Shehu Dummemi V. The Queen (1955)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Murder—Provocation—need not necessarily be given by victim—section 318 of the Criminal Code
This was an appeal on a conviction of murder. The incident arose out of a fight between two groups of young men.
The only matter for consideration at the appeal was whether the trial Judge came to a correct conclusion on the question of provocation.
The trial Judge attached great importance to the fact that the deceased was not the person who gave the provocation and he accordingly ruled out this plea.
This is too wide a proposition and there may be instances where provocation emanating from a body of persons acting together can be successfully pleaded where the person provoked kills a member of such body. The Court found that the trial Judge did not direct himself properly on the question and accordingly substituted a verdict of manslaughter.
Note: The Court also did not agree that provocation must be ruled out in cases where the person acting under the provocation gives a free rein to feelings of revenge or retribution.
Appeal allowed. Conviction for manslaughter substituted.