Rex V. Hogan Antia & Anor (1949)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Possession of unfinished currency notes—What are “unfinishednotes “.
The charge related to possession of blank slips, the size and shape of West African Currency Notes, bearing on one side an inscription in Arabic characters similar to that which appeared on notes current at the time of the trial. The slips were contained in envelopes upon which was printed the name of the West African Currency Board and purporting each to contain 100 twenty-shilling notes.
Held: No other inference could be drawn than that the slips of paper were unfinished notes purporting to be currency notes issued by the Board.
(The appeal is reported only on the above point)
Taylor and Udoma for Appellants.
Lloyd, Crown Counsel, for Crown.
The following judgment was delivered:
Verity, C.J. This is an appeal from a conviction in a summary trial before Desalu, Ag. J., in the Supreme Court at Aba, for an offence contrary to section 8 (2) of the West African Currency Notes Ordinance, the charge being that the appellants had in their possession without lawful authority or excuse a number of unfinished notes purporting to be currency notes issued by the West African Currency Board.
The first ground of appeal argued before us alleged that the slips of paper found in the house of the first appellant were not ” unfinished notes ” within the meaning of the section. The papers are blank slips, the size and shape of currency notes and upon one side there is an inscription in Arabic characters similar to that which appears on the back of a currency note. There can be no doubt that in the production of forged notes it would be necessary to secure slips of paper of a size and shape similar to those of genuine notes, to inscribe on one side the Arabic characters to which we have referred and upon the other side the words, devices and figures which appear on the face of currency notes. If any of these steps has not yet been taken the incomplete ” note ” may properly be described as an ” unfinished note ” and it does not appear to us to make any difference whether it is one stage or another in the production of the forged notes which is incomplete, provided that from the stage reached in their production and from all the circumstances it may reasonably be inferred that the note, if and when finished, would purport to be a currency note issued by the Board, From the size and shape of the slips of paper in this case, from the nature of the Arabic inscription on one side thereof and from the fact that they were contained in envelopes upon which was printed the name of the Board and purporting each to contain 100 twenty-shilling notes, no other inference can, in our opinion, be drawn than that the slips of paper are unfinished notes purporting- to be currency notes issued by the Board.
This ground of appeal therefore fails.