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Rex V. Odita (1942) LJR-WACA

Rex V. Odita (1942)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Criminal-law—Negligent escape contrary to section 138 of Criminal Code—Appellant, a Court Messenger employed by a Native Administration, permitted prisoner to escape—Magistrate convicted—High Court upheld conviction.

Appellant was a Court Messenger employed by the Asaba Clan Native Administration. He negligently permitted a prisoner in his lawlful custody to escape.

Held: Conviction wrong. A Native Administration Court Messenger is not a member of a police force within the meaning of the section(‘).

C. TV. Reece for Crown.

Appellant not present.

The following joint judgment was delivered :—


The charge against the appellant in this case was

” Permitting negligent escape contra. Criminal Code section 138 “

and the particulars given were

” Odita, being a member of a Police Force, namely a Court ” Messenger of the Asaba Clan at Asaba, Warri-Benin Magisterial Area ” on the night of the 21st-22nd of March negligently permitted a ” prisoner Awudu, handed to him for lawful custody to escape from the ” N.A. Lock-up with leg irons on. Contra. Criminal Code 138.”

We are of opinion that the conviction cannot be upheld since, in our view, a Native Administration Court Messenger quite obviously is not a member of a police force within the meaning of the section.

The finding and sentence are reversed and the -appellant is acquitted and discharged.

See also  Alhaji Fasasi Adeshoye V. J. O. Shiwoniku (1952) LJR-WACA

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