Rex V. Ezekiel Kalio & Anor (1943)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Demanding property with menaces—Threat of detriment—section 406 of the Criminal Code.
Appellants demanded money from the complainant, with the threat that if the demand were not complied with the 1st appellant would commit suicide by hanging himself in the complainant’s house;
Held : That a finding, in all the circumstances of the case, that this amounted to a threat of detriment within the meaning of section 406 of the Criminal Code, was justified.
The appellants were charged with demanding money with menaces contra sec. 406 of the Criminal Code. The complainant was a young Ibo woman living in Port Harcourt as a prostitute. She inhabited a room in a house in which certain other rooms were also occupied for the purposes of prostitution. The two appellants, men having the appearance of ” thugs “, came to the house with a rope and threatened that the first appellant would hang himeslf there and then if the complainant did not pay him the sum of £2 for having given him gonorrhoea. The complainant and the other inmates of the house were greatly alarmed, the complainant being thrown into a state bordering on hysteria. The owner of the house ran for the police. The complainant guessed, as she said, that if the threat was carried into effect the- police would come and arrest everybody in the- yard and would say she had killed the first appellant. She actually handed two shillings, which was all she could obtain, to the appellants. The trial Judge, taking into consideration the known character and habits of the Ibo people in the aNea, found that the appellants’ words and actions amounted to a threat of detriment within the meaning of the section, and convicted them.
E. H. Hunter for Crown.
Appellants in person.
The following joint judgment was delivered :—
KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA, BUTLER LLOYD AND BAKER, JJ.
” Ezekiel Kalio and James Onwudachi, on the 30th June, 1942, ” at Port Harcourt, in the Owerri Province, with intent to steal did ” demand the sum of £2 from Mary Okorafor with the threat that ” if the demand was not complied with the said Ezekiel Kalio would ” commit suicide by hanging himself in the house of Mary Okorafor ” on account of venereal disease alleged to have been contracted from ” the said Mary Okorafor.”
Both appellants were convicted and sentenced.
The facts proved supported the particulars alleged and the only question which arises upon the appeal is whether the threat to commit suicide by hanging himself in the house of Mary Okorafor made by the first appellant and abetted by the second appellant amounted to a threat of detriment within the meaning of section 466 of the Criminal Code.
The learned, trial Judge, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, found that it did, and we are of opinion that he was justified in so finding.
The appeals are dismissed.