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Essien Akpan Essien V. The King (1950) LJR-WACA

Essien Akpan Essien V. The King (1950)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Reference to the West African Court of Appeal by the Governor under section 23 of the West African Court of Appeal Ordinance (Cap. 229)—Plea of guilty
of forged currency note—Subsequent proof that currency note genuine—
Reference to Court to hear and determine as an Appeal—Power of Court to entertain appeal on plea of guilty.


The appellant had pleaded guilty to having in his possession, without lawful authority or excuse, a forged currency note contra to section 9 (2) (d) of the West African Currency Notes Ordinance. After conviction it was represented to the Governor by the Attorney-General that the note found in possession of the appellant was a genuine note and the Governor referred the case to this Court.

The appellant was not represented, but Crown Counsel obtained leave in the interests of Justice to call evidence to establish the genuineness of the currency note. The evidence led left it in doubt whether the genuine note was, in fact, the one found in possession of appellant. However, a reasonable doubt existed.


The Court can entertain an appeal where upon the admitted facts the appellant could not in law be convicted of the offence charged. There was a reasonable doubt which must be resolved in favour of the appellant. It must be assumed that the note found in possession of the appellant was genuine and he could not be in law guilty of the offence charged. The conviction and sentence were set aside and a verdict of acquittal entered.

Appeal allowed.

See also  D. C. Asante Akuffo & Anor V. L. D. Asante (1953) LJR-WACA

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