FICTIONAL STORY 1.
Jonah is an experienced Licensed Bodyguard with SMITH&SMITH SECURITIES LIMITED. Mr. Barnanbas Agip, procured Jonah’s professional services when His(Mr. Barnabas Agip’s) only daughter’s life was threatened by some cult boys in her school. One fateful day, while picking up Mr. Barnabas’s daughter from school, two cult boys fired three shots at their car and ran off with a power bike. Immediately, Jonah aimed at the two assailants on their bike and fired two shots at them. The assailant behind fell off the bike instantly, while the driver of the power bike sustained a serious injury on his right hand causing him to veer off the road, into a trailer.
Both assailants died on the spot and their parents charged Jonah for culpable homicide (Whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death, or with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offense of culpable homicide). SECTION 299 OF THE INDIAN PENAL CODE.
During the Court proceedings, the Prosecutor stated to the Court that Jonah was guilty of the offense of culpable homicide because he aimed at the hitmen, who were already fleeing the scene of the crime. As such he took the shot with the intention to kill. Jonah’s lawyer, on the other hand, stated to the court that Jonah’s intention to kill was not established, as his prompt action was taken in the course of his duty, as a bodyguard to his Client (Mr. Barnabas Agip’s daughter).
FICTIONAL STORY 2.
Obiora was fetching water one evening at his town’s general borehole, when
Akpan from nowhere knocked Obiora from behind to the ground, punching Obiora’s face continuously. While this was going, Felicia who was passing by with her bicycle, saw the bloody scene and in jiffy ran into Akpan with her bicycle, forcing him to hit his head on the pavement. Akpan died on the spot. Felicia was taken into police custody. In the course of the Court Proceedings, her lawyer stated to the Court that the pronto action she took was in defense of another.
- What is the defense of Jonah’s Lawyer in the eyes of the law?
- What is the defense of Felicia’s Lawyer in the eyes of the law?
- Are both lines of defense fully captured in Nigeria’s Jurisprudence?
All these and more will be discussed in this article.
- What is the defense of Jonah’s Lawyer in the eyes of the law? SELF DEFENSE IN THE LINE OF DUTY
Generally, Self–defence is a defense permitting reasonable force to be used to defend one’s self. See JOSEPH v. NIGERIAN NAVY (2020) LPELR-49692(CA)
“Let me briefly restate the law on self-defense. It would have been available to the appellant where at the time the accused person was said to have killed the deceased a reasonable apprehension of death or grievous harm, and the belief by the accused that the act of killing was necessary in order to save his own life. It must be a spontaneous reaction by the accused to an unprovoked attack, to ward off or avoid the said attack against him and to defend himself from further attack.” Per HAMMA AKAWU BARKA, JCA (Pp 25 – 25 Paras A – E)
We shall continue the concluding part of this article, in our next series