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Maye Nungu V. The Queen (1953) LJR-WACA

Maye Nungu V. The Queen (1953)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Criminal Law—Murder—Intent to cause grievous norm—Weapon and nature of blow—liefence of provocation by words.


The appellant and his younger brother had had a dispute about the burning of some trees in the appellant’s farm; and later further words were exchanged in the course of which the younger brother said he had supplied money for the appellant to marry.

The appellant was highly annoyed at this and taking up an axe struck his brother on the head with the wooden elbow of the haft; the blow caused a wound 2 inches long and 1½ inches wide; the brother died almost immediately. The appellant was convicted of murder.

On appeal it was argued (a) that there was no intent to kill or do grievous harm, and (b) that there was provocation.


(1) Although the appellant turned away the cutting edge, he must have intended to cause grievous harm, which was the natural and probable consequence of striking on the head with the haft of the axe weighted with an iron head with such force as to inflict the wound described.

(2) The younger brother’s saying to his elder brother that he had provided money for the latter’s marriage did not amount to such provocation as would reduce the offence to manslaughter.

Appeal dismissed.

See also  Solomon Jonah V. Kojo Owu (1937) LJR-WACA

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