AUGUSTINE GUOBADIA v. THE STATE (2002) LPELR-12171(CA)
FACTS:
In the morning of 5/2/87, the accused Augustine Guobadia started off to go to the
farm with his father Sunday Guobadia and Victor. Half way to the farm, the
Augustine Guobadia changed his mind and returned home with his cutlass. He saw
the two years old son of Rosaline his step-mother called Osamudiamen the
deceased, sleeping and cut his neck with the cutlass. The mother tried to rush the
child to the hospital for treatment but he died on the way. The Augustine Guobadia
ran away from home but was later arrested the same day and he made two extra
judicial statements where he admitted killing the child. In the course of recording
the Augustine Guobadia statements his age was put variously at 20 years and 21
years respectively. Also during the investigation his father made a statement in
which he stated that the accused was 17 years and that he was born in the year
1970. The accused was later on convicted and sentenced to death by hanging,
dissatisfied he appealed.
ISSUE: what a court should do when confronted with the issue whether an accused
person is an infant, or a child, or a young person or an adult
JUDGEMENT:
The court ruled in line with the decision in H v. H (1966) 1 ALL E.R. 356 and the
provisions of Sections 208 and 368(3) of the Criminal Procedure Law in stating
that where a person is before any Court and it appears to the Court that such person
is an infant, or a child, or a young person or an adult, the court may make due
enquiry as to the age of that person and take such evidence at the time, or at the
time but an order or judgment of the court shall not be invalidated by any
subsequent proof that the age of that person has not been correctly stated to the
court, and the age presumed or declared by the Court to be the age of that person
shall for the purposes of this Law be deemed to be the true age of that person. Also
where an offender who in the opinion of the Court had not attained the age of
seventeen years at the time the offence was committed is found guilty of a capital
offence sentence of death shall not be pronounced or recorded but in lieu thereof
the Court shall order such person to be detained during the pleasure of the
Governor.

Select target paragraph3