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M. A. Oyewole V. J. Kelani (1948) LJR-WACA

M. A. Oyewole V. J. Kelani (1948)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Case Stated under West African Court of Appeal Ordinance, section 7—Motorcar collision—Admissibility of_eztidence of conviction of defendant for offence arising out of collision.

Evidence of conviction of a person for a motoring offence arising out of an accident which is later on the subject of civil proceedings to which that person is a party, is inadmissible at the civil trial.

Cases referred to:

  1. Ezeani 6. Others v. Ezene & Others, 2 W..r1.(.7.”1. 312.
  2. Holinetan v. F.liewthorn & Co. Ltd. (1913), 1 KB. 587; (1943), 2 .4 .E.R. 35; 112 L.J.K.B. 463; 16921; 59 T.L.E. 321; 87 Sol. Jo. 247:–
    Case Stated by a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The following judgment was delivered:

Halter, Ag. C.J. This is a Case Stated by the learned Judge of the Supreme Court sitting at Ibadan for the opinion of the West African Court of Appeal under the provisions of section 7 of the West African Court of Appeal Ordinance. The relevant facts are as follows:—

” Plaintiff instituted an action claiming damages done to his motor-car by the reckless driving of defendant’s lorry by defendant’s driver. Upon the action coming on for hearing Counsel for plaintiff sQillit to put in evidence. the proceedings in a criminal action against ciefencir.t.S. &Aver

in the Nr.di5trate’s Court and in which defendant was cosencted to ies.peet ot the said collision between plaintiff’s car and defendant’s lorry, tp %%Ilan Coinisel for the delendaitt objected.

” Plaintiff’s Counsel referred to the case of Peter O. Ezeani & 16 Others v. Etrdi Ezepte & 30 Others (1) as authority for the admissibility of the proceedings. The learned Judge, however, upheld the objection on the authority of Holington v. F. Hewthorn & Co. Ltd. (2) and now asks the Court if his ruling was correct in Law.”

See also  Chief Fosbery Lulu Braide V. Chief Obu Harry Horsfall & Anor (1955) LJR-WACA

_14 the before-mentioned case of Ezeani &Others v. Erene 07 Others (1) the trial judge refused to receive in evidence the certified copy of criminal proceedings in which the defendants were convicted in respect of the same acts upon which the then proceedings were grounded. Upon the case coining to appeal this Court (differently constituted) in the year 1935 following the decision in re Crippen 1911 Probate, page 108, and Nash v. Dailey (19141, 1 N.B. decided that the certified copy of the ei-iiifirtal proceedings should have been admitted and sent the case back for retrial.

Since tile, decision the law has undergone modification and changes and in the judgment in the before-mentioned case of Ho/ington v. F. Hewthorn & Co. (ti) the following words occur:—

” The Coutt of Appeal are clear that the civil Court must base its findings ou the facts placed before it without any regard to the proceedings before another tribunal. Upon this point the Court of Appeal has critically examined three Cases, i.e. in the Estate of Crippen 1911, page 108, Parlinglon v.

Partington and Atkinson, 132 L.T. 495 and O’Toole v. O’Toole, 132 L.T. 495 and hold that these cases go beyond and are contrary to the authorities and ought not to be followed in future.”

In view of this decision (with which we agree) we are satisfied that the learned Judge was correct when he refused to admit the before-mentioned evidence.


Appeal dismissed.

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