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George Aiyewunmi V. Commissioner Of Police (1948) LJR-WACA

George Aiyewunmi V. Commissioner Of Police (1948)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Case stated—No record of interpreters having been sworn—Necessity in Nigeria for their being sworn.

There being no rule of law in Nigeria, either by statute or at common law, requiring that an interpreter should be sworn, (though it is highly desirable that this should always be done) the fact that an interpreter was not sworn is not in itself an illegality involving the quashing of the conviction.

Case stated by a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The following judgment was delivered:

Verity, C.J. In this case stated by the learned Judge who heard the appeal from a conviction in the Magistrate’s Court, he asks whether the conviction can stand in view of the fact that fen out of fifteen witnesses gave evidence in the Yoruba or Hausa language and ” there is no record of any sworn interpreter “. The learned Judge does not state definitely that the interpreters employed were not in fact sworn but states that the appeal before him was argued on the basis that the evidence of ten prosecution witnesses was made known to the Court by unsworn interpreters.

Assuming this to be the correct basis the answer to the question asked by the learned Judge is that there is no rule of law in Nigeria, either statutory or at common law, requiring that an interpreter should be sworn, and that, while it is a most salutary rule of practice that interpreters should invariably be sworn, the fact that the interpreter has not been sworn is not in itself an illegality involving the quashing of the conviction.

See also  J. A. Sijuade V. G. A. Tijani (1954) LJR-WACA

It would be otherwise were the Court of trial not satisfied that the interpretation was in fact accurate, but there is no such suggestion in the present case.

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