Rex V. Osita Chukwigbo Agwuna & Ors (1949)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Sedition—Setting aside subpoenas—Admissibility of evidenceof former seditious utterances—Nigeria Evidence Ordinance—Nigeria CriminalCode, section 8—What previous convictions should be taken into account when assessing sentence.
A person served with a subpoena has the right to apply to the Court to set it aside on the ground that the subpoena is not bona fide required for the purpose of obtaining any evidence that can be relevant, and the Court upon such application will interfere where it is satisfied that its process is being used for indirect or improper objects.
A copy of a previous seditious utterance by the first appellant (in respect whereof he had been convicted) was admitted as evidence upon the trial of the four appellants. The admissibility of this document was raised as a ground of appeal.
That, on both the statute law and the authorities, the evidence of the first appellant’s previous seditious utterance was admissible.
The only kind of previous conviction which a Court is entitled to take into account when assessing sentence is one in which conviction took place before the commission of the offence for which the accused is instantly charged and convicted.
Appeals dismissed except that of the first appellant against sentence, wherein the sentence was reduced.