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Philip Giwa Vs The State (1972) LLJR-SC

Philip Giwa Vs The State (1972)

LawGlobal-Hub Lead Judgment Report

COKER, JSC.

The appellant was charged on 21 counts of stealing and falsification of accounts. The evidence given by the prosecution at his trial portrayed a vivid story of frequent and continuous manipulations of the books and documents which in the course of his employment he was obliged to keep.

Indeed, in the course of a rigorous cross-examination, the appellant virtually admitted all the wrong entries. It was contended on his behalf that the wrong entries must have been made falsely or with an intent to defraud. We think the intent is manifest on the face of the transactions. Although the appellant gave out receipts for stated sums of money, in all the cases charged, except count 21, he had entered in the cash-book amounts which were less than these actually received. There was no explanation of what happened to the difference in money and although the appellant stated that he had placed these on deposit, there are no entries establishing anywhere these deposits and we think the learned trial Judge was right to disbelieve the defence.

With respect to count 21, the learned trial Judge himself stated that the prosecution had failed to establish it but he nonetheless convicted the appellant on the count. We are not sure whether or not he would have accepted the evidence in support of that charge or that he did accept it and we cannot guess his mind. In the circumstances we think that the conviction on that count is not safe.  

In the result, the appeal succeeds on that count, i.e., No. 21, and the conviction of the appellant on that count is quashed and his sentence on the count is set aside and a verdict of acquittal and discharge is entered in his favour on that count. With respect to counts Nos. 1 – 20, the appeal is dismissed and the conviction and sentences of the appellant on them are affirmed. As the appellant is in court, he will be taken into custody forthwith to serve his terms.

See also  South-eastern State Newspaper Corporation & Anor V. Edet Asuquo Anwara (1975) LLJR-SC

Other Citation: (1972) LCN/1590(SC)

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