Rex V. Vandi Gbou & Ors (1939)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Counsel for accused deprived of last word—Same Counsel appearing Appeal fromfor all three accused—Misdirection–Verdict against weight of conviction evidence.by SupremeCourt.
The three appellants were convicted of the murder of one Jassa. One counsel appeared for all three appellants who were jointly indicted. Neither the first nor the third appellant called any witnesses but one witness was called for the defence who gave evidence to the effect that the case for the prosecution was a trumped up story. This evidence affected all the accused. The Crown was given the final word and it was argued that the trial was thereby irregular. It was also argued that there was misdirection and that the verdict was against the weight of evidence.
That where one Counsel appeared for all accused and called evidence for the defence, it was impossible to say that he called evidence for one accused only and not for them all. Each case must be judged by its special circumstances and, in this case, the learned Trial Judge was correct in giving the Crown the final word.
Held Further : That there was no substance in the remaining grounds of appeal.
Appeals dismissed and convictions upheld.