Olugbo Tubode V. The State (1982) LLJR-SC

Olugbo Tubode V. The State (1982)

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This is an appeal against the conviction and sentence of an appellant who murdered his wife for refusal of sexual intercourse. The learned trial Judge considered the confessional statement made by the appellant to the police, although retracted in evidence for the defence, and held that it was made by the appellant. The trial judge also considered possible defences of provocation and self defence. These defences were also rejected. The Federal Court of Appeal, Benin, considered the appeal and dismissed it. Both counsel for the appellant and the respondent could find nothing useful to urge upon us in favour of the appellant. I consider after reading the proceedings that there is no merit whatsoever in the appeal and ought to be dismissed. I therefore order that the appeal be dismissed and that the conviction and sentence of death be affirmed.

M. BELLO, JSC.: The appellant butchered his wife with a cutlass to death because she had denied him sexual intercourse. He said he had been nursing grievances against her on that account for two months before his barbaric act. This is a plain case of premeditated murder. It is not surprising that learned counsel have nothing to urge in his favour. The appeal has no merit. It is dismissed. Conviction and sentence are re-affirmed.

C. IDIGBE, JSC.: I agree that there is no substance in this appeal. The appellant murdered his wife in cold blood on the ground that she refused to gratify his sexual desire. The facts as presented by the prosecution were adequately and properly considered by the learned trial Judge; who rightly, in my view, found that the defence of provocation was not available to the appellant. Their Lordships of the Federal Court of Appeal rightly, in my view, found no merit whatsoever in this case when it came on appeal before them. This appeal will be and is hereby dismissed.

A. O. OBASEKI, JSC.:  I agree with both learned counsel that the appeal is devoid of merit.
The evidence conclusively establishes that the appellant matcheted his wife to death in cold blood for refusing sexual intercourse with him. The refusal had been on for about 2 months and on this fateful day, the ferocity with which the refusal was greeted can better be imagined than described. The several matchet cuts on the head, neck, side of face severing the ear, hands, bear testimony to the deep animosity the appellant had for the wife. The defence of provocation was rightly rejected.The appellant’s confessional statement both to the police and in court justified the conviction for premeditated murder. I would therefore and I hereby dismiss the appeal and affirm the conviction and sentence passed by the High Court and affirmed by the Federal Court of appeal.

A. NNAMANI, JSC.:  Both learned counsel for the appellant and respondent have rightly submitted that there is nothing in law that can be urged in favour of the appellant. This was a brutal murder of appellant’s wife by the appellant because according to him she denied him sexual relations. The appellant made a confessional statement which was not only positive and direct but was fully supported by corroborative circumstances. The defences of provocation and self defence were not open to the appellant and were rightly rejected. The appeal lacks substance and I agree that it should be dismissed and it is hereby dismissed. The  judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal dated 7th May, 1980, is hereby affirmed.


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