Saliu Alabi V. The State (1981) LLJR-SC

Saliu Alabi V. The State (1981)

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This is an appeal against the judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal, Ibadan dismissing the appeal of the appellant from the judgment of the High Court, Oshogbo, where he was sentenced to death on the charge of murder. No valid arguments were brought before us because the counsel for the appellant said he had nothing to urge in his favour.

Learned counsel for the respondent associates himself with the view of the counsel for appellant.   I have gone through the proceedings in this case, I have nothing favourable to urge on behalf of the appellant. The appellant killed his wife because he suspected that she caused his impotence. He also alleged that his wife was about to run away with another man and it is because of this that he matcheted her to death. He has no valid defence whatsoever. I will in the circumstances, dismiss this appeal and affirm the judgments of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan and the High Court, Oshogbo.

M. BELLO, JSC.: The appellant matcheted his wife to death while she was asleep. The reason he offered to the police for that dastardly act was that he suspected she had made him impotent and had eaves-dropped to her conversation with another man that she intended to marry the other man. In his evidence at the trial, he testified that he had killed her because he was urged to do so by some strange influence beyond his control. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against conviction of murder. His counsel and the learned Assistant Director of Public Prosecution have nothing to urge in his favour before us. I agree the appeal has no merits. It should be dismissed. Conviction and sentence shall be re-affirmed.

C. IDIGBE, JSC.: I agree with my lord, Sowemimo, JSC., that there is no merit in this appeal. The deceased was killed because the appellant thought she was responsible for his becoming impotent. The appellant also gave another reason for killing the deceased and it was that he was acting “under the urge of some strange influence beyond his control”. The court of trial and the Court of Appeal considered the latter reason and dismissed the same as an ineffective defence of insane delusion, and in any event the learned trial judge disbelieved him on this issue. The Court of Appeal found that appellant killed without provocation. There is no merit in this appeal and it is hereby dismissed.

A.O. OBASEKI, JSC.: The appellant murdered his wife, Abeni, because he discovered 3 months earlier that he was impotent and heard his wife’s plan to leave him to marry another man. He made a detailed confessional statement Exhibit A.   The evidence was fully considered by the trial Judge and found to be overwhelmingly in favour of conviction and he convicted him. His appeal was dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal. Before us, learned counsel has found nothing to urge in his favour. I have read the record of proceedings in the High Court and the Federal Court of Appeal and I agree with both counsel that the conviction was fully justified by the evidence. There is therefore no merit in the appeal and I hereby dismiss it and confirm the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal upholding the conviction and sentence passed by the High Court, Ibadan (Olowofoyeku, J.).

A. NNAMANI, JSC.: Both learned counsel for the appellant and the respondent have rightly, in my view, conceded that there is no defence in law that can be urged in favour of the appellant. All the possible defences were considered by the trial court and the Federal Court of Appeal and rightly rejected. The appellant made confessional statements Exhibits A1 and B in which he accepted responsibility for killing his wife in the brutal manner in which he did. I agree with the trial court and the Federal Court of Appeal that he did this dastardly act because he perhaps superstitiously believed that his wife had made him impotent and was about to elope with her ‘customer’. I see no grounds on which the judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal, Ibadan Judicial Division delivered on the 9th March, 1979 can be faulted. The appeal lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed. I therefore agree that the said judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal, Ibadan should be confirmed and it is hereby confirmed.

Other Citation: (1981) LCN/1824(SC)

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