Rex V. Effiong Edet Itah (1943)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Fraudulent false accounting—Evidence of intent to defraud–Seetion 438 of the Criminal Code.
The appellant was employed, by the Compagnie Francaise de L’Afrique Occidentale as a sales clerk. He was authorized to give ” dashes ” of goods to regular customers and in support prepare. vouchers which were verified by the Agent and debited at the end of each month to the shop expenses.
The appellant did give ” dashes “, and accounted for them in this way, but. concurrently in returns which he rendered periodically to the Agent he made entries making it appear that a larger number of goods had been sold than had in fact been sold, and showing a smaller balance of stock in hand than was truly there, or should have been there. Deficiencies thus concealed were discovered at an audit and taking of stock. In his defence, the appellant put forward the explanation that the missing goods had been ” dashed ” to customers, and alleged that the entries were not false as they were made with the knowledge and consent of the Agent to trade a mercantile agreement directed against the practice of giving such ” dashes “.
This defence was disbelieved, and finding that the entries were false and unauthorized and had been consistently repeated, while the established method of accounting for ” dashes ” had not been followed, with the consequence that shortages of stock had been concealed, the trial Judge held that there was evidence of an intent to defraud, and found that the entries had been made with intent to defraud.
that there was ample evidence to support his finding.