CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – OFFENCE OF CRIMINAL FORCE AND ASSAULT – What amounts to the offence of criminal force


“The question now is whether the Appellant used force against PW 1. PW 1 at page 172 of the Record of this appeal testified as follows:- “I went close to him and he grabbed me and told me that if I shout that Mopol is to kill and go. When I was scared to shout, he pulled off my pant, fall me down on the ground and raped me.” Pushing PW1 to the ground was clearly an act of criminal force. Since there is evidence of rape, any act of trespass to the body of PW 1 in preparation to commit an offence is clearly an act of criminal force. Criminal force is defined under Section 263 of the Penal Code thus:- “Whoever intentionally uses force to any person without that person’s consent:- (a) While preparing to commit any offence (b) In the course of committing any offence, or (c) Intending by the use of such force, he will cause injury, fear or annoyance to the person to whom the force is used is said to use criminal force to that other.” By this definition, the Appellant committed criminal force against PW1. The Lower Court was therefore right when it upheld the decision of the Lower Court on this score.” per GALUMJE, J.S.C. in EYONG IDAM v. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (2020- LCER-39165-SC) at p. 8 – p. 9

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