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Rex V. A. M. Animashaun & Anor (1938) LJR-WACA

Rex V. A. M. Animashaun & Anor (1938)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Perjury contra. sec. 41 of Criminal Procedure Ordinance.

The appellants were summarily convicted for perjury committed in the course of a civil action, and appealed.

There is no need to set out the facts.

C. N. S. Pollard for Crown preliminarily submitted no appeal

lay.

0. Alakija for Appellants opposed.

Held : An appeal lies.

The following joint decision was delivered :—

KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA, PETRIDES, C.J., GOLD COAST AND WEBB, C.J., SIERRA LEONE.

The appellants in this case have been committed to prison as for Contempt of Court under section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance—the first for three months I.H.L., the second for one month I.H.L.—by Graham Paul, J., sitting as a Judge of the High Court in the Ibadan Judicial Division.

Before so committing the appellants the learned trial Judge placed upon record that it appeared to him that the respective appellants had been guilty of perjury in proceedings before him and he duly complied with the provisions of section 42 of the Ordinance. Upon the appeal being called the learned Crown Counsel has taken the objection that no appeal lies to this Court against a committal as for contempt by a High Court Judge under section 41 of the Ordinance.

He admits that the committal follows upon what is technically a summary conviction, but points out that it is well established law that in England no appeal lies against a committal by the High Court where the contempt is criminal, save upon the question of jurisdiction, and submits that the law is the same here. But in our view this is not so.

See also  R. A. Ukejianya V. J. I. Uchendu (1950) LJR-WACA

The reason why no appeal lies in England is the general rule that no appeal on the merits lies from a summary conviction for a criminal offence in the High Court. But here the law on this point is the opposite, having been changed in 1933. By the wide terms of section 9 of the West African Court of Appeal Ordinance

” Court or the High Court or a Native Court may appeal to the A. ” Court of Appeal • • • •,” the legislation has deliberately Anima-conferred upon all convicted persons the rights given by the shawl section, regardless of whether the conviction be had upon inform- anor. ation or summarily. It is true, as the learned Crown Counsel

points out, that section 41 of Chapter 20 does not contemplate kingdon, appeal except in accordance with its own express terms and limit- c ations; but at the time of its enactment no appeal (save by way petrides of case stated) existed in criminal matters from the High Court c.j.,

to this Court. The legislature, when creating a right of appeal in and

1933, must be presumed to have had in mind its effect, inter alia, Webb, C.J. upon the provisions of that section.

We are therefore of opinion that an appeal lies from the convictions in the present case in just the same way as it lies from any other conviction.


The preliminary objection is accordingly overruled.

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