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  • 2002-08-05
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Akalonu v. State

ANSELEM AKALONU

V

THE STATE

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI, JSC ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

SYLVESTER UMARU ONU, JSC

ANTHONY IKECHUKWU IGUH, JSC

ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU, JSC

EMMANUEL OLAYINKA AYOOLA, JSC

SC. 162/2000

FRIDAY, 14TH JUNE, 2002

APPEAL - Findings of court - Concurrent findings of both the trial court and the Court of Appeal - Whether the Supreme Court will interfere therewith

COURT - Findings of court - Concurrent findings of both the trial court and the Court of Appeal - Whether the Supreme Court will interfere therewith

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Witnesses  - Number of witnesses to be called by prosecution - Discretion of prosecution in respect of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Witnesses - Tainted witness Whether blood relationship of a witness and deceased makes the witness tainted

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Witnesses  - Tainted witness - Who is a tainted witness

Issues:

1.            Whether PW1 and PW4 are tainted witnesses.

2.            Whether the police investigated the case.

3.            What is the effect of section 149(d) of the Evidence Act, 1990 on the prosecution’s case with regard to the failure of the prosecution to call numerous identified witnesses of the incident.

4.            Whether the prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that the act of the appellant caused the death of the deceased.

Facts:

The appellant herein was charged with the offence of murder of one Edmon Uzoma contrary to section 319 of the Criminal Code at the High Court, Owerri. At trial the prosecution called a total number of five witnesses two of which were star eye witnesses. The appellant testified in his own defence and called no witnesses. At the conclusion of trial, the trial court found the appellant guilty as charged and sentenced him to death.

Aggrieved, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal which also dismissed the appeal and confirmed the judgment of the trial court. Further dissatisfied the appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.