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  • 2017-01-20
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RASHEED V STATE

AJADI OBA RASHEED
V
THE STATE COURT OF APPEAL
(ILORIN DIVISION)

CHIDI NWAOMA UWA JCA (Presided)
HAMMA AKAWU BARKA JCA
BOLOUKUROMO MOSES UGO JCA (Read the Lead Judgment)

CA/IL/C.110/2014
FRIDAY, 20 JANUARY 2017

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Extortion - Offence of - Need to prove beyond reasonable doubt
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Extortionist - Identity of - Necessity of establishing with certainty - Section 291 of the Penal Code considered
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Identification parade - Failure to conduct as required by law - Effect
CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE - Terrorist offences - Detection, prevention and investigation of - Power of Department of State Security Service (DSS or SSS) therein - High Court - Jurisdiction of to determine terrorist offences
EVIDENCE - Identification parade - Failure to conduct as required by law - Effect
EVIDENCE - Proof beyond reasonable doubt - Failure of prosecution to establish - Duty on court to resolve in accused’s favour
EVIDENCE - Witnesses - Issue within witness knowledge - Witness testifying falsely to - Effect
JUDICIAL PRECEDENT - Stare Decisis - Doctrine of - Operation of on Court of Appeal - Circumstances determining Court of Appeal’s departure from own decision
STATUTE - Penal Code, section 291 - Extortionist - Identity of - Necessity of establishing with certainty

Issues:
1. Whether the Department of State Security Service (SSS) had the vires to investigate the offences alleged against the appellant and for which he was tried and convicted and whether on that premise the trial court had jurisdiction to try the said offences.
2. Whether the trial court was right in holding that the appellant made oral confession to PW2 and in admitting and treating exhibit 13 as a confessional statement and relying on it to ground his conviction for the offences charged.
3. Whether the trial court was right in convicting the appellant for the offence of criminal conspiracy to commit kidnapping, extortion and armed robbery when the prosecution did not prove the guilt of the appellant beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.
4. Whether the trial court was correct in its decision that the prosecution proved the offence of extortion against the appellant as required by law and in convicting him accordingly while rejecting the evidence of the DW1 and DW2.
5. Whether the trial court was right in the position it took to the effect that identification parade was necessary in this case and the one conducted by the S.S.S. was not proper and not sufficient considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
6. Whether the trial court was wrong in acquitting the cross-respondent/appellant of the offence of armed robbery by holding that it was not proved beyond reasonable doubt aga inst him despite the overwhelming available evidence.

Facts:
The appellant and one Ayeni Ayobami on allegations of committing offences of criminal conspiracy to kidnap, extortion at gunpoint, armed robbery and kidnapping were arraigned before the Kwara State High Court sitting at Ilorin. They were charged with criminal conspiracy to kidnap contrary to section 97 of the Penal Code; armed robbery, contrary to section 1(2) of the Robbery and Firearms Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria kidnapping contrary to provisions of section 243 of the Penal Code and extortion with threat to kill contrary to section 292 of the Penal Code. They were alleged to have kidnapped one Baraje Abdulkadir Biodun and three others and extorted the sum of
$100,000 from Biliqis Barake, wife of the kidnapped man.

The Department State Security Service conducted investigations and its Director of Public Prosecutions charged the matter to court.
At trial, the trial court conducted a trial-within-trial to determine the voluntariness of the accused’s confessional statement, though the court failed to determine its admissibility. At the close of trial and final addresses of counsel, the trial court found the accused persons guilty of the offences of conspiracy to extort and kidnap and the substantive offence of extortion. They were discharged and acquitted of the charge of armed robbery and kidnapping.

Aggrieved, the appellant appealed the court’s decision and the respondent cross-appealed.