This appeal is against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos, delivered on the 11th of April, 2014.
The Appellant, who was the 2nd Defendant at the trial Court, was tried together with one Idris Sanni the 1st Defendant, for conspiring and robbing one Mrs Omowunmi Adedeji (PW2’s wife), of her handset and the sum of N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) in her residence at Adedeji Street, Oke-Afa, Ibeshe, Ikorodu, at about 8 p.m., on the 26th August 2007, while masked. A toy rubber pistol, face mask and a saw blade were said to have been recovered from the Appellant and handed over to the Police as the items used in the course of the robbery operation. It was part of the Respondent’s case that an alarm was raised which attracted neighbours, and the members of the Odua Peoples’ Congress, (OPC) who cordoned off the area. In the course of combing the area, they discovered the Appellant, who led them to the 1st Defendant. Both of them were taken to the Police Station. According to the Respondent, in the course of the Police investigation, the Appellant confessed to committing the alleged offences.
Hence, the Appellant with the 1st Defendant was arraigned at the High Court of Lagos State, on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and armed robbery contrary to Sections 403(A) of the Criminal Code Cap C. 17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State 2003 and Section 402(2)(a) of the Criminal Code Cap C. 17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State 2003 respectively.
At the end of the trial, the trial Court accepted the Respondent’s case and accordingly, convicted and sentenced the Appellant and Stanley Ossai to 21 years imprisonment for the offence of conspiracy, and death by hanging, for the offence of armed robbery. Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal in part and convicted the Appellant for a lesser offence that is, conspiracy to commit robbery, and robbery without arms or offensive weapons, under Section 403 A and 402(1) respectively, of the Criminal Code, read with Section 19(3) of the Court of Appeal Act, 2004 as well as case of Nwachukwu v. State (1986) 2 NWLR (Pt. 25) 765 and he was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment. Still further dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.