(2005) JELR 45125 (CA)    

Court of Appeal  ·  CA/PH/252/2002 ·  1 Dec 2005 ·  Nigeria
Other Citations
Opara v. State (2006) 9 NWLR (Pt. 986) 508
SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria JOHN AFOLABI FABIYI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria PIUS OLAYIWOLA ADEREMI Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
Core Terms Beta
trial judge
circumstantial evidence
reasonable doubt
evidence act
medical evidence
alexander opara
act of commission
cause of death
learned trial judge
accused person
murder trial
imo state of nigeria
lead judgment
medical officer
moot point
supreme court
above stated ingredients
act of the accused person
cause of death of the deceased remains
criminal code
dearth of evidence
deceased corpse
direct evidence
high court of justice
john afolabi fabiyi
laws of eastern nigeria
leading judgment
mouth of sir edward seymour
nwosu v. state
proper appreciation of the issues
p.w.1 stella opara
reasonable length
said tree
search party
set fire
stated army barrack
strong opinion
such nature
totality of the circumstantial evidence
transcript record of appeal
victor igbo opara
whole gamut of the evidence

JOHN AFOLABI FABIYI, J.C.A (Delivering the leading Judgment): This is an appeal against the judgment delivered by Maranzu, J., while sitting at the High Court of Justice,Owerri in Imo state of Nigeria on 10th August, 1995. The trial Judge convicted and sentenced the Appellant to death for the murder of one Victor Igbo Opara, contrary to Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code,Vol. II Laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963 applicable in Imo State of Nigeria.

The facts garnered by the trial Judge in the murder trial are very revealing. They are not far fetched. For a proper appreciation of the issues canvassed in this appeal, it is apt to reproduce the salient facts at a reasonable length.

P.W.1 Stella Opara, is the deceased's wife and the star witness. According to her, the deceased set fire on waste papers used in their pit latrine/toilet. The fire got out of control and spread to plantain shrubs, belonging to Alexander Opara - Appellant's father. It also led to the fall of a bean tree which dest…

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