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Patrick Oghome V The State (1982) LLJR-SC

Patrick Oghome V The State (1982)

LawGlobal-Hub Lead Judgment Report


 This is a cold act of murder. The appellant acted on some form of delusion in inflicting very serious injuries on the deceased. He has no defence whatsoever. The appellant’s counsel’s submission on possible insanity is without foundation of facts and law. There is no merit whatsoever in this appeal. Counsel for the respondent is not being called upon.

The appeal is dismissed.

C. IDIGBE, J.S.C.: I have read carefully the record of proceedings in this case, and after listening to the argument urged in favour of the appellant by the learned counsel appearing for him, I found it unnecessary to entertain or hear any submission from the learned Deputy Solicitor-General appearing for the respondent. I find no redeeming features in the case for the appellant. The facts produced in evidence by the prosecution make it quite clear that as decided by this court in Ngene Arum v. The State (1979) 11 S.C. 91-34, the case, at best, falls within the second limit of Section 28 of the Criminal Code.

The accused suffered from delusions and as the learned trial Judge, in my view, rightly held, had the facts under his delusions been true, the reaction of the appellant to the delusions would not, in law, amount to a defence under Section 28 aforesaid. Appellant said the deceased, a woman he had never seen before, was his wife and claimed that she deserted him a long time ago and that he has been searching for her. He then dragged her out of a vehicle in which both of them were travelling and beat her to death. It is in evidence that he behaved in a rather queer manner in the vehicle by shouting that the deceased deserted him and when in custody after he had been arrested he refused to eat and shouted for days.

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I am of the view after considering the entire evidence in this case that the learned trial Judge rightly took the view that the facts, at best, only indicate a case of insane delusions and that the defence of insanity is not in the circumstances available to the appellant. Their Lordships of the Court of Appeal were right in dismissing the appeal and I agree with the decision of my learned brother, Sowemimo, J.S.C., that this appeal be dismissed.

A. O. OBASEKI, J.S.C.: I am unable to accept the submission of counsel that there is any iota of evidence of insanity to entitle the appellant to the defence provided by Section 28 of the Criminal Code for the offence of murder committed by the appellant. The appellant failed to establish the defence. The onus is on him, see Udofia v. The State (1981) 11 S.C. 49. The facts show that he complained of a pain in the leg before the date of the incident and when he saw the deceased in a taxi he claimed her to be his wife whom he had been looking for. He stopped the taxi they were travelling in, dragged the woman out, assaulted her and rejected all pleas to leave the woman alone. He continued the assault until the deceased fell unconscious bleeding from the mouth and nose.

The report of the post mortem shows that the assault on the woman was very serious as her head, hand and ribs were fractured.

There is no doubt that the pain from the leg may have temporarily caused the delusion which afflicted him. Be that as it may, he is liable to the same extent as if what he believed in his state of delusion was in real life. See Section 28 of the Criminal Code, 2nd line, Ngene Arum v. The State (1979) 11 S.C. 91. In real healthy state of mind unaffected by delusion, there is no legal justification for battering a runaway wife to death.

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The appellant was therefore properly convicted of the murder of Angelina Odobor and his appeal properly dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal. I agree that this appeal be dismissed. I will also dismiss the appeal and affirm the conviction and sentence passed by the High Court and affirmed by the Federal Court of Appeal. See
Effiong Udofia v. The State (1981) 11 S.C. 49
Ngene Arum v. The State (1979) 11 SC. 91.

I hereby dismiss the appeal.

Other Citation: (1982) LCN/2160(SC)

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