Rex V. Adegbola Thomas (1945)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section. 419 of the Criminal Code—AdmissisA of telegram announcing that a Crows witness is unable to attend trial—Depositions of witness who is unable to give evidence—Section 48 of Criminal Procedure Ordinance, Cap. 20—Inadmissibility of depositions—Evidence of accused when Prosecution fails to prove a material ingredient.
In this case the Appellant was charged in the High Court of the Kaduna Judicial Division sitting at Potiskum with obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section 419 of the Criminal Code, and the particulars given of the alleged offence were :—
“Adebola Thomas, on or about the 20th day of June, 1944, at Maiduguri, in the-Bornu Province, with intent to defraud obtained from Alhaji Jibirin the sum of £11 (eleven pounds sterling) by falsely pretending that the charges payable by the said Alhaji Jibirin to the British Overseas Air kays Corporation in respect of the carriage of a consignment of hides accepted for carriage on or about the 13th dati of June, 1944, was £53 19s. 8d., whereas in truth and in fact the amount payable was £42 19s. 8d.”
The procedure laid down by Section 48 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance is different from the procedure in England– (Criminal Justice Act, 1925 (15 & 16 Geo. 5, c. 86, s. 13 (3)). Telegram was admissible. The depositions were wrongly admitted because they did not comply with the provisions of Section 48 of Cap. 20.
Held further that although Prosecution failed to prove a material ingredient of the charge that evidence was supplied by the Appellant himself.