L. A. Lawson V. Local Authority, Aba (1944)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Procedure—Trial by Magistrate (Limited Powers) who is also Local Authority at whose instance proceedings taken.
The Defendant-Appellant was charged at the instance of the Administrative Officer qua Local Authority (the Tax Collection Authority) Aba, for failure to pay income tax, and tried by that Officer qua Magistrate (Limited Powers). His appeal to the High Court was dismissed. On appeal to the West African Court of Appeal :—
That the proceedings were vitiated by the fact that the same person was both prosecutor and judge.
The appeal is allowed, the finding and sentence of the Magistrate’s Ccurt are reversed, and the Appellant is acquitted and discharged.