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Rex V. Gabriel Joes Nwagbani (1942) LJR-WACA

Rex V. Gabriel Joes Nwagbani (1942)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Criminal Law—Stealing by clerk or servant, section 390 (6) Appeal. frontCriminal Code—General deficiency—Conviction quashed.;

Accused drew money on vouchers and kept a book showing particulars Court. of outgoings. He was found to be £16 6s 94d short.

Held : This amounted to a general deficiency in account and was not sufficient to found a charge of stealing.

The conviction was quashed.

Mckinstry for Crown.

Appellant not present.

The following joint ‘judgment was delivered :—

KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA, BUTLER LLOYD AND BAKER, JJ

In this case the appellant was charged before Brace, Assistant Judge, in the Aba Judicial Division of the High Court, with Stealing by a clerk or servant contra section 390 (6) of the Criminal Code.

The particulars given were :—

” Accused person between the period 2nd January and 21st ” February, 1941, at Port Harcourt in the Owerri Province, being ” a clerk to Messrs John Holt & Co., did steal the sum. of £16 6s 9id, ” the property of his said employers and which came into his possession ” by virtue of his employment.”

He was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment hard labour. The simple facts were that appellant was a clerk employed by Messrs John Holt & Co., and part of his duties was to post all letters and keep a stamp book. He drew money on vouchers for the purchase of stamps and had to keep a book showing particulars of out-goings. Upon the Agent becoming suspicious and making a check the appellant was found to be £16 6s 9d short of the amount he should have had.

See also  Mosalewa Thomas & Anor V. Kibitiyu Aleshinloye Williams & Anor (1944) LJR-WACA

In our opinion this merely amounts to a general deficiency in account and is not sufficient to found a charge of Stealing. Appellant was not proved to have stolen any particular stamps or sum of money.

The appeal is allowed, the conviction and sentence are quashed and it is ordered that a judgment and verdict of acquittal be entered.


The appellant is discharged.

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