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In Re Peace Preservation (Labadi) Order, 1942 And In Re Robert Daniel Patterson, House No. E1 /17 And In The Matter Of Application For Writ Of Prohibition To Issue Herein (1944) LJR-WACA

In Re Peace Preservation (Labadi) Order, 1942 And In Re Robert Daniel Patterson, House No. E1 /17 And In The Matter Of Application For Writ Of Prohibition To Issue Herein (1944)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Writ of Prohibition—Executive and Ministerial acts ; past acts—Peace Preservation Ordinance.

Facts

Labadi was placed under the Peace Preservation Ordinance by proclamation, and the cost of extra police was charged on its inhabitants by Order in Council under s. 9 and assessed amongst them by the District Commissioner ; the District Magistrate issued a writ of attachment against Patterson’s house as he had failed to pay his share, which (writ) the Sheriff carried out. Patterson thereupon moved the Divisional Court of Accra to issue a writ of prohibition against the said officers on the ground that the section had not been complied with and the writ of attachment should not have been issued, but his application was refused and he appealed. It was argued for him that the District Commissioner was a judicial officer for the purposes of the section but had not acted judicially ; and that the Magistrate should not have issued a writ of attachment without notice. For the Respondents it was argued that they had acted executively or ministerially under the section.

Held

(1) that the words ” after enquiry” in section 9 of the Peace Preservation Ordinance did not confer or impose on the District Commissioner duties as a judicial officer and his act under that section was merely executive ;
that the said section did not require the Magistrate to give notice before issuing a writ of attachiient, and his issuing such writ under that section was merely ministerial ;
that the vital point being whether they had the duty to act judicially. as they had no such duty, the writ of prohibition had been rightly refused in their case as well as in that of the Sheriff, whose function was also not judicial.

See also  Taquah & Anor V. Attorney-general Of The Gold Coast (1946) LJR-WACA


Held also, in regard to the District Commissioner and the Magistrate. that they were both funcii officio, for which reason alone the writ of prohibition could not be granted.


Appeal by applicant, Robert Daniel Patterson, from the refusal of the Divisional Court, Accra, to issue a writ of against the District Commissioner, the District Magistrate, and the Sheriff.


The appeal is dismissed with costs assessed at £33 18s. 6d.

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