellant attacked the deceased with a matchet, dealt him several blows on the head and neck, and inflicted serious wounds on him. The doctor who examined the deceased at the Ogoni General Hospital soon after the attack testified as follows:-

“I examined him and saw major incised wounds on the right side of the head and neck involving the major arterial branches on the right side. There was also a compound fracture of the roof of the right orbit with a complete expulsion of the right eye. There were also fractures of the right zygomac arc and of the right ascending ramus of the mandible. Any sharp, heavy instrument, such as matchet, could cause these injuries. I operated on the tissues because I could not have treated him without doing the operation. Surgical operation was quite necessary and so I did it. The operation was not successful because many of the injuries were beyond surgical control. The patient died of these injuries. In my opinion, death was caused by severe uncontrollable haemorrhage due to severe injuries to major vessels.”

The appellant denied attacking the deceased. He explained further that on their way home on the day in question, they heard shouts that someone had been killed and that that news blurred his vision and he ran home not knowing what he was doing.

See also  Ogli Oko Memorial Farms Limited & Anor V Nigerian Agricultural And Co-operative Bank Limited (2008) LLJR-SC

In a reserved judgment, the learned trial Judge said that he believed the version of the incident as given by the witnesses called by the prosecution. He rejected the defence put forward by the appellant and then found as follows:-

“There is no evidence on the part of the defence to suggest any doubtful state of mind on the part of the accused – either medical or family history. I cannot accept any suggestion to that effect. That accused ran away after the infliction of the matchet cuts on the deceased, hid the matchet in the grass behind his house and walked to the police – all negative the defence put forward and confirm that accused knew he did something wrong and therefore he knew what he did.”

He then convicted the appellant as charged after finding finally that it was the voluntary act of the appellant which caused the death of the deceased in circumstances amounting to murder.

Before us on appeal, the learned counsel for the appellant had nothing to urge in his favour. As we also saw no reason to interfere with the verdict, we dismissed the appeal at the hearing on 5th October, 1972, for the reasons which we now give.

Other Citation: (1972) LCN/1346(SC)

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