04 Jun

Criminal Law I 2016/2017 Past Questions (Unilag)

(not to be taken as final)










  1. “The concept of criminality among a people envisages revulsion of the proscribed conduct as one reprehensible to the society’s mores and deserving of general condemnation. Consequently, where the declared objective of a criminal policy is in disregard of accepted mores, the resulting formulation of theories of responsibility, ingredients of offences and defences, cannot but be based on values outside the cultural milieu. This is precisely the effect of our inherited Criminal Codes”- A.G Karibi-Whyte, History and Sources of Nigerian Criminal Law, p.262.

Discuss the above statement in relation to the cultural compatibility of the Criminal Code and subsequent efforts to reform the Code in Nigeria.




a) When two or more persons form a common intention to prosecute an unlawful purpose with one antoher and in the prosecution of such purpose an offence is committed of such a nature that its commission was a probable consequence of such purpose, each of them is deemed to have committed the offence-Section 8 of the Criminal Code.

Examine the above provision with the aid of decided cases.



b) “The dividing line between an attempt and the commission of an offence is a thin one”

With the aid of decided cases and relevant statutory provisions, assess the veracity of the above statement.




3. Write short notes on any TWO of the following making proposals for law reform as may be applicable:

i. Defence of Insanity.

ii. Defence of Immaturity.

iii. Corporate Criminal Responsibility.





4. Andrew complained to Jonah that Cynthia, who is his girlfriend, has refused his sexual advances. Jonah advises Andrew to buy Rophinol which has capacity to make a person fall asleep when mixed with soft drinks. Jonay also advised Andrew to mix the drug with Cynthia’s drink when next she visits him (Andrew). Andrew went to Dominic’s shop and requested for the drug. He confided in Dominic that he was going to mix the drug with the drink which he intended to give his girlfriend, Cynthia, when she visited him to make her fall asleep so he could have sexual intercourse with her. Dominic sold the drugs to Andrew.

The next day, Cynthia visited Andrew who offered her a bottle of Coke. Andrew cleverly mixed the coke with the drug. As soon as Cynthia took the coke, she fell asleep and Andrew began to have sexual intercourse with her without any resistance. In the process Cynthia woke up and screamed for help. Eegerton who was in another room in the house heard Cynthia’s scream, ran to her rescue but Finicky who was also around prevented him.

Andrew continued with the intercourse. Andrew, Jonah, Dominic, Eagerton and Finicky have now been arrested.

a. Consider their respective criminal liabilities.

b. With respect to Andrew, will your answer be different if Cynthia was Andrew’s wife whom he married under native law and custom?




5. Toti, Vosa, Posi and Banky, all beong to a gang. They agreed to kill one Mr Bingo who they believed snatched Toti’s Girlfriend. They all got into Banky’s van and drove to Mr Bingo’s house in the Night. On getting to the house, Vosa felt remorseful when he saw the picture of Jesus with blood dripping from his hands and burst into tears. He turned to leave declaring to the other that he was no longer ready to go ahead with the plan. This infuriated Toti who started insulting him and accused him of never following through with anything in his life. HE called him a never-do-well and saying that it is his inadequacy as a man that made his wife go out with other men. Vosa was enraged because Toti had betrayed his confidence. HE turned round, grabbed Toti, hit him against the wall, threw him off the railings. Toti landed with his head and died on the spot. Mr Bingo heard the commotion and came out of his room to see what is going on. Afraid of being identified, Posi stabbed him repeatedly on the leg. The wife and children of Mr Bingo raised an alarm and Vosa, Posi and Banky ran away. Mrs Bingo called for an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, the ambulance driver Osah beat the traffic lights, causeing a collision with another car. In the accident, Mr Bingo suffered additional head injuries. The medical report shows that he actually died from the injuries to his head. Discuss the criminal responsibilities of Vosa, Osahon, Posi, Banky and Osah.



6. Josco Industries Plc is a producer of various consumables which it supplies to its distributors in the market. Adobe applied to be a distributor of the company in western Nigeria and was supplied 5 million cartons of sardine to distribute. In August 2016, Adobe informed Josco Industries Plc that he has not been able to sell half of the consignment which will expire at the end of August, 2016 and that he intends to organise bonanza sales where he will sell the sardines at give-away prices. The Company granted approval in order to mitigate its loss. Adobe organised the bonanza sales on the 2nd of September, 2016 and the prices of the sardines were reduced from N200 to N100 per one and anyone who purchased 20 tins got an additional 2 tins free. This enabled Adobe to sell 4 million cartons and he remitted the proceeds to Josco Industries Plc. Encouraged by the sales, he contined to sell the sardines and on the 30th September 2016, he sold 20 tins to Jane at the rate of N100 each. Jand made a meal of jollof rice with 4 tins which she ate with her husband and their children. 30 minutes after the meal, they were rushed to the hospital with severe stomach pains. The cause of the stomach ache was traced to the sardines. The police have arrested Adobe and Josco Industries Plc. Adobe contends that he is not the producer of the Sardines but only a distributor for Josco Industries Plc. While the company argues that Adobe is not their employee but an independent agent and that they only gave him approval to organise the bonanza sales in August and not September. Furthermore, they believe the bonanza sales enabled people to afford the sardines and since there was no other adverse report, therefore they did more good to the society than harm.

A. Discuss the criminal Liability of Adobe and Josco Indusstries Plc.

B. Would your answer be different if Adobe was the sales manager of Josco Industries Plc?`


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The definition of Crime under Section 2 of the Criminal Code Act (an offence) is; “an act or omission which renders the person doing the act or making the omission liable to punishment under this Code or any Act or law”. Professor Aderemi posits that this “criminalization/penalization” should be predicate on the customs or at least have some cultural/moral undertone.

The pre-colonial administration of criminal justice were anchored on customs and traditions of the various constituent ethnic group(s). But upon colonization, the British formed the opinion that it would be impracticable to adopt out customs because they were diverse, unwritten, unascertainable and (some) barbaric.

Lord Luggard Administration by Ordinance No. 10 of 1904 introduced a Criminal Code for Northern Nigeria then (following the amalgamation of 1914), the 1916 Criminal Code was introduced more have been introduced till date. Unfortunately, these laws were neither autochthonous nor perfectly in sync with the existing moral values. Therefore; Inevitable conflicts and issues of compatibility arose especially in areas of:


WITCHCRAFT/SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF: Contrary to the wide-held traditional and customary beliefs, the courts (in R v Nwaoke, State V  Nomeh, R V  Gadam) have persistently held that the belief in witchcraft is unreasonable. With Section 210 of the Criminal Code (Hereinafter CC) frowning on such terming.

BIGAMY: Section 370 prohibits the statutory marriage of more than one spouse (7 years imprisonment) while most customs allow it.

ADULTERY: Most of our customs abhor adultery (a third party having sexual intercourse with a married person) but the court (in Aoko V  Fagbemi) refused to recognize it as an offence because it was not provided for in a written law (except North).

MARRIAGE; Certain rights are conferred on couples (for example Section 33 generally exculpates a wife from acts committed on direction of husband in his presence. Section 34 immunizes husband and wife from being said to conspire between one another. Section 36 generally makes it impossible for spouses to be said to steal from each other, Section 10 CC exculpates a wife from being an accessory to her husband’s crime). Sadly, these rights are conferred on statutorily married couples to the exclusion/discrimination of those married under custom.


There have been certain ATTEMPTS AT REFORMATION for example;

– In the North, conflicts in the 1916 CCode were to  be resolved by administrative officers (as held in Gubba V  Gwandu Native Authority).

– The Penal Code was introduced in the North in 1959 to better connect with the values and religion of the people which the hitherto Criminal Code couldn’t do.

– Lagos State has been proactive in many ways for example, it has removed the provision against bigamy from its Criminal Code Laws.

In my opinion; because the customs are diverse and unwritten, an attempt at total reconciliation may be herculean moreover, the refusal to believe in witchcraft or enforce an unwritten law (like Adultery) appears to be a pragmatic approach in consonance with Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution. The downside is that, incompatible laws may be disregarded in practice (like Bigamy as was seen in R v Princewill).

In conclusion, the sweeping declaration abolishing un-codified common-law and customary law offences seems to be an attempt to lay the issue of incompatibility at rest thus: “Nobody shall be convicted for an offence unless that offence is provided in a written law and the penalty prescribed” see Section 36(12) of the constitution, Aoko V  Fagbemi. This is coupled with the fact that customs that are inequitable, repugnant to natural justice or contrary to an existing law would not be enforced-Alake v Pratt.




As was noted in Ubiero V  The State, The main purport of Section 8 of the Criminal Code (also found in Section 18 of Lagos Criminal Law) is to make people responsible for the probable consequences of the crime they both agreed to commit/execute.

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

i. Two or more must have agreed to break the law.

ii. While executing their commonly agreed unlawful purpose, another offence is committed.

iii. The other offence committed is a probable consequence of the unlawful purpose.

From the above it is pertinent to note that there must have been an agreement between two or more persons (Gbadamosi v The State) not being husband and wife (Section 34 CC) prior to the commission of the offence (Offor and Offors V  R). Therefore, (as was held in R V  Onuegbe) a co-accused can be exculpated if he can show that there was no common intention.

furthermore, While executing their commonly agreed unlawful purpose, another offence is committed. and such offence committed should be a probable consequence. The word; “probable consequence” shows that intention may be irrelevant especially where the other offence committed is reasonably foreseeable. For example, people going to rape a girl may be reasonably expected to injure her therefore committing another offence of assault on top. Persons going to rob a person may injure or kill him/her in the process as was seen in Garba v Hadejia Native Authority. Although the courts may not readily hold that rape is a probable consequence of theft. R. V Ukpe.




Note that the question is in the alternative. So if you have answered question number 2A, then (according to the question) you do not need to answer question 2B.

An attempt ordinarily means making an effort to do something. A legal definition and direction can be found in Section 4 of the Criminal Code which provides; When a person, intending to commit an offence, begins to put his intention into execution by means adapted to its fulfilment, and manifests his intention by some overt act but does not fulfill his intention to such an extent as to commit the offence, he is said to attempt to commit the offence.

From the above provision, we can note 3 elements of the offence of attempt.

i Intention to commit an offence.

ii Execution of intention… Manifestation by overt acts.

iii. The particular offence intended was not committed.

i Intention to Commit an Offence: it must be established that the accused intended to commit the alleged offenceR v Offiong. Thus, there can be no attempt for involuntary acts lacking intention. Like; accident, negligence, etc.

ii Execution of Intention or Manifestation by Overt Acts: Manifestation has been defined to mean: to show plainly to the mind or eye. Mere preparation without execution/manifestation by overt act may not suffice- R V Robinson. Except for very dangerous crimes like terrorism. It is quite herculean to construe the manifestation but certain tests have been formulated. Parke B in R V Eagleton used the proximity test which looks at “Acts immediately connected with the offence”. Turner formulated the equivocality test which appraises the acts of the accused as being played to an audience until the time of his arrest. If the audience can conclude that the accused wanted to commit a particular offence, then there has been as attempt but if there are confusing views, there has been no attempt.

iii. The Particular Offence Intended was not Committed: after the execution/manifestation of the intention, the accused still did not successfully commit the offence. For example in R V  White where the defendant tried to kill his mother but used insufficient poison so she did not die, he was convicted for attempted murder holding that his ignorance/inexperience/ineptitude would not exculpate him since there has been manifestation by overt acts.

Generally, it is worthy to note that:

– Where the accused has taken more than mere preparatory steps, he can no longer withdraw- Haughton V  Smith.

– A legal impossibility cannot be attempted-Haughton V Smith. E.g. Mr A cannot be said to steal his own car therefore, there cannot be an attempt there. However, a physical impossibility can be attempted-R V  King where the accused persons were convicted for larceny (stealing) even though the pocket they intended to pick was empty.

THE DIVIDING LINE: between the commission of an offence and an attempt appears to be a thin one but from the decisions of the court we can safely conclude that; where the accused has taken more than mere preparatory steps (by manifesting his intention) but could not fulfil the offence, he may be said to attempt-Haughton v Smith.

Another guidance was provided by the court in R V  Unakanjo, where the court noted that the stages are thus: Intention then Preparations then actual Attempt/manifestations then (if there is success) actual offence.

In R V  Taylor; The accused lighted a match with the intention of setting fire on a stack of corn but withdrew when he realized that he was being watched. It was held that there was an attempt.

In Conclusion, The maximum punishment for attempt is usually half the full punishment for the substantive offence. Section 95 Penal Code. A voluntary and timeous repentance would reduce the punishment by half- Section 512. Then section 230 of the Criminal Code provides life imprisonment for attempted murder.



(Start from the next page in exams)


Write short notes on the defence of insanity.

Introduction: The evidentiary truth is that everyone is presumed to be sane until the contrary is proved (by the person alleging it)- Section 27 Criminal Code.

Insanity can be defined as a psychiatric condition that affects the ability of a person to reason therefore rendering him incompetent.

To prove to the contrary (as provided in Section 27) an accused can have recourse to the defense of insanity under Section 28 CC which provides that, a person who is rendered incapable of  understanding what he is doing by virtue of his mental infirmity/disease can be exonerated from blame from acts occasioned by such mental disease-Durham V  US. Therefore the following must be proved:

i The accused must have been insane as at the time of committing the offence. Notwithstanding that he may be sane during the trial. Influence of witchcraft or juju may not be accepted by the courts-R V Eriyamremu.

ii The insanity must be a mental disease: meaning that it must be a disease of the mind rather than that of the body-Ulubeka V The State, where the accused’s plea of insanity due to “Stomach Upset” was rejected as such is not reasonably expected to affect his state of mind to a serious degree.

iii The disease made him unable to understand or control his actions or know that he ought not to do an act or make an omission. Meaning that he lacked freewill and could not have prevented himself from committing the crime.

According to the court in Echem v R, where the plea of insanity is upheld, the accused shall be found “not guilty by reason of insanity” and kept in safe custody pending the decision of the governor or president (as the case may be) to either remand him in an asylum or other home for mentally depraved persons.

In conclusion; one would agree with Glanville Williams who (in his work; “Theory of Excuses”) noted that insanity is an “Excusatory defence” because it amounts to “a denial of the prescribed state of mind”. The excuse therefore destroys blame once the accused can establish his plea within the legal requirements discussed above.




Write short notes on the Defence of Immaturity

Introduction: Persons (juveniles) below a certain age limit can be exculpated through the defence of immaturity provided for under Section 30 and 50 of the Criminal Code and Penal Code respectively.

The combined interpretation would reveal the following

– A person under the age of seven years is not criminally responsible for any act or omission and therefore cannot be guilty of an offence. The Criminal Law of Lagos State says 10 years.

– A person below 12 years is presumed not to be “responsible”. This presumption (except in cases of rape/carnal knowledge) can be rebutted by showing that the child could discern/understand the consequence of his act i.e. that he ought not to do it.

For the purposes of our discussion; the relevant age here is the age as at the time of committing the offence.

In Conclusion: it is pertinent to note that these Juveniles as discussed above are tried in juvenile courts and are corrected, rehabilitated or taken to juvenile homes when found guilty.




Write short notes on Corporate Criminal Responsibility.

Introduction: Responsibility can simply be regarded as blameworthiness or culpability… the imputation of which (in criminal matters) lies personally on the perpetuator but may in certain exceptions (one of which includes Corporate Criminal Responsibility) be imputed on another usually for policy and expediency purposes.

Under Common Law, the corporation was seen to be devoid of a mind to fulfil the requisite mental element… NOR “can it stand in the dock or be imprisoned”-Anglo Nigeria Tin Mines V R. Although later expanded in R v ICR College.

At present however, liability may be imputed on a company by Statute, principles of Vicarious Liability and Identification/alter-ego.


a. EXPRESS WORDINGS OF STATUTES can make a corporation criminally liable. For example; Section 74 (5) of Factories Act. In fact, the Criminal Code uses “any person” which from the Interpretation Act and Case Law can include a company being a legal entity which can sue and be sued. For example, in In R V Zik’s Press Ltd and R V  African Press Ltd, the corporations were convicted for sedition.

b. VICARIOUS LIABILITY: As noted in (Tesco Stores ltd V Brent London Bureau Council) a company can be vicariously liable for crimes committed by its employees in the course of carrying out the company’s directives. Especially in strict liability offences. Although (as was noted in Ogbuagu V  Police) the Company/Employer may be exculpated if it can be shown that the employee acts outside the scope of his authority or was expressly warned against committing the offence.

c. DOCTRINE OF IDENTIFICATION/ALTER EGO PRINCIPLE: In HL Bolton Engineering Co. Ltd V J Graham and Sons ltd, Lord Denning noted that a company can be personified like a human body. The brains are the managers and the hands are the servants. The state of mind of the brains (being the controllers of a company) can be regarded as the state of mind of the company… likewise liability. Similar proposition was adumbrated in DPP V  Kent And Sussex Contractors Limited.

In conclusion, Corporate Liability has been Justified because on public policy grounds because Companies play an important role in the present era and criminal culpability would put them on their toes, ensure they take care in their activities, improve safety procedures and deter present and future recklessness/fraud. Moreover, the company is in a better financial position to remedy losses.




Introduction: Although the actual commission of an offence may be perpetuated by a person, section 7 of the Criminal Code makes it possible for liability to also be imposed on other persons who were/are instrumental to the commission of the offence.

The facts of this case raises problems bordering on: Rape, Assault, Fraudulent Inducement, Principal Offenders/parties to an offence, Accessories to an offence, neglect to prevent the commission of a felony and unconsented sexual intercourse in marriage.

For coherence sake, the headings shall be couched in issues (with the important elements and principles underlined) to wit:

ISSUE ONE: Whether Andrew is guilty of having unlawful carnal knowledge with Cynthia (rape).

From Section 357 Criminal Code and R v Seidu; Anyone that has: 1.  Unlawful carnal knowledge (carnal knowledge being Sexual intercourse) 2. With a female. 3. Without her genuine consent- (R V  Mayberry). Is guilty of rape.

Rape is complete upon penetration-Section 6 Criminal Code-R v Seidu.

Since Andrew had carnal knowledge of Cynthia without her genuine consent (orchestrated by the use of Rophinol to impeach her freewill), he may can be accused of rape.

ISSUE TWO: Whether Andrew can be held liable for assaulting Cynthia (assault).

From Section 252 of the Criminal Code and Lawal v D.IGP, any person who intentionally and unlawfully/unjustifiably threatens to or touches another directly or indirectly without his/her genuine consent…. Is said to assault that person.

Andrew, intentionally and unlawfully touching Cynthia against her will can be said to have assaulted her.

ISSUE THREE: Whether Andrew can be held liable for (fraudulent inducement).

A combined reading of Section 227 and Section 224(3) Criminal Code would show that; any conspiracy to or an act of inducing a woman for the purpose of having carnal knowledge of her (this includes the use of drugs to overpower her) is an offence punishable by 3 and 2 years respectively.

Andrew (and Co) may be held liable under this sections for doing the aforementioned.

ISSUE FOUR: Whether Jonah, Dominic and Finicky can be regarded as parties to the offences committed by Andrew (Section 7 offenders).

From the interpretation of Section 7, Criminal Code; When an offence is committed, EVERY PERSON WHO (intentionally);

(a) Actually commits the offenceR v Idiong.

(b) By act or omission enables, another person to commit the offence-R v Solomon.

(c) Aids another person in committing the offence; In R V  Johnson, signaling to a shop raider that someone was approaching made the accused culpable for aiding in the commission of the offence.

(d) Counsels or procures any other person to commit the offence: “counselling” means some positive act of encouragement-R V  Gianetto. Procure” means to produce by endeavor- Widgery J in the AG’s reference. Notwithstanding that the accused was not present at the crime scene.

Each and all of the above are deemed to have taken part and can be charged as principal offenders;


To intentionally assist after the commission of a crime is an offence under Section 10 CC. Since rape is complete upon penetration (Section 6), Finicky by intentionally preventing Egerton from apprehending Andrew while he was having carnal knowledge of Cynthia (after the had completed the rape element) can be said to “assist after the commission of the offence” and can be liable to one/half of the principal punishment-Rv. Ukpe. Also as the offence was also ongoing he also can be regarded as a 7c offender.

ISSUE SIX: Whether Dominic, Finicky and Egerton are liable for Neglect to Prevent the Commission of a Felony.

According to Section 515 of the Criminal Code; Every person who, knowing that a person designs to commit or is committing a felony, fails to use all reasonable means to prevent the commission or completion thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years-Obumselu V  COP. Therefore, Dominic and Fincky by not using reasonable means to prevent Andrew from raping Cynthia can be said to have neglected to prevent the commission of a felony. Egerton may be exculpated as he was being prevented by Finicky.

ISSUE SEVEN: Whether my answer would be different if Cynthia was Andrew’s wife whom he married under Native Law and Custom.

The proviso in Section 6 of the Criminal Code provides that; “unlawful carnal knowledge” means carnal connection which takes place otherwise than between husband and wife. Quite a number of Customs also intends husbands to have unrestricted access to their wives. Therefore, Andrew may be exculpated if Cynthia was his Wife. However, the Lagos State Criminal Law expunges this proviso.


In Conclusion, having discussed the issues thrown up, offences provided and liabilities, it is worthy to note that under by virtue of Section 7, Criminal Code; Andrew (for committing the Act), Dominic (for selling the drug), Finicky (for ensuring the continuation of the offence and Jonah (for counselling/advising) can be charged as principal offenders pursuant to Section 7(a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Criminal Code RESPECTIVELY for the rape of Cynthia.





This hypothetical scenario throws up a host of issues to wit:  Conspiracy, Murder, Manslaughter, Assault, Causation the Defences of Bona Fide Claim of Right, Provocation and Common Intention.

ISSUE ONE: Whether Toti, Vosa, Posi and Banky are guilty of conspiracy.

Conspiracy as criminalized under Section 516, 517 and 518 Criminal Code and explained in Majekodunmi V  R occurs WHERE THERE IS:

– An agreement

– Between two or more persons: from section 34 Criminal Code these two persons should not be husband and wife..

– To effect an unlawful purpose or to effect a lawful purpose by an unlawful means. meaning that What was agreed upon must constitute an offence-Posu v The State.

The above being applied to this quesiton; by agreeing to kill Mr Bingo (and indeed going to his House at night), they (Toti, Vosa, Posi and Banky) could be said to conspire.


ISSUE TWO: Whether Vosa has validly withdrawn from the Conspiracy.

A withdrawal may be effected but (a combined reading of Section 515 Criminal Code and Okafor v State would show that) it would be proper to communicate withdrawal before the commission of the offence and make possible attempts to expose the conspired agreement or prevent the commission of the offence. Vosa’s withdrawal may be sustained or rejected, depending on the argument and circumstances.


ISSUE THREE: Whether Posi, Vosa are guilty of Murder

Murder can be regarded as the intentional, unlawful and unjustified killing of another person-Section 315. Criminalized under Section 306.

For the purposes of this scenario, we shall narrow our focus to Section 316, Criminal Code which stipulates that where such “unlawful killing” was done/caused by the offender with the intention to cause grievous harm; or during the prosecution of an unlawful purpose; it is immaterial that the accused claims that he did not intend to cause death. Same was noted in Adejumola V  the State. Furthermore, a person is presumed to intend the probable consequences of his act-Hyam v DPP.

It would be succinct to state that the facts and circumstances of the case hint towards the culpability of Posi and Vosa for the murder of Toti and Mr Bingo respectively.


ISSUE FOUR; WHETHER OSAH AND VOSA CAN BE LIABLE FOR MANSLAUGHTER: vis a vis the accusation of Recklessness and the excuse of Provocation respectively.

Section 317 provides that a person who kills a person in such circumstances as not to constitute murder is guilty of manslaughter. Manslaughter may be involuntary or voluntary. The former being an accidental killing while the latter being murder occasioned as a result of provocation.

Voluntary manslaughter; Section 318 (and case law) requires that the accused should have committed the murder;

– in the heat of passion-R v Martyr

– caused by grave and sudden provocation and

– before there is time for passion to cool.

– reasonable force to be used to resent the provocation-Section 285 Criminal Code. In R V  Akpankpan, replying verbal insults with five dagger stabs was construed as unreasonable.

Involuntary Manslaughter: Where a person accidentally kills another not intentionally per se but usually in cases of gross negligence-Ibikunle V  the State.


Although, a person is generally presumed to intend the natural consequence of his actions (Hyam v DPP), there can be a novus actus intervenens (intervening act). This is why Section 24 of the Criminal Code provides that a person is not guilty for an act which occurs independently of his will or by accident nor is he liable for an unwilled consequence-R v Harris.

In practice, the courts would try to decipher if the act and consequences can actually be linkable to the accused-R V  Jordan. A man while being treated (for injury caused by the accused) took water which gave him pneumonia and led to his death. The court held that the injury was not the cause of his death as there was a break in causation.

Therefore, the determination of who caused the death (causation) ultimately depends on the facts, circumstances and arguments adduced eventually.



Section 252 of the Criminal Code provides: A person who threatens to or touches another directly or indirectly without his genuine consent can be said to assault that person-Lawal V  Deputy Inspector General of Police. By section 355, Criminal Code, if harm is caused from such assault, the accused would be liable to imprisonment for three years. The facts therefore reveal that Vosa and Posi may be held liable for assault.


Because Vosa, Osahon, Posi and Banky have agreed to kill Mr Bingo (Unlawful purpose) and in the process other probable offences were committed (Assault and  Manslaughter) each of them can be deemed to have committed the offence by virtue of Section 8 of the Criminal Code. Furthermore (and depending on the evidence adduced) section 7 of the Criminal Code can be applied to construe them as principal offenders looking at the role they played in the actual commission, assistance or procurement.

In conclusion, having identified the multi-dimensional problems of this question, the ultimate determination of guilt would depend on the facts, circumstances and evidence adduced in court.








Responsibility determines the culpability of an accused which (from the interpretation of Hyam v DPP and Thabo-Meli V  R) should generally feature a combination of two elements to wit; the mens-rea (the fraudulent/guilty mind/ intention) and the actus reus (the actual commission of the prohibited act or omission). Although intention may be irrelevant in strict liability offences.

The facts of the case already discloses that a misdemeanour contrary to Section 243 of the Criminal Code which prohibits the intentional sale of food and drugs which are in an unfit/noxious state and provides a one year punishment.

It is therefore important to find out where liability lies. This would be done by deciphering the respective liabilities.


Quite eccentric really

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