CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – DEFENCE(S) OF ACCUSED PERSON(S) – Whether the defences of provocation, self defence and accident are mutually exclusive and cannot go together


“The appellant had put up a defence of the deceased upon seeing him at No.6 Gada Street immediately beating him mercilessly to the ground, that the appellant’s father was instrumental to the closing down of a game where the deceased usually went to play computer game. In brief, appellant raised the defence of accident or provocation or self defence which proof thereof rest on the appellant and no other.Maiyaki v State (2008) All FWLR (pt. 419) 400. ?It is difficult to fault the Court of Appeal which rejected the defences of provocation, self defence and accident put up by the appellant as those defence are mutually exclusive and cannot go together. Simply put, the defence of accident and self defence cannot be in one case as in principle, the defence of death resulting from accident is clearly inconsistent with a defence resulting from provocation or self-defence. Whilst the defence of provocation is based on the admission of the fact as established and merely raises justification on the grounds that the event was not as a result of the act intended by the accused. He neither intended nor foresaw that result arising from his act. A person who is provoked actually intended the act, and was reckless as to the consequence of his act because of his mental predisposition at the time of the doing of the act. Therefore, throwing up these defences without realising the implication and what the defences portend, taken together does the accused appellant no good as they cancel each other. See Maiyaki v State (2008) All FWLR (pt. 419) 400 at 522; Oladipupo v The State (1993) LPELR – 2549 (SC) per Kutigi JSC (as he then was); Njoku v State (1996) 6 NWLR (pt. 299) 272; Agu v State (2017) LPELR – 41664 (SC).” Per MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI, JSC in WOWEM v. STATE (2021-LCER-40502-SC) (Pp 48 – 49; Paras A – C)

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