Rex V. Gordin Okoye (1938)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Perjury contra. section 118 of Criminal Code—Insufficiency of AppealEvidence.
Held: Appeal allowed, conviction quashed, etc.
There is no need to set out the facts.
Court.C. N. S. Pollard for Crown.
Appellant not present.
The following joint judgment was delivered
KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA, CAREY AND GRAHAM PAUL, JJ
The appellant in this case was convicted in the High Court of the Enugu-Onitsha Division of perjury contrary to section 118 of the Criminal Code and sentenced to six months I.H.L. He appeals to this Court and counsel for the Crown agrees that there is no evidence to support the conviction.
In the first place the testimony alleged to be given is not sufficiently proved. It is regrettable that the exact words alleged to constitute the perjury are not set out in the particulars. This should always be done, more especially as section 47A of the Protectorate Courts Ordinance provides for a record to be kept by Judge and expressly provides that that record or a certified true copy thereof shall be admitted as evidence of the proceedings and of the statements made by the witnesses.
In this case one witness swears that the testimony alleged to be given by the appellant was so given, and a certified true copy of the record in the case was put in presumably to corroborate the witness’s evidence. But on examination this record does not corroborate that the appellant gave the testimony alleged. Some testimony is recorded which is capable of being interpreted so as to corroborate but is also capable of a different interpretation. This is not sufficient and the conviction cannot be upheld for this reason alone.
No witness is called to prove this of his own knowledge. Rex Instead the evidence relied upon consists of (a) a record of•
proceedings in a Native Court which per se is not evidence, and (b) Gordis the evidence of the other witnesses in the same case in which the Okoye. alleged false testimony was given. This is only hearsay ; though the
record is admissible as evidence of the statements made by the witnesses it is not evidence of the truth of such statements.
The appeal is therefore allowed, the conviction and sentence are quashed and it is directed that a judgment and verdict of acquittal be entered.
The appellant is discharged.