So in the last series we stopped at the EXCEPTIONS TO THE LAW OF DOUBLE JEOPARDY and they include:
- The accused failed to establish or prove that he had been earlier tried for the said offence by a competent Court of law.
- The accused failed to establish/prove that the facts of the earlier matter and the new one are the same,
- The accused failed to establish/prove that the earlier trial resulted in the discharge, acquittal, or some other form of punishment of the accused person. In simple terms, a person who does not show that he has been tried before any Court of competent jurisdiction on the same offense with the same facts and was either acquitted or convicted, cannot take cover under the stated doctrine of double jeopardy.
So the next question is can Anna and Alex take cover of this Doctrine? Well First let’s see cases wherein the principle of double jeopardy did not avail an accused before we answer the question.
Case number 1.
ALIYU v. F.R.N. & ORS (2020) LPELR-50517(CA): “The Appellant also contended that bearing in mind Counts 5, 6 and 7 in the charge before the Federal High Court against the Appellant already encapsulate the offences contained in the Counts charged against Appellant at the trial Court, the Appellant will be placed in double jeopardy. This is not true. I am aware that the provisions of Section 36(9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1996 as amended completely prohibits putting an accused or a Defendant in double jeopardy in criminal proceedings. There is no suggestion in the instant case that the 1st respondent had been convicted by the Federal High Court. In other words, it is on record that hearing is yet to commence in the substantive case which is still at the embryo stage. The same is true in this case. There is no iota of elements of double jeopardy made out by the Appellant in this case.” Per PETER OLABISI IGE, JCA (Pp 69 – 70 Paras A – D). So in this case, the court is saying that, the Court where an accused was tried and convicted matters. The accused in this case was convicted by the High Court, not the Federal High Court. So back to our story, if Anna and Alex were charged and convicted by a High Court, and the victim sued them at the Federal High Court the principle of Double Jeopardy will not cover them.
Case number 2
STATE v. ALAEFULE (2020) LPELR-49789(CA) “I believe the facts leading to the instant appeal are quite clear. The Respondent was charged in HOR/1C/2012 for hostage taking and in HOR/2C/2012 for murder. He was discharged in HOR/1C/2012. In the subsequent Charge HOR/2C/2012,The conclusion of this case, and how it applies to our story, will be addressed in the next edition.