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

“On the issue of the sentences, I agree with the learned counsel for the Respondent that the imposition of sentence on the Appellant was purely a matter of discretion. The Law is settled that the discretion of a Court must at all times be exercised not only judicially, but also judiciously on sufficient materials. See Udensi v. Odusote (2003) 6 NWLR (Pt.817) 545 at 558 para B; Ogbuehi v. Governor Imo State (1995) 9 NWLR (Pt.417) 53 University of Lagos v. M.I. Aigoro (1985) 1 NWLR (Pt.1) 143 at 148. It is equally settled that where judicial discretion has been exercised bona fide uninfluenced by irrelevant consideration and not arbitrarily or illegally by the Court, the general rule is that the Appellate Court will not interfere. The punishment for rape as provided under Section 283 of the Penal Code is life imprisonment, and a mandatory sentence of fine. The Trial Court imposed a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment and left out the mandatory fine. I am of the firm view that the Trial Court was sufficiently magnanimous in the manner it imposes sentence of imprisonment. The learned trial Judge was also lenient in passing sentence under Section 265 of the Penal Code. I therefore have no reason to interfere with the exercise of the Trial Court’s discretion which was affirmed by the Lower Court.” per GALUMJE, J.S.C. in EYONG IDAM v. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (2020- LCER-39165-SC) at p. 9 – p. 10

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