AUGIE, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading judgment): The criminal matter that led to this appeal started at the Chief Magistrate Court, Apiapim-Obubra in Cross River State, and it has to do with the breaking of an “ancestral pot”, used by Ovanum People during traditional burial ceremonies. The ten respondents, as the accused persons therein, were alleged to have:
(1) Conspired among themselves to effect an unlawful purpose to wit malicious damage/conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
(2) Conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by trespassing into Ovanum Community Graveyard without authority; and
(3) Willfully and unlawfully damaged one pot valued at N500.00 property of Chief Raymond Ewena Okpa.
According to the four witnesses that testified for the prosecution against them, PW1 [Chief Raymond Ewena Okpa], who is the Village Head of Ovanum, was informed about the death of the son of the fourth respondent (now deceased), and he delegated PW2 [John Egede] and PW3 [A…