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Bafuor Kwesi Awuah V. Commissioner Of Police (1950) LJR-WACA

Bafuor Kwesi Awuah V. Commissioner Of Police (1950)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Conviction by District Magistrate of corruption by an agent under section 419Aof the Criminal Code altered on appeal to the Superme Court to conviction ofcorruption by a Public Officer under section 394 of the said Code—Section 141of Criminal Procedure Code wrongly invoked by appellate Judge—Power toalter conviction under section 319 (1) (a) (ii) of the Coda correctly exercised—Sentence increased by Supreme Court—Powers of West African Court of Appealto increase or reduce sentence under section 325 of the Criminal ProcedureCode considered.

Facts

This case came to the Court on a petition under section 324 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The District Magistrate, Kumasi, convicted the appellant of corruption by an agent contra section 419A of the Criminal Code. On appeal to the Supreme Court the Judge, invoking the provisions of sections 141 and 319 (1) (a) (ii) of the Criminal Procedure Code, substituted a conviction of corruption by a Public Officer contra section 394 of the Criminal Code and also increased the sentence passed on the appellant.

Counsel for the appellant argued (inter alia), that the Judge had wrongly invoked the provisions of section 141 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Counsel also applied for, and was refused, leave to withdraw his appeal against sentence which, thereafter, the Judge enhanced.

Held

Section 141 of the Criminal Procedure Code has no application to proceedings on appeal, and that in any event the requirements of section 141 of the Criminal Procedure Code were not satisfied. Section 319 applies to appeals from the Magistrates’ Courts. The powers conferred by this section are very wide, and the Code contains no restrictive or qualifying provisions which could have the effect of narrowing them. The action of the Judge in altering the Magistrate’s finding worked no injustice on the appellant and he properly invoked the provisions of section 319.

The Judge was entitled to refuse leave to withdraw the appeal against sentence. There is no right of appeal to this Court on the question of severity of sentence in the case of a second appeal from a Magistrate’s Court, but under the provisions of section 325 of the Criminal Procedure Code this Court has power, of its motion, to increase or reduce sentence. This Court, however, saw no reason to interfere with the Judge’s decision enhancing the sentence.

See also  Rex V. Akpan Unwa Udo Ekpo (1938) LJR-WACA

Appeal dismissed.

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