Rex V. Bauna of Geji (1936)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Murder—Insufficient proof that death was caused or accelerated by act High Courtof accused.
Held : Appeal allowed.
Appellant in person.
Ivor Brace for Crown.
The following judgment was delivered :KINGDON, C. J., NIGERIA.
In this case there is no doubt that the appellant seriously maltreated a very old woman and that she died shortly afterwards. It is natural to suggest that the maltreatment caused or at any rate accelerated the woman’s death. But mere likelihood is not sufficient to establish the crime. It must be proved that the death was caused or at any rate that death was accelerated by the accused’s deeds. There is no medical evidence to support the prosecution case, and there is nothing in the maltreatment of such a nature as to be necessarily dangerous to life save by causing shock to an aged person. On the whole we are satisfied that the cause of death was not sufficiently proved and that for this reason the conviction cannot be upheld.
Apart from this a considerable amount of inadmissible hearsay evidence was wrongly admitted at the trial, but this would not of itself cause the Court to quash the conviction if there was sufficient other evidence to justify it.
The conviction is quashed and it is directed that a judgment and verdict of acquittal be entered.