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Paul v. State

ALPHA PAUL

V

THE STATE

COURT OF APPEAL

( YOLA DIVISION )

JIMI OLUKAYODE BADA JCA ( Presided )

JUMMAI HANNATU SANKEY JCA

ADAMU JAURO JCA ( Read the Lead Judgment )

CA/YL/31C/2012

THURSDAY, 19 DECEMBER 2013

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Confessional statement - Nature of as best evidence - Power of court to convict thereon

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Culpable homicide punishable with death - Essential ingredients of

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Guilt of accused person - Ways of proving in criminal trials

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Medical evidence - When will not be necessary to prove cause of death

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Medical officer who performed autopsy - Whether mandatory for to be present in court to give evidence in murder charge

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Presumption of innocence of accused person - Constitutionality of - Accused person - Guilt of - Standard of proof of - Failure to attain - Effect

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Proof beyond reasonable doubt -  Whether means proof to a scientific certainty or proof beyond any shadow of doubt

EVIDENCE - Confessional statement - Nature of as best evidence Power of court to convict thereon

EVIDENCE - Guilt of accused person - Ways of proving in criminal trials

EVIDENCE - Medical evidence - When will not be necessary to prove cause of death

EVIDENCE - Medical officer who performed autopsy - Whether mandatory for to be present in court to give evidence in murder charge

EVIDENCE - Presumption of innocence of accused person Constitutionality of - Accused person - Guilt of - Standard of proof of - Failure to attain - Effect

EVIDENCE - Proof beyond reasonable doubt - Whether means proof to a scientific certainty or proof beyond any shadow of doubt

JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Judgment of trial court - Every error therein - Whether will result in allowing appeal against

Issues:

  1. Whether the prosecution proved the essential ingredients of the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death contrary to section 221(a) of the Penal Code, Laws of Taraba State against the appellant and whether the learned trial judge decided rightly when he found the appellant guilty as charged.
  2. Whether the learned trial judge decided rightly when he held that the appellant had thirty (30) days within which to appeal to the Court of Appeal from the decision of the trial court.

Facts:

The appellant herein on 15 August 2010 engaged in a physical combat with his wife (now deceased) in the course of which the wife collapsed and eventually died. Consequent upon the incident, the appellant was arraigned in the lower court on a one count charge of culpable homicide punishable with death contrary, to section 221(1) of the Penal Code, Laws of Taraba State.

At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court convicted the accused as charged and sentenced him to death by hanging.

Dissatisfied, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.