Otto George Gfeller V. The King (1942)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
The appellant, Otto George Gfeller, is et Swiss national. At Lagos, in July, .1941, he was tried by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on a charge framed under section 427 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria that he did on the 20th February, 1941, receive 156 botties of Gordon’s gin, knowing the same to have been stolen.
He was convicted and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with hard labour. On appeal to the West African Court of Appeal his conviction was upheld but his sentence was reduced to eighteen months’ impriSonment with hard labour. From this decisions dated 6th November, 1941, he appeals to His Majesty in Counci! by special leave. Their Lordships are informed that he has undergone the imprisonment to which he was sentenced.
His learned counsel, Mr Douglas, focussed a most careful and accurate review of the evidence by submitting, first, that there was no such evidence as could properly he left to the jury, and secondly, that the appellant’s individual case had not been properly laid before the jury by the learned Judge in his summing up, with the result that the appellant did not have ” the substance of fair trial.”
He maintained that his criticisms if made good would satisfy the conditions .which in fillet’s case (L.R. 12 A.C. 459) and other cases have been laid down as controlling the administration of the prerogative’ in criminal appeals.
The trial was held before His Honour Judge Baker and a jury of twelve, of whom six were natives and six non-natives.
Their Lordships will humbly advice his Majesty that the appeal should be dismissed.