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  • 2002-08-26
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Anyanwu v. State

GODWIN ANYANWU

V

THE STATE

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

MUHAMMADU LAWAL UWAIS, CJN ( Presided )

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI, JSC

MICHAEL EKUNDAYO OGUNDARE, JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

UTHMAN MOHAMMED, JSC

ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU, JSC

UMARU ATU KALGO, JSC

AKINTOLA OLUFEMI EJIWUNMI, JSC

SC.328/2001

FRIDAY, 28TH JUNE, 2002

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

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - Section 33(6)(a) and (e) of 1979 Constitution Intent and purpose thereof vis-a-vis accused person’s right of fair hearing

COURT - Supreme Court - Whether will interfer with concurrent findings of trial court and Court of Appeal

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Interpreter - When use is made of same at the commencement of a criminal trial - Duty on trial Judge to record the presence of on subsequent day of trial - Failure to so do - Whether vitiate the trial

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Interpreter - Where presence of was recorded on the day of arraignment and plea-taking -

[2002]  F.W.L.R.                                          Anyanwu vs. State                                                    1021

Presumption of same throughout the trial

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Person charged with criminal offence - Fair hearing guaranteed thereto by section 33(b)(e) of 1979 Constitution - Intent and purpose thereof

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Record of proceedings - Failure of trial court to record presence of an interpreter - Whether enough to persuade the Supreme Court to depart from its decision in Lockman vs. State

JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - Decision of Supreme Court in Lockman vs. State -  Failure to record presence of an interpreter in the proceedings of a criminal trial - Whether enough to persuade the Supreme Court to depart therefrom

Issues:

1.            Whether it can be safely concluded that exhibits C and D were indeed the confessional statements personally made by the appellant to the police.

2.            Whether the provisions of section 33(6(e) and (7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979 were fully complied with in this case and if not, whether such noncompliance render the trial unfair.

3.            Whether the court below was right in holding that the appellant was not entitled to the defence of provocation to mitigate his criminal culpability from murder to manslaughter.

Facts:

The appellant was charged along with 2 others at the High Court of Imo State for the murder of one Thomas Aliri. When appellant and the other two were arraigned, the charge was read and explained to them in Ibo language to which they all pleaded not guilty.

At the conclusion of trial, the trial court found the appellant guilty of murder, he therefore convicted and sentenced the appellant to death by hanging. The 2nd and 3rd defendants were found not guilty and accordingly discharged and acquitted.

Aggrieved, the appellant’s appeal to the Court of appeal was unsuccessful. He therefore appealed to the Supreme Court.