CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – Sentence – Whether the Court has discretion to determine the sentence to be imposed on a convict – Instances when an appellate Court will interfere with the sentence imposed by the trial Court


“The said Section 1(18)(a)(ii) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 states:- “Any person who deals in, sells or offers for sale or otherwise for sale any drug, medical preparation or manufactured or processed product or preparation, or is not of the quality, substance, nature or efficacy which the seller represents it to be, or has in any way been rendered or has become noxious, dangerous or unfit, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years” The available evidence showed that the appellant not only dealt in, but he offered for sale and sold a chemical preparation, a pediatric syrup called ‘My PIKIN BABY TEETHING MIXTURE BATCH 02008 and the drug was found to have been contaminated with diethylene glycol, a chemical substance that rendered the said My PINKIN BABY TEETHING MIXTURE dangerous for human beings. The mixture was intended for toddlers and infants. Since by Exhibit M, Barewa Pharmaceutical Limited had given instructions for the withdrawal of the drug ‘MY PIKIN’ this is a clear admission that there was something dangerous with the drug. The lower Court’s inference to that effect was therefore well founded. The appellant was consequently liable to be punishable in Sections 1(18) (a)(ii) 1 (18)(b)(ii) and 3 of the Act. Having found the accused person guilty of the offence, they were liable to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. The learned trial Judge in exercise of his discretion imposed a 7years term of imprisonment. Since he did not exceed the limit prescribed by law, an appeal against the exercise of discretion cannot succeed unless the appellant is able to prove that the trial Judge did not exercise his discretion judiciously and judicially or took extraneous factors into consideration in imposing the sentence of 7 years imprisonment.” Per AKA’AHS, J.S.C. in EROMOSELE v. FRN (2018-LCER-34329-SC) at Pp. 20-21; Paras. C-B.

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