INIOBONG MATTHEW ETUK-UDO v. THE STATE
CITATION: (2020) LPELR-49164 (CA)
In the Court of Appeal
In the Calabar Judicial Division
Holden at Calabar
On Tuesday, 7th January, 2019
Suit No: CA/C/07C/2018
Before Their Lordships:
OBANDE FESTUS OGBUINYA, JCA
YARGATA BYENCHIT NIMPAR JCA
MUHAMMED LAWAL SHUAIBU, JCA
INIOBONG MATTHEW ETUK-UDO -appellant(s)
THE STATE -respondent(s)
LEAD JUDGMENT DELIVERED BY OBANDE FESTUS OGBUINYA, J.C.A.
FACTS OF THE CASE
On or about June 6, 2009, at about 10pm, the appellant, with two other persons at large, was alleged to have unlawfully killed Monday Matthew and Owoidoho Monday Matthew by pouring petrol on them and setting them ablaze. On the same day, they were also, alleged to have burnt down the Holy African Church building and Q-Link motorcycle, the latter being the property of Elder Ime Matthew. The police duly carried out investigations into the allegations. Thereafter, the appellant was arraigned before the High Court of Akwa Ibom State for the offences of murder and arson contrary to the provisions of Sections 323 and 464 of the Criminal Code Cap. 38, Vol.2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State 2000 respectively. The appellant pleaded not guilty to the 2-count information.
Following the plea of not guilty, the High Court had a full-scale determination of the case. In proof of the case, the respondent fielded one witness, PW1, and tendered eight exhibits. In defence of the case, the appellant testified in person, as DW1, and called no other witness. At the closure of evidence, the parties, through their respective counsel, addressed the Trial Court. In a considered judgment, delivered on July 10, 2017, the Trial Court convicted the appellant on the two counts and sentenced him to death and life imprisonment respectively.
Aggrieved by this, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.