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29 Dec

CRIMINAL LAW 1.8 RIPPLE OFFENCES, ACCESSORIES

OFFENCES COMMITTED IN THE PROSECUTION OF A COMMON PURPOSE Section 8 of the Criminal Code.

When two or more in the execution of a commonly agreed unlawful purpose, another offence which is a probable consequence is committed, they are deemed to have also committed the other offence.

Also Section 18 of the criminal law of Lagos state.

The main purport of Section 8 is to make people responsible for the probable consequences of the crime they both agreed to carry out. Ubiero V  the state.

From the provision of Section 8 three elements can be extracted:

  • Two or more must have agreed to break the law.
  • While executing their commonly agreed unlawful purpose, another offence is committed.
  • The other offence committed is a probable consequence of the unlawful purpose.

Two or More must have agreed to Break the Law:

***There must have been a prior agreement before the unlawful act was carried out

Offor and Offors V  R: In this case, a man went to complain about x adultery with his wife. There arose a dispute between the parties and x ordered them to leave. y aimed a blow at one of the parties and missed, x then hit the same man with a stick on the head and he died. the trial judge convicted both x and y. the West African Court of Appeal then distinguished between common intention and common object. It was held that the intention was formed independent of one another. It was not formed prior to the meeting. As such there was no common intention.

 

R V  Bada:  while a lorry driver was recklessly driving against traffic, his passenger stretched out a stick and hit a bicycle rider with a stick. The court held that the intention was formed independently as such there was no common intention.

***The inference of common intention can be rebutted by evidence.

R V  Onuegbe: In this case, the other gang members were able to establish that they had warned the carrier of the machete not to use it as their only purpose was to go out and steal. When he used it to kill a man that tried to intercept their escape. The unarmed members were allowed on appeal.

Nwanawoana V  the state 2006 14 nwlr at 1000. The supreme court advised that the courts should not readily draw up the issue of common intention as regards crowds.

The other offence committed is a probable consequence: the courts have held that rape is not a reasonable consequence theft. (find cases).

In Garba V  Hadejia Native Authority: Two men set out to rob a lady. They carried sticks along. One struck her from behind. She died. The man was held liable. R. V  ukpe 1938 waca at page 140.

 

Section 9. is somewhat like Section 7d. it somewhat fuses 7d with Section 8. Where a procurer advises the accused to commit an offence and in the process, another offence is committed.

 

ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT. Section 10 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE.

The second category of offender.

Here, assistance occurs after the commission of the offence. Help the offender escape justice.

The actus reus is: receipt or assistance after the commission of the offence. The mens rea; knowledge of the fact that the person being assisted has committed an offence. Both must be proved. One half of the punishment.

 

R V Eweonye (disposal of the body) Rv. Ukpe. R V  McKenna.

Generally, omissions should not amount to liability unless there is a duty to act.

Section 10 provides that there is no accessory after the fact for spouses of a Christian marriage but the criminal law of Lagos state has repealed this.

 

Section 515 of the Criminal Code: the liability for neglecting to prevent the commission of a felony. Use reasonable means. A question of fact based on the circumstances of the case Obumselu V  COP: The accused was convicted for neglect to prevent the commission of a felony. He let his room be used for the commission of an abortion which resulted in the death of his girlfriend.

 

Isochukwu

Quite eccentric really

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