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Aiguokhian v. State

OSAREMWINDA AIGUOKHIAN

V

THE STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN DIVISION )

RAPHAEL O. ROWLAND, JCA (Presided and Read the Lead Judgment)

BABA ALKALI BA’ABA, JCA

KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, JCA

CA/B/217/98

THURSDAY, 18TH APRIL, 2002

COURT - Defence of insanity - Duty of court when raised

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Presumption - Natural consequences of a person’s act - Whether the person will be presumed to have intended same

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confession - Denial by an accused person of making a confession - Whether renders the confession inadmissible

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confession - When a person may be convicted on confession alone

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Witchcraft - Defence founded thereon  - Whether acceptable in murder case

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Insanity - Defence of - Burden of establishing

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Insanity - Sanity of accused person -  Whether necessary for prosecution to prove - Duty of defence to prove insanity

         Aiguokhian  vs. State                                                                823

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Insanity - Defence of - Duty of court when raised

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Murder -What prosecution must prove in a murder case

EVIDENCE - Admissibility - Confession - Denial by an accused person of making a confession - Whether renders the confession inadmissible

EVIDENCE - Proof - Sanity of accused person - Whether necessary for prosecution to prove - Duty of defence to prove insanity

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Date a judgment was heard - Clerical error as to same - Whether occassions a miscarriage of justice JUSTICE - Reliance on technicalities - Effect of on justice

Issues:

1.             Whether from the overwhelming evidence of insanity and overt acts of the appellant bothering on delusion, hallucinations, mundane behaviour, the learned trial Judge was justified in not finding the appellant not guilty by reason of insanity and therefore ought to have ordered his detention in a mental plenipotentiary at the pleasure of the State.

2.             Whether the trial Judge was right in shifting the onus of proof upon the appellant during the trial from the trial within trial to the main trial.

3.             Whether in view of the non-compliance with sections 245, 247 and 267(2) of the Criminal Procedure Law of Bendel State now applicable in Edo State, the judgment delivered by the learned trial Judge was valid.

Facts:

The accused appellant a farmer, while hunting in the bush on 7th July 1993  saw what appeared to him to be a deer and shot at it, when he approached it he found that it was a human being, a  person he knew so well. Confused, he dismembered parts of the body and buried them so as to present it as if ritual killers had done it. He then reported himself to PW4 who took him to the police station where he made a statement.

The accused person was subsequently charged for the murder of the deceased Edomwonyi Aghedo. At the conclusion of trial the trial court found the accused person guilty of murder as charged sentenced him to death.

Dissatisfied, the accused appealed to the Court of Appeal.