Asakitipi v. The State
The appellant in this case was charged in the high court of erstwhile Bendel State sitting at Sapele with two counts of armed robbery contrary to S.1 subsection (2)(a) of the fire arms (special provisions) Act, No 47 of 1970. The learned believed the case of the prosecution and the appellant was convicted and sentenced to death. Arguing for the appellant, the counsel to the provision of Section 33(4) of 1979 constitution (Section 36 (4) of 1999 CFRN) submitted that the appellant did not have a fair trial (ie the case was adjourned 18 times, most of which were because the court was not sitting and prosecuting counsel and witnesses were not in court.
On appeal, the Supreme Court held that Section 215 of the Criminal procedure law, Cap. 49 of the Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria 1976, provide that “the person to be tried upon any charge or information shall be placed unfettered unless the court shall see other wise to order…” it follows also that for the provisions of section 33(40 to apply, it must be read in conjunction with 215 of the criminal procedure Law. Thus, the delay from the 6/7/1981 to 10/3/1983, though most unfortunate and deprecatable, is not the delay in trial which S.33 (4) of the const. envisages.
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