Rex V. Asuquo Edem & Ors (1943)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Ldw—Procedure—Calling of fresh witness by Judge at close of evidence for defence—Question arising ” eximproviso “.
The appellants were charged with murder. It was alleged for the prosecution that the motive for the murder was the belief that the murdered man had caused the death of another person by means of witchcraft.
The three appellants each gave evidence but called no other witnesses. During his evidence one of the appellants introduced fresh matter relating to native custom in cases of suspected witchcraft, which if true would have seriously discredited the evidence of the witnesses called by the Crown.
The trial Judge then called a Native Chief, who had been sitting in Court, to testify as to his knowledge of native custom on the question thus rained.
The question relating to native custom arose ex intproviso, and the trial Judge was correct in calling further evidence.