(1984) JELR 46454 (SC)    

Supreme Court  ·  SC.73/1981 ·  5 Apr 1984 ·  Nigeria
MOHAMMED BELLO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria ANDREWS OTUTU OBASEKI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria ANTHONY NNAEMEZIE ANIAGOLU Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria AUGUSTINE NNAMANI Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria MUHAMMADU LAWAL UWAIS Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria
Core Terms Beta
cause of death
court of appeal
learned trial judge
favour of the appellant
absence of medical evidence
trial court
trial judge
act of the appellant
high court of bendel state
justices of the court of appeal
learned counsel
medical evidence
mortem examination
absolute necessity
abundant evidence
aid of the deceased
circumstances of the case
circumstantial evidence
dagger stab
deceased samson oamhen
extenuating circumstances
eye witness
face of the credible evidence of an eye witness
facile reason
fateful day
full brother
full view of p.w.1
hearing of the appeal
long line of authorities
lower court
medical evidence of the cause of death
moses maine oria
murder of his brother
police station
relevant authorities
stab wounds
statement of the appellant
sufficient evidence
trial court shows
trite law

BELLO, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The appellant was convicted of the murder of his brother by the High Court of Bendel State and the Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction. The evidence accepted by the trial court shows that the appellant apparently because the brother had refused to give him some money, stabbed the brother on the neck and left side of the chest with a dagger and the brother died within 2 hours of the incident. Although post mortem examination was done on the body, the doctor could not be traced to give evidence during the trial. There was therefore no medical evidence of the cause of death. The trial judge inferred from the evidence that the injuries inflicted by the stabs caused the death.

It is trite law that medical evidence, though desirable, is not essential in all cases of homicide. A trial court may infer the cause of death from the circumstantial evidence before it. I am satisfied that the circumstances of the case in hand warrant drawing such…

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