Rex V. Emanuel Shokale George (1936)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Attempt to procure a person to forge notes—Section 8a West African Currency Notes Ordinance—Proof of posting—Meaning of ” Currency Note.”
The facts of this case are sufficiently set out in the judgment. _ A. Akizvumi for Appellant.
E. 0. Pretheroe for Crown.
The following judgment was delivered :—
KINGDON, C. J., NIGERIA.
In this case the appellant was charged before the Ibadan Division of the High Court at Ijebu Ode with contravening section 8A of the West African Currency Notes Ordinance, which reads as follows :—
8A. If any person while in Nigeria attempts to procure another person to forge any currency note, whether in Nigeria or at any place not in Nigeria, he shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for ten years.”
The evidence for the prosecution consisted of the putting in of a letter and its envelope (Exhibit ” A “) and proof that appellant produced a copy (Exhibit ” B “) of ” A ” from his house, and evidence of a handwriting expert that ” A ” and ” B ” were identical. The letter is addressed to a firm in the U.S.A. and is signed ” E. S. George.” The incriminating part of the letter consists of the words ” Herewith enclosed a British Postal Order (No. I.C.003861) of (2s. 6d.) two shillings and six pence, to buy one-fourth of one hundred of currency notes.” The envelope shows that the letter was posted at Shagamu in Nigeria.
Upon the conclusion of this evidence for the prosecution Counsel for the appellant submitted that there was no case for him to answer, and on being overruled tendered no evidence, but relied upon the submission that the terms of the letter amounted only to an enquiry and not to an attempt to procure. The learned trial Judge disagreed and held that the letter constituted an attempt to procure the addressees to forge notes.
He convicted the appellant and sentenced him to two years’ I.H.L.
On appeal to this Court two points have been urged on behalf of appellant.
The first is that proof of posting the letter is not sufficient, its receipt must be proved before the attempt is established. But the law on this point is quite clear, namely, that where a letter is sent soliciting and inciting the addressee to commit a crime, but is not proved to have reached the intended recipient, the sender may be properly convicted of an attempt to incite to the commission of the crime (R. v. Banks, 12 Cox. 393 ; R. v. Ransford, 13 Cox. 9 ; R. v. Cope, 16 Cr. App. R. 77). •
This ground of appeal therefore fails.
The second point is that the section only applies to West African currency notes and that there is nothing in the letter to show that the reference to ” currency notes ” means West African currency notes ; they might be any currency notes of any other country. On this point the Court thinks that the lower Court rightly took the expression ” currency notes ” to have the ordinary meaning which it would have to any ordinary Nigerian using it in Nigeria, viz. ” West African currency notes,” these being the only kind of currency notes with which the average native of Nigeria is conversant.
This ground therefore fails also, and the appeal is dismissed.