Rex V. Hammar Dangar (1944)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Murder or Manslaughter—Homicide in course of unlawful arrest—Criminal Code ss. 317, 319, 283.
The defendant had been arrested by the deceased, a Native Authority policeman, and escaped ; on the deceased attempting to recapture him, the defendant killed, with a knife, the deceased, who only carried a stick . The trial Judge found that the arrest was unlawful but thought, having regard to s. 283 of the Criminal Code, that as the defendant thought the deceased had authority to arrest him, his act under the law of Nigeria amounted to murder but gave the defendant a certificate that it was a fit case for appeal. On appeal :-
that the law on the point in Nigeria is, by virtue of section 317 of the Criminal Code, the same as the law in England, whereby if any person unlawfully arrests another and the person so provoked immediately and unjustifiably kills the other, the offence is manslaughter, and not murder.
Semble : s. 283 of the Criminal Code appears to relate to the case of a bystander who may intervene to prevent an arrest rather than to the person actually being arrested.
For these reasons there is substituted for the verdict found by the trial Judge a verdict of guilty of manslaughter, and for the sentence passed at the trial there is substituted a sentence of 5 years LL.