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THE COURT IS TO CONSIDER DEFENCES FOR THE ACCUSED

Dictum

In criminal trial, not only must the defences of the accused be considered, the Court is bound to consider the defences available to the accused which the accused himself did not raise, especially where the accused is facing a trial in which his life is at stake. See Nwankwoala v. The State (2006) 14 NWLR (Pt. 1000) 663; Adebayo v. The Republic (1962) NWLR 391; Akpabio v. The State (1994) 7 NWLR (Pt. 359) 653; Oguntolu v. The State (1996) 2 NWLR (Pt. 432) 503; Malam Zakari Ahmed v. The State (1999) 7 NWLR (Pt. 612) 641 at 679 and 681.

— P.A. Galinje JSC. Onuwa Kalu v. The State (SC.474/2011, 13 Apr 2017)

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ACCUSED WHO PLEADS GUILTY CAN BE CONVICTED SUMMARILY

In the case of F.R.N. v. KAYODE (2019) 6 SC (Pt.1) 165 at 188, this Court, per Galumje, JSC held as follows: “The law is settled that an Accused person who pleads guilty to a criminal charge can be convicted summarily if the Court is satisfied that he intended to admit the truth of all the essentials of the offence.”

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FAILURE OF ACCUSED TO INFORM COURT HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH

The fact that the accused does not understand the language in which the trial is being conducted is a fact well known to the accused and it is for him or his counsel to take the initiative of bringing it to the notice of the Court at the earliest opportunity. If he does not claim the right at the proper time before any damage is done, he may not be able to have a valid complaint afterwards, for example on appeal. Where the accused person refuses to inform the Court that he does not understand English Language, it will be too late for him to seek protection under Section 36(6)(e) of the Constitution to have his conviction set aside through the backdoor.

– A. Jauro JSC. Balogun v. FRN (2021)

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SENTIMENT HAS NO PLACE IN OUR COURTS

If I go by sentiments, having regard to the facts of this case leading to this appeal and as appear in the lead Judgment of my learned brother, Oguntade, J.S.C., I may be inclined to allow this appeal. But it is now firmly settled, that sentiments, have no place in our courts including this court. See the cases of Ezeugo v. Ohanyere (1978) 6-7 S.C. 171 @ 184; Omote & Sons Ltd. v. Adeyemo & 9 ors. (1994) 4 NWLR (Pt.336) 48 C.A. and Orhue v. NEPA (1998) 7 NWLR (Pt.557) 107; (1998) 5 SCNJ 126@ 141.

— Ogbuagu, JSC. Grosvenor v Halaloui (2009) – SC.373/2002

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COURT’S PRONOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE TIED TO THE FACTS WARRANTING THEM

It also appeared in rather bold relief that there is now a tendency among our lawyers, and sometimes among some of our Judges, to consider pronouncements made by Justices of the Supreme Court unnecessary isolation from the facts and surrounding circumstances those particular cases in which those pronouncements were made. I think it ought to be obvious by now, that it is the facts and circumstances of any given case that frame the issues for decision in that particular case. Pronouncements of our Justices whether they are rationes decidendi or obiter dicta must therefore be inextricably and intimately related to the facts of the given case. Citing those pronouncements without relating them to the facts that induced them will be citing them out of their proper context, for, without known facts, it is impossible to know the law on those facts.

– Oputa, JSC. Adegoke v. Adesanya (1989)

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PERSON ACCUSED OF CRIME STILL HAS ACCESS TO ENFORCE HIS RIGHTS

The fact that a person has been accused of a crime, however serious, will not deny that person access to Court to enforce his fundamental right if these rights have been violated. See Duruaku v. Nwoke (2015) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1483) 417.

– Ngwuta JSC. Ihim v. Maduagwu (2021)

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WHEN IS A COURT COMPETENT

A court is competent when:- (a) It is properly constituted as regards numbers and qualification of members of the bench that no member is disqualified by one reason or another. (b) The subject matter of’ the action is within its jurisdiction and there is no feature in the case which prevents the court from exercising its jurisdiction. (c) Proper parties are before the court. (d) The action is initiated by due process of law and upon fulfillment of any condition precedent to the exercise of its jurisdiction.

– Adekeye, J.S.C. Goodwill v. Witt (2011) – SC. 266/2005

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