CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE, J.S.C. (Delivering the Lead Judgment):
At the High Court of Akwa Ibom State, Ikot Ekpene Judicial Division, Nsikak Bassey Ukpong (the appellant herein) and, one other, were arraigned on a one-count charge of murder contrary to section 326(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. 2, Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.
Upon their plea of not guilty, the matter went to trial before the court (hereinafter, simply, referred to as “the trial court”). The prosecution’s case was presented by five witnesses. It made the case that sometime in December, 2006, there was a proposed electrification project in a village close to Ikot Obong Otoro village, in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
The deceased person, namely, John Tom Umoh, who was the Sanitation Chairman in Ikot Obong Otoro Village, indicated the trees that needed to be felled in the impending exercise. In the process, he tagged a coconut tree by the road side as due to be felled.
The appellant, who was not happy with this …