APPEAL – CRIMINAL APPEAL – Time within which to file a criminal appeal to the Supreme Court from the decision of the Court of Appeal; effect of failure


“It has now become trite that criminal appeals from the Court of Appeal to this Court must be filed 30 days from the date of the judgment appealed against. See Okereke Vs. James (2012) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1326) 339, Afribank Nigeria Plc Vs. Akwara (2006) 5 NWLR (Pt. 974) 619. However, Section 27(4) of the Supreme Court Act grants a window for enlargement or extension of time within which an appellant who failed to file within statutory period, may bring his appeal out of time, albeit, subject to the discretion of this Court. Failure to comply with the statutory requirements which are condition precedent to filing a competent appeal is fatal to the appeal, such that this Court cannot entertain the appeal no matter how well argued. This appeal therefore having been filed out of time prescribed by the Act without obtaining the leave of this Court for extension of time, is invalid and deserves to be struck out.” Per JOHN INYANG OKORO, JSC in ALADE STEPHEN v. THE STATE (2022-LCER-46531-SC) (Pp 5 – 5 Paras; A – E)

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