Rex V. Romanus Ezejiogu (1944)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Criminal Law—Charge of corruption contrary to section 116 (1) of the Criminal Code—Conviction on evidence not establishing charge as laid—Appeal.
The Appellant (Romanus Ezejiogu) a police constable, was charged under section 116 (1) of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, the particulars in the charge being that he had corruptly received £1 10s. and a wrist watch from a person in order not to arrest that person, who, to his knowledge had committed an offence under the Customs Ordinance. The evidence showed that he threatened to prosecute that person for buying a watch without a receipt from the trader who sold it to him, falsely alleging that there was a new law which made that person’s omission to take a receipt punishable. The Appellant took the watch and offered not to take that person to Court if given money, and received £1 10s. He was convicted of an offence contrary to section 116 (1) of the Criminal Code. On appeal :-
that section 116 (1) of the Criminal Code does not apply to cases where there is no ground for a suggestion that an actual offence has been committed by the person from whom money is demanded, as in such a case the demand is not made ” with a view to corrupt or improper interference with the due administration of justice, or the procurement or facilitation of the commission of any offence, or the protection of any offender from detection or punishment “.
Sembk : Although a charge under section 404 of the Code might have been brought, the Court of Appeal could not substitute a conviction under that section seeing that on the charge before him the trial Judge could not have convicted the appellant under that section.
The Appellant is discharged.
Appeal allowed, conviction and sentence quashed.