Emile Najib Bittar V. The Principal Immigration Officer, Accra & Ors (1953)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West Africa Court of Appeal
Immigration Ordinance, 1947, section 19, reg. 3 (2) and reg. 6 (1) and (2)—“Prohibited immigrant ”—Deportation without Court order.
Section 19 of the Immigration Ordinance, 1947, reads as follows:—
“19. Where any person enters the Gold Coast in accordance with the provisions of section 18 of this Ordinance and breaks any of the conditions subject to which he was permitted to enter, then
“(a) if the security furnished be by way of deposit such deposit may be forfeited;
“ (b) if the security furnished be by bond the Principal Immigration
Officer may sue and recover for the use of the general revenue of the Gold Coast the amount secured by the bond, together with costs of the suit;
“and in any case such person may be treated as a prohibited immigrant.”
Regulation 3 (2) of the Immigration Regulations, 1947, reads as follows:—
“3. (2) The immigration officer shall give to a person permitted to enter the Gold Coast under the provisions of paragraph (b) or (c) of sub-regulation (1) a certificate of conditional entry in the Form B in the Schedule hereto.”
Regulation 6 (1) and (2) of the Immigration Regulations, 1947, read as
“6. (1) In addition to the particulars of the form of security given a certificate of conditional entry shall contain particulars of such other conditions, within the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 18 of the Ordinance as the immigration officer in his discretion may impose—
“(a) as to the particular area within which the immigrant may reside;
“ (b) as to the occupation or business of such immigrant;
“(c) as to the control of any activities of such immigrant which might
offend the religious beliefs of any section of the community.
“(2) Upon contravention of any such additional conditions the person upon whom such conditions have been imposed may be deemed to be a protiibited immigrant and deported and the deposit or bond dealt with as if such person were a person who had failed to obtain a certificate in the Form A in the Schedule hereto.”
The appellant, who was not a native of the Gold Coast, was given a conditional certificate with conditions as to his employment, which he admittedly failed to observe. He was served with notice that that certificate “ should be withdrawn ”
and replaced by one for one month, within which he must go or be deported; whereupon he applied for an order of prohibition against the officers concerned.
His application was refused and he appealed with various arguments set out in the judgment infra, the effect of which was that he could not be deemed a prohibited immigrant except by a Court upon conviction for breach of a condition imposed under Reg. 6 (1).
Under section 19 of the Ordinance a person who breaks a condition of his entry may be treated as a prohibited immigrant and under reg. 6 (2) he may be deported; neither the section nor the regulation requires the intervention of the Court.
(Editor’s Note: After serving him with notice to leave, the Immigration Officer, when six months were up from the time of entry, prosecuted the appellant for staying on without obtaining another appropriate certificate. But the appellant’s certificate of conditional entry had two periods on it—six months and two years.
The Magistrate discharged him on that account; and it was argued both in the Supreme Court and on appeal that the Immigration Officer could not, in view of that acquittal, exercise any powers under the Ordinance without an Order of Court. The argument had no substance as, whether the period was six months or two years, the conditions regarding employment applied equally and they had not been observed.
The point is mentioned here so as to clarify passages in the judgment infra.)