Alfred Glomani Armah V. Rex (1940)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Failure to call an eye-witness of the transaction not fatal to conviction. Appeal dismissed.
Held : It is a matter of severe comment that an eye-witness of the all-important transaction was not called as a witness, but the failure to do so is not fatal in this case to the conviction.
There is no need to set out the facts.
C. F. H. Benjamin (with him K. A. Bossman) for Appellant. A. J. Ainley, Acting Solicitor-General for Crown.
The following joint judgment was delivered :-
KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA, PETRIDES, C.J., GOLD COAST AND GRAHAM PAUL, C.J., SIERRA LEONE.
It is a matter of severe comment that in the particular circumstances of this case the man Adamu was not called as a witness for the prosecution ; he was an eye-witness of the all-important transaction and it was dearly the duty of the prosecution to put him into the witness-box. The failure to call him, however, was not made a subject of comment by the defence in the trial Court or of appeal in this Court, and we are of opinion that it is not fatal to the convictions.
The whole case turns purely on the question of fact. Were the coins which were subsequently found in the possession of the first witness for the prosecution, the identical coins which were paid to him by the appellant ? In the trial Court two out of the three assessors gave their opinion that the appellant was not guilty, the third that the appellant was guilty. The Judge agreed with the third and convicted the accused. There was ample evidence upon which the Judge could so convict more especially in that, if the evidence of the Police Constable Analena was believed, the appellant gave a different story when first interviewed from that which he gave in Court. The fact that one of the prosecution witnesses, the appellant’s own brother, gave evidence supporting the appellant’s case, does not necessarily disprove the prosecution case as sworn to by the other witnesses. We cannot reverse the finding of the Trial Judge and the appeal is dismissed.