Rex V. John Oni Akerele (1941)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Appeal against sentence of im pri►onment for .mnuslaughter-againstsentence ofHeld : Appeal allowed as accused did not deliberately set out to breakHigh Court. the law or harm a fellow being.
There is no need to set out the facts….„ C. W. Reece for Crown.
Sir William Geary (A. Alakija, Wells-Palmer and E. A. Akerele with him) for Appellant.
The following joint judgment was delivered :—
KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA, PETRIDES, C.J., GOLD COAST, AND GRAHAM PAUL, C.J., SIERRA LEONE.
The appellant was convicted in the High Court of the Manslaughter of a child named Rain Ibe in circumstances more fully described in the judgment of this Court upon his appeal against conviction. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour for that offence. At the same trial he was convicted upon the same facts, of an offence contrary to section 343 (1) (f) of the Criminal Code and sentenced to a fine of £100 or twelve months imprisonment with hard labour, the sentences to be concurrent.
In view of the provisions of section 16 of the Criminal Code” the Court is of opinion that the sentence passed upon the third count after sentence had been passed upon the first count cannot be upheld, and the sentence passed upon the third count is accordingly quashed. As to the sentence upon the first count, having regard to all the circumstances of this case, more particularly to the fact that this is not a case where a man has set out deliberately to break the law or harm a fellow being, and to the case-for-the prosecution, as submitted to this Court, that there was only one act of criminal negligence by the appellant, namely gross carelessnefts in ronroeting too strong a mixture of the drug he used, this Court has come to the conclusion that it is not necessary to send the appellant to prison without giving him the option of paying a heavy fine.
The appeal is therefore allowed, the -sentence passed at the trial upon the first count is quashed, and in substitution therefor the appellant is sentenced to a fine of £500, or, in default of payment, to imprisonment with hard labour for twelve months.
Appellant is to be allowed one month to pay the fine. During that period he may be admitted to bail upon entering into a Bond for £1,000 with two Sureties of £500 each approved by the Registrar of the Court.