REX
V.
ASHIGIFUWO

JELR 81098 (WACA)    
West Africa Court of Appeal  ·  West Africa [For WACA cases]
 · 
Other Citations
1946-49 12 WACA 389-391
CORAM
BLACKALL, P., VERITY, C.J. (NIGERIA), LEWEY, J.A.
Core Terms Beta
opinion
doctor
natural mental infirmity
absence of any evidence of motive
burden of proof
criminal code
defence of insanity
learned judge
times
appeal
criminal responsibility
mere absence of any evidence of motive
reason of mental disease
sufficient evidence indicative of insanity
sufficient ground
trial
trial judge
accused person
act of killing
alleged crime
apparent reason
appellant admits
brother of the appellant
cases
civil suit
conclusion
degree of feeble-mindedness
findings of the learned judge
judge
judge’s conclusion
learned judge records
learned trial judge
medical evidence
mental disease
minutes duration
old woman
only substantial ground of appeal
opinion of his relatives
past history of the appellant
present case
reasonable doubt
state of mental disease
such cases

Verity. C.J. This is an appeal from a conviction for murder. The defence raised at the trial was that of insanity and the only substantial ground of appeal is in effect that the learned trial Judge erred in holding that the defence of insanity failed.

The facts in regard to the act of killing are that the appellant left his house carrying an axe and went to the house of the deceased, an old woman whom the appellant admits was “like a mother to him”, and then for no apparent reason whatever, killed her with the axe and shortly afterwards was seen in the vicinity washing bloodstains from his wrapper.

It is well recognised that, as stated in Archbold, (31st Edition, p. 16), “mere absence of any evidence of motive for a crime is not a sufficient ground upon which to infer mania”. But as was pointed out by this Court in R. v. Inyang (1) “when there is sufficient evidence indicative of insanity rather than the opposite, “the absence of any evidence of motive may become relevant to the point …

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