⦿ CASE SUMMARY OF:
Musa Yusuf v. Federal Republic Of Nigeria (2017) – SC
⦿ LITE HOLDING
⦿AREA OF LAW
– Criminal Law
– Advance Fee Fraud.
Federal Republic Of Nigeria
(2017) JELR 37248 (SC)
⦿ LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
SIDI DAUDA BAGE, JSC
* FOR THE APPELLANT
– Ibrahim Abdullahi Esq.
* FOR THE RESPONDENT
– Chile Okoroma.
⦿ FACT (as relating to the issues)
Based on a charge dated 8th August, 2014, the Appellant herein (the 2nd Accused person at the trial Court) and one Alhaji Mohammed Arzika Dakingari (as the 1st Accused person at the trial Court). Both of them were arraigned before the High Court of Kebbi State sitting in Birnin Kebbi on a 20 counts charge for offences relating to fraud, contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee and Other Fraud Related Offences Act. On May 20, 2016, the trial Court found the Appellant guilty on the 1st and 2nd counts of the charges and sentenced him to six months imprisonment. Dissatisfied by the Judgment of the trial Court, Appellant lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Sokoto Division. The Respondent, also expressed his dissatisfaction with the judgment of the trial Court, particularly the six month imprisonment, filed a Cross Appeal in the same Court. On 8th December, 2016, the Court below affirmed the conviction of the Appellant and reviewed the sentence from six months imprisonment to seven year imprisonment for the offences for which he was charged under Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act; still dissatisfied, the Appellant proceeded to this Court to lodge this appeal.
1. Whether the Court below was right when it affirmed the conviction of the Appellant for the offence of obtaining by false pretence under Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act?
⦿ RESOLUTION OF ISSUE(S)
1. ISSUE 1 IS RESOLVED AGAINST THE APPELLANT BUT IN FAVOUR OF THE RESPONDENT.
i. The main thrust of the prosecution’s case is that the appellant despite knowing that there were no contracts anywhere for the supply of rice still went ahead and procured Exhibits 17 and 18 with which he convinced the PW1 and ended up defrauding him.
ii. It is my considered view that, in view of the above provisions, the Lower Court was right to have invoked the provisions of Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act in revisiting the issue of the punishment imposed with a view to effecting the appropriate punishment envisaged under the law. It is for this reason that I re-affirm the imposition of seven (7) years imprisonment imposed by the Lower Court as against the six (6) months imprisonment imposed by the trial Court.
iii. From the piece of the judgment of the Court below, it is clear that the appellant was not convicted for conspiring with the said co-accused but was convicted with the said Ibrahim Abdullahi Usman whose name appeared in Count 1 but was stated to be at large and so the appellant’s submission that he ought to have been discharged and acquitted since the co-accused in the charge was discharged, was a misconception. That a person can be convicted of conspiring with a co-conspirator who is at large as all that is required is evidence on record in support of the conviction.
⦿ ENDING NOTE BY LEAD JUSTICE – Per
Section 131 & 132, 138, of the Evidence Act 2011;
Section 36(5) of the Evidence Act.
⦿ SOME PROVISION(S)
⦿ RELEVANT CASE(S)
⦿ CASE(S) RELATED
⦿ NOTABLE DICTA
However, it needs to be appreciated that, by its nature, the offence of conspiracy is established once the prosecution adduces credible evidence, which is not debunked by the accused, to show criminal design and intent. – BAGE, JSC. Yusuf v. FRN (2017)