David Inneh V. Iguma Aruegbo (1952)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Tort—Malicious prosecution—Defendant making a charge groundless to his knowledge
The plaintiff’s husband and the defendant, a close relative of his, lived in one town; she, for a long time, lived in another town, far away, having abandoned her husband, and never went back until the police arrested her and took her back to their town to face a charge of stealing goods from the defendant’s house, in consequence of a report made to the police and of an information laid before the Magistrate by the defendant.
In point of fact she had already left their town and was living at her new place of abode at the time of the alleged theft. It was a trumped-up charge designed by the defendant to get the plaintiff back so as to enable a summons for adultery to be served on her at her husband’s instance—and it was served on her when she was brought back by the police.
She sued the defendant for malicious prosecution with success, and the defendant appealed.
In the appeal it was argued for him that if, as had been proved, he laid the information before the Magistrate and the Magistrate then issued a warrant, it was not the defendant who initiated the proceedings: all he did was to give information of an offence.
The appellant made a charge which was groundless to his knowledge; the prosecution of the respondent was initiated by him without reasonable and probable cause, and the respondent was rightly awarded damages for malicious prosecution.