Rex V George Payne.
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
” of preventing or hindering him from doing an act which he ” was lawfully entitled to do, in a matter unrelated to a trade ” dispute, does not commit an offence within the meaning of ” section 366 of the Criminal Code.”
The whole of our section 366 hears a close resemblance to section 7 of the English Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act of 1875 and clauses 1 (b), (c), (d) and (e) were undoubtedly adopted verbatim from that Act when section 366 was amended by Ordinance 40/1938, but it is worthy of note that, although the punishment was reduced by the same ordinance from five years with or without whipping, to one year, with or without whipping, the offence remains a „felony whereas an offence against the English section is punishable by a fine of £20 or imprisonment for three months. It is also to be noted that our section 1 (a) is much wider in its scope than the corresponding section 7 (1) of the English Act and that our section 1 (f) has no counterpart in the latter.
Counsel for the accused argues:
- that the English Act of 1875 or at least section 7 of that Act applies only to matters arising out of trade disputes ;
- that section 366 of the Criminal Code being closely analogous to and partly actually adopted from section 7 of the English Act should be construed as being similarly limited.
We are of opinion that neither of these arguments is sound. Although the reported cases in connection with the English Act appear to have all arisen in fact out of trade disputes, there is nothing either in the Act itself or those decisions to show that its construction is to be limited in the way suggested. Nor if there Was should we feel bound to construe section 366 with its different wording as similarly limited.
We accordingly answer the question asked- by the learned trial Judge in the negative.