BEST LAW REPORT SUBSCRIPTION PRICE!!

  • Zuru v. Chief of Naval Staff
  • 237
  • 2004-12-13
  • ₦ 200
  • Buy Now

Zuru v. Chief of Naval Staff

MEI AUDU YUANANA ZURU

V

CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF

FLAG OFFICER, COMMANDING EASTERN NAVAL COMMAND

PRESIDENT, GENERAL COURT MARTIAL, N. N. S. ANANSA

COURT OF APPEAL

( CALABAR DIVISION )

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

SIMEON OSUJI EKPE JCA

ISTIFANUS THOMAS JCA

CA/C/128/2001

THURSDAY, 15TH MAY, 2003

APPEAL - Criminal appeal - Conflicting evidence of prosecution witnesses which trial court made no specific findings on - Attitude of appeal court thereto

COURT - Descent of to the arena during trial - Impropriety of

MILITARY LAW - General court marital - Convening order to try an accused person - Necessity of - Impropriety of making directive to try accused person an addendum of another court martial

MILITARY LAW - Court Martial - General Court Martial - Convening order of

MILITARY LAW - Court Martial - General Court Martial - Requirement of oath taking or affirmation by members of - Mandatoriness of MILITARY LAW - Court Martial -- General court martial - Jurisdiction of - Mandatory statutory requirement for the exercise of

MILITARY LAW - Court Martial - Standard of proof in - Need to prove allegations against accused person beyond reasonable doubt

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Evidence - Conflicting evidence of prosecution witnesses which trial court made no specific findings upon - Attitude of appeal court to

DOCUMENT - Judgment of court and other documents - Types of evidence admissible in proof of

EVIDENCE - Conflicting evidence of prosecution witnesses which trial court made no specific findings upon - Attitude of appeal court to

EVIDENCE - Judgment of court and other documents - Types of evidence admissible in proof of

INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES - Clear and unambiguous words of enactment - How interpreted - Need to give literal meaning to

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Dating and signing of judgment of court Necessity of - Effect of non-compliance

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Judgment of court and other documents Types of evidence admissible in proof of

STATUTES - Mandatory statutory provisions - Non-compliance with - Effect of

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Oath’ - Meaning of

Issues:

1.              Whether the non-compliance with mandatory provisions of the Armed Forces Decree 105 of 1993 as amended, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and the Criminal Procedure Act 1990 did not vitiate the entire proceedings thus rendering the judgment null and void.

2.              Whether the failure of the prosecution to explain the contradictions in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were not fatal to this case.

3.              Whether the trial of the appellant can be said to be fair.

Facts:

The appellant herein was a Naval Officer serving in N. N. S. Anansa,

Calabar until he was arrested, detained and charged before the General Court Martial, N. N. S. Anansa, sitting in Calabar for conspiracy and stealing of 5,800 litres of diesel valued at N110,200.00. The trial commenced from the 24th January through 9th February 2000. The prosecution called seven witnesses. The defence made a no-case submission. The no-case submission was overruled and the appellant gave an unsworn testimony. He and the other accused persons were found guilty and sentenced to one year imprisonment.

Dissatisfied the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.