CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE – SENTENCING  – Circumstances under which an appellate Court will not interfere with the sentence imposed by the lower Court


“The Appellant, citing the principle set out in EKPO v. THE STATE (1982) NSCC 146 at 155, had argued “that the learned trial Judge erred in the principle by not taking into consideration the fact that the Appellant is a young first offender and ought to have exercised his discretion in imposing a minimal sentence which should commence running from the 12th April, 2006 when his detention in prison custody commenced”. In EKPO v. THE STATE (supra) this Court, on the facts of the case, stated that the trial Court is not bound to impose maximum sentence for an offence and that it is “free to exercise its discretion in that regard”. The issue remains in the unfettered discretion of the trial Court. The settled principle on the power the appellate Court has to interfere with a discretion exercised by the Trial Court is that the appellate Court will not lightly interfere with a discretion properly exercised by the trial Court even if the Appellate Court would have exercised the same discretion differently. It is therefore incumbent on the Appellant to establish how the trial Court or the lower Court had exercised its discretion improperly.” Per EKO, J.S.C. in EYONG IDAM v. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (2020- LCER-39165-SC) at p. 13

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