Akinyemi Akinyede & Anor V. Inspector-general Of Police
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West Africa Court of Appeal
Summary trial before Magistrate—Criminal Procedure Ordinance—acquittal improper except under section 284—Sections 286 and 299—Magistrates’ Court (Appeals) Ordinance, section 43—right order re-trial.
The appellants were being tried summarily before a Magistrate and at the close of the prosecution’s case the Magistrate found the appellants not guilty and acquitted them. The prosecution appealed to the Supreme Court and that Court found that the Magistrate had acted in excess of his jurisdiction and ordered a re-trial. The appellants then appealed to this Court.
Section 286 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance provides that if it appears to the
Court at the close of the evidence in support of the charge that no case is made out against the defendant sufficient to require him to make a defence, the Court shall discharge him. It was argued for the appellants that the effect of Section 286 is not exhaustive of the Magistrate’s powers, and he may in a summary trial enter a vedict of not guilty and acquit the defendant at the close of the prosecution’s case.
It was also argued that the Judge of the Supreme Court should on the appeal have amended the order of the Magistrate and discharged the defendant under the powers given by section 38 of the Magistrates’ Court (Appeals) Ordinance and not have ordered a re-trial under Section 43.
(1) A Magistrate has no power in a summary trial at the close of the prosecution’s
case to find a defendant not guilty and acquit him of the charge, and in so doing, the Magistrate acted without jurisdiction.
(2) The Judge ofthe Supreme Court acted properly in ordering a re-trial