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Popoola v. State

KAZEEM POPOOLA

V

THE STATE

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

MAHMUD MOHAMMED JSC ( Presided )

MUHAMMAD SAIFULLAH MUNTAKA-COOMASSIE JSC

NWALI SYLVESTER NGWUTA JSC

MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI JSC ( Read the Lead Judgment )

OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA JSC

SC. 375/2011

FRIDAY, 19 JULY 2013

APPEAL - Findings of lower courts - Where concurrent - Attitude of Supreme Court to

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Rape - Lenient sentence for Impropriety of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Rape - Meaning of - When committed

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Sanity of accused - Presumption of - Defence of insanity - Duty on to raise - Standard of proof therefor - Mental condition that suffices for - Nature of - Where raised - Proper step trial court should take - Criminal Procedure Law, sections 223 and 224 and Criminal Code, section 28 considered

EVIDENCE - Presumptions - Sanity of accused - Presumption of Defence of insanity - Duty on to raise - Standard of proof of Mental condition that suffices for - Nature of - Where raised Proper step trial court should take - Criminal Procedure Law, sections 223 and 224 and Criminal Code, section 28 considered

STATUTE - Criminal Procedure Law, sections 223 and 224 and Criminal Code, section 28 - Accused - Sanity of - Presumption of - Defence of insanity - Duty on to raise - Standard of proof therefor - Mental condition that suffices for - Nature of - Where raised - Proper step trial court should take

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Presume’ - What implies

Issues:

  1. Whether the failure of the trial court to comply with the provisions of sections 223 and 224 of the Criminal Procedure Laws of Ogun State to determine the insanity of the appellant at the trial prejudiced the trial of the appellant.
  2. Whether the extra judicial statement of the appellant in view of his defence of insanity is a corroboration of the sexual offence of rape.

Facts:

The appellant was alleged to have overpowered and raped the prosecutrix who he had found defecating in a school farm. He was therefore arraigned in the High Court of Ogun State on a count of rape, contrary to section 357 and punishable under section 358 of the Criminal Code Law of Ogun State, 1978. A confessional statement made by him was tendered in evidence. The trial court found him guilty and sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment. Not satisfied, he appealed to the Court of Appeal where the appeal was dismissed. Not yet contented, he filed a further appeal to the Supreme Court, contending that the conviction was wrong on grounds of failure of the trial court to uphold his defence of insanity and for relying on his confessional statement as corroboration for the offence when he was insane at the time of commission of the offence.

In determining the appeal, the Supreme Court considered the following statutes:

Criminal Procedure Law, section 222 -

“An accused person shall be deemed to be of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence if by reason of - some physical or mental condition he cannot follow the proceedings and so cannot make a proper defence.”

Criminal Code, section 28 -

“28. A person is not criminally responsible for an act or omission if at the time of doing the act or making the omission, he is in such a state of mental disease or natural disease or natural mental infirmity as to deprive him of the capacity to understand what he is doing or the capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission.”