Kwabena Wiafe & Ors V. The Queen (1953)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law and Procedure—Nature of corroboration of accomplice not explained—Where no miscarriage of justice—Discrepancies in evidence—Whether verdict unreasonable.
In spite of a favourable summing up, the jury, after deliberating for nearly an hour, returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder.
The complaints were that the Judge, though telling the jury that two witnesses must be regarded as accomplices requiring corroboration, did not explain of what sort, and that the conflicts in the evidence made the verdict unreasonable.
(1) The Judge ought to have explained the nature of the corroboration needed but in fact there was corroborative evidence and the omission had not caused a miscarriage of justice.
(2) The questions at issue were questions of fact for the jury to decide, and they had the advantage of seeing the witnesses : theirs was a considered verdict, which could not be said to be unreasonable.