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Rufus Mabogunje And Others V. IGP (1953) LJR-WACA

Rufus Mabogunje And Others V. Inspector-General Of Police (1953)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Criminal Code, section 207—Ordeal likely to result in bodily injury.


In this case the relevant words in section 207, which defines an unlawful ordeal, were ” any ordeal which is likely to result in . . . bodily injury to any party to the proceeding ”.

Some substance unknown was applied to the eyes of the victim of the ordeal which made his eyes water and caused him great pain and temporary blindness for fifteen minutes. The trial Magistrate held this to be bodily injury and inferred from that fact that the substance which caused it was likely to cause such injury.

On appeal the Judge accepted that view; he also held that “bodily injury ” meant some “discernible” injury and that an injury causing watering, pain and blindness must have been discernible, apparent^ in the sense of being visible to others.

The Judge upheld the conviction and the defendants appealed further, arguing that it must be shown first, that the nature of the trial is such as to be likely in itself to result in bodily injury and, secondly, that such injury is some ” discernible ” bodily injury.


(1) It was reasonable to infer from the fact that the victim’s eyes watered and ached and could not see for a while that the substance was such as was likely to cause bodily injury.

See also  Ofem Odey On Behalf Of Himself & Anor V. Ovat Edim Of Akam On Behalf Of The People Of Akam (1940) LJR-WACA

(2) The bodily injury suffered need not be such as is visible to others. Appeal by convicted persons from decision of Supreme Court confirming

Appeals dismissed.

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