Justus Olayemi Ososami V. The Commissioner Of Police (1952)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Public Holidays—Court silting at request of defence.
Appeals in Criminal Cases—Court sitting on public holiday—Where no miscarriage of justice—West African Court of Appeal Ordinance., section 11 and proviso.
During the trial, the case was adjourned to a day which was later proclaimed a public holiday, and though the Magistrate pointed it out, the defence submitted he could sit on that day and desired him to hear a witness who might not be available afterwards.
The Magistrate heard him and believed his evidence, but eventually convicted the appellant nevertheless.
The appellant, in his appeal to the Supreme Court, sought to add a ground that owing to the Magistrate’s sitting on a public holiday, the proceedings were null and void; the Judge refused to allow this ground to be added and dismissed the appeal. The appellant appealed further on that point.
A public holiday is, like a Sunday, a dies non juridicus, and the Magistrate should not have sat on a public holiday, but he did so at the request, and in the interests of the defence; there was neither prejudice to the defence nor any substantial miscarriage of justice, and the Court would apply the proviso to section 11 of the West African Court of Appeal Ordinance and dismiss the appeal.