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Rex V. William Mbole Muambo (1941) LJR-WACA

Rex V. William Mbole Muambo (1941)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Appellant charged summarily and plead guilty—Record shows Appellant did not intend to admit facts that would necessarily constitute guilt—Not Guilty pleas should hare been entered—Proceedings subsequent to plea a nullity.

Held: Appeal allowed, conviction quashed.

There is no need to set out the facts.

Cases referred to :—

R. v. Baker 7 C.A.R. 217. R. v. Ingleson 11 C.A.R. 21. R1 v. Hussey 18 C.A.R. 121.

C. W. Reece for Crown.

Miss S. Thomas for Appellant.

The following joint judgment was deliverea:—


In this case the appellant was charged summarily before Jeffreys, Acting Assistant Judge of the High Court at Buea, upon three counts.

The first count was for manslaughter, contra. see. 325 Criminal Code.

The second count was for committing a reckless and negligent act, contra. sec. 343 (e) of the Criminal Code.

The third count was for being in possession of a poisonous or dangerous drug for illegal purposes contra. section 29 of the Poisons and Pharmacy Ordinance, No. 15/1927.

A plea of guilty on all three counts was recorded, and the appellant was sentenced upon each count.

But from a perusal of the record it is clear from the explanation of the facts given by the appellant that he did not really intend to admit facts that would necessarily constitute guilt under any of the three counts, and that in respect of each a plea of Not giving

See also  Rex V. Kofi Mansu (1947) LJR-WACA

should have been entered. For these reasons we hold that the proceedings subsequent to the entry of the plea are a nullity. (R. v. Baker 7 Cr. App. R. 217; R. v. Ingleson 11 Cr. App. R. 21; R. v. Hussey 18 Cr. App. R. 121). We have power under section 11 (5) of the West African Court of Appeal Ordinance, 1933 (No. 47 of 1933), to order that the appellant be retried by a Court of competent jurisdiction, but counsel for the Crown has said that he does not ask us to exercise this power, and we agree that, having regard to all the circumstances of this case, it is sot one in which that power should be exercised. When we do not exercise that power the provisions of section 10 (2) of the Ordinance require us to direct that a judgment and verdict of acquittal be entered.

The following is accordingly our order :–

The appeal is allowed the convictions and sentences passed upon the appellant are quashed, and it is directed that in respect of each count a judgment and verdict of acquittal be entered, and that the appellant be discharged.

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