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Yakubu v. Chief of Naval Staff

LIEUTENANT YAHAYA T. YAKUBU

V

CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF

FLAG OFFICER COMMANDING EASTERN NAVAL COMMAND

THE PRESIDENT, GENERAL COURT MARTIAL,

N. N. S. ANANSA

COURT OF APPEAL

(CALABAR DIVISION)

RAPHEAL OLUFEMI ROWLAND JCA ( Presided )

SIMEON OSUJI EKPE JCA

ISTIFANUS THOMAS JCA (Read the Lead Judgment)

CA/C/129/2001

THURSDAY, 15TH MAY, 2003 

APPEAL - Record of proceedings - Bindingness of on appeal court

APPEAL - Record of proceedings - Impropriety of respondent complaining in his brief that the appellant failed to compile some parts of record of proceedings vital to his own case - Onus on counsel who contends completeness of record of proceedings

COURT - Appeal Court - Bindingness of record of proceedings thereon

COURT - Court Martial - Decisions of - Non-bindingness of on Court of Appeal - Status of

COURT - General Court Martial - Duty of to give reasons for its decision or finding


COURT - General Court Martial - Failure of members to sign and date its judgment - Consequence of

COURT - General Court Martial - Members of - Requirement of Oath taking thereby under the provisions of Armed Forces Decree No. 5 of 1993 (as amended) -  Essence of

COURT - General Court Martial - Officers heading same - Duty on to ensure that allegation of crime against their colleagues in the Armed Forces are proved beyond reasonable doubt

COURT - General Court Martial - Whether can try an accused by an addendum to convening order made under Armed Forces (amendment) Decree No. 15  of  1997

COURT - Trial court - Failure of to resolve contradiction in evidence of witnesses before it - Consequence of

EVIDENCE - Contradictory evidence - Failure of trial court to resolve contradictions -  Consequence of

EVIDENCE - Court Martial - Allegation of crime against members of the Armed Forces before - Need to prove beyond reasonable doubt

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Court Martial - Decisions of - Nonbindingness of on Court of Appeal - Status of

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - General Court Martial - Judgment of Failure of members to sign and date - Consequence of

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Court Martial - Decisions of - Nonbindingness of on Court of Appeal - Status of

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - General Court Martial - Decisions of Duty of court martial to give reasons for its findings

JUDICIAL PRECEDENTS - Court Martial - Decisions of - Nonbindingness of on Court of Appeal - Status of

LEGAL PRACTITIONER - Record of proceedings - Counsel who contests completeness of - Onus on


PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - General Court Martial - Failure of members to sign and date its judgment - Consequence of

STATUTES - Mandatory provisions of - Non-compliance with -

Consequence of

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Finding’ - Definition 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 contradiction in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses was not fatal to his case.

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

Facts:

The appellant has appealed against the decision of the General court Martial, N. N. S. Anansa presided over by Navy Captain S. E. A. Olamilokun and four other members sitting at Calabar. The verdict was delivered on 9th February, 2001, in which the appellant was sentenced to one year imprisonment on each of the two count charge of conspiracy and stealing contrary to sections 516 of the Criminal Code and 114 of the Armed Forces Decree No. 105 of 1993 (as amended) and section 66(1) of the Armed Forces Decree No. 105 of 1993 (as amended) respectively. After the verdict, the appellant was imprisoned for ten months in Afokang Federal Prison, Calabar, before he was released on bail following an application in the Federal High Court, Calabar.

By leave of the Appeal Court, the appellant was allowed to appeal against the conviction and sentence passed by the General Court Martial.