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    Can a decision of Court convicting a Defendant who pleads guilty to a charge, having been deceived by the investigating Police Officer to so do, stand in Law?
    20/06/2018

    CAN A DECISION OF COURT CONVICTING A DEFENDANT WHO PLEADS GUILTY TO A CHARGE, HAVING BEEN DECEIVED BY THE INVESTIGATING POLICE OFFICER TO SO DO, STAND IN LAW?


    Lawyers Alert has contested the decision of an Upper Area Court sitting in Zuba, Abuja convicting two men accused of having carnal intercourse against the order of nature and had consequently been arraigned in the court.

    Following contacts with Lawyers Alert by the family of one of the convicts, Lawyers Alert filed an objection to the conviction. This was argued on Wednesday, the 13th day of June 2018. The court has reserved ruling on the application for the 27th day of June 2018.

    UPDATES. . . .

    Lawyers Alert filed an application to set aside the conviction based on jurisdiction and the fact that the suspects did not understand the ingredients of the offense to which they have pleaded guilty. In the ruling following arguments on the matter, the Judge refused the application, thereby reaffirming the conviction.

    He thereafter sentenced both defendants to six months imprisonment with an option of N30, 000 (83.10 USD) fine, each. The family of one of the defendants quickly mobilized and paid for him while the other is still left to serve his prison term due to lack of resources. Lawyers Alert is putting the appeal papers together for filing along with a motion for bail pending appeal for the person currently serving the Jail term. We will continue to update you.

    UPDATE

    After the conviction of the two Defendants and prior to sentencing them, Counsel to the two Defendants raised objection which was based on the fact narrated to him by the two Defendants, which is to the effect that the Investigating Police Officer (.IP.O.) who took them to court induced them to plead guilty to the charge which would be read to them by the court so that the court would not punish them. On the strength of this information, Defendants Counsel applied that their plea be changed from guilty to not guilty as they did not know the full implication nor were they represented at the time their plea were taken, but the court refused to grant the application on ground that they understood the charge read to them and that the court has become functus officio. Despite the objection of the Counsel to the two Defendants that the judgment was obtained by fraud, that the court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the case, that the Defendants were denied their right to fair hearing, the court proceeded to convict the two Defendants of the offence of an attempt to commit Unnatural Offences, that is, the offence of having carnal intercourse against the order of nature with a man, woman or an animal.

    Dissatisfied by the Judgment of the Upper Area Court, Zuba, delivered by Honourable Gambo Garba, on August 3, 2018, Lawyers Alert filed the two Defendants Notices of Appeal with Motions for Extension of Time to Appeal at the Apo High Courtís Appeal Registry on August 31, 2018. We have served both processes on the Respondent (Prosecution). The trial court that delivered the judgment is yet to compile and transmit its record of proceeding to the appellate court (High Court), and as such, no date has been fixed for filing our brief of argument and for hearing of the appeal. We will keep you posted as make progress in the appeal.
     
     

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