Rex V. Mohammed Bada & Anor (1944)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Manslaughter—Two defendants of whom one rightly convicted—Onus to prove the other acted in concert.
The 1st Defendant was driving at a great pace, a lorry with a left hand drive, and the second was seated on his right. A cyclist coming from the opposite direction was forced to his left hand side and dismounted. In passing the 2nd Defendant hit him with a stick he fell against the rear of the lorry and was killed. The trial Judge convicted both of manslaughter on the view that 1st defendant drove to the wrong side to enable the second to strike, although there was no direct evidence of such concerted action. On appeal :—
that the Crown had a duty to prove not merely that the two defendants may have been acting in concert but that they actually were.
Held also, that as the 1st defendant’s action was explicable as due to unskilful driving, the inference of concerted action on his part was not inescapable and should not ‘have been made.
The 1st Appellant is discharged.