.
hbriefs heading animation Search for cases summary on Hbriefs like hbriefs on facebook follow hbriefs on twitter

BOOK: First 2-Years as a Law Student: Experiences and Lessons - visit website

JUMP TO CONTENT

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) v. Chike Obi (FSC 56/1961) [1961]


place advert here


icon CASE SUMMARY OF:

The Director of Public Prosecutions v. Chike Obi (FSC 56/1961) [1961]

by PaulPipar
icon THEME(S)


icon PARTIES

PROSECUTION
The Director of Public Prosecutions

v.

DEFENCE
Chike Obi
icon CITATION


icon COURT

Federal Supreme Court
icon LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:

Ademola, C.J.F.
icon LAWYERS WHO ADVOCATED

* FOR THE PROSECUTION
- Chief Rotimi Williams;

* FOR THE DEFENCE
Get that your business, idea, or work available to the public. HCB gets sufficient amount of visits daily. Utilise this golden opportunity to make your product(s) available to the public domain by advertising on this website. If you are interested in advertising on this platform, click "place my advert".

place my advert

place advert here
Go to Crowdfire


icon FACT

The defendant Chike Obi was prosecuted on the charge that he "during the month of August 1960 at Lagos, distributed a pamphlet called "The People: Facts that you must know" containing a seditious publication to wit: "Down with the enemies of the people, the exploiters of the weak and oppressors of the poor! ... The days of those who have enriched themselves at the expense of the poor are numbered. The common man in Nigeria can to-day no longer be fooled by sweet talk at election time only to be exploited and treated like dirt after the booty of office has been shared among the politicians" which appear on pages 3 and 5 of the copy of the pamphlet..." The charge was found proved but no conviction has been recorded.

The question referred to this Court by the learned Chief Justice of the High Court of Lagos are therefore:
icon ISSUE(S)

(1) Whether the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to sedition as contained in sections 50 and 51 of the Criminal Code have been invalidated by the provision of section 1 and 24 of the Constitution of Nigeria as set out in the Second Schedule of the Nigeria (Constitution) Order in Council, 1960; and

(2) If the answer to (1) is in the negative, whether those provisions of the Criminal Code have been modifed by section 24 of the Constitution of Nigeria, and, if so, to what extent?
icon HOLDING & RATIO DECIDENDI

[APPEAL: ]

ISSUE 1 was not answered by the Federal Supreme Court.

ISSUE 2 was judged in favour of the Prosecution.

RATIO:
i. I am satisfied that in Nigeria the exceptions to section 50(2) of the Criminal Code (which I have already referred to in this Judgment) form enough protection to a charge of sedition and they offer enough freedom of expression to anybody in our democratic society. The section does not in my view prevent fair criticism of the Government and only prohibits publications made with the intention of exciting hatred and contempt, or disaffection against, inter alia, the Government. It is the duty of the court to decide the real intention of persons charged on the facts of each particular cases. It is however for a person charged to show that his defence comes within the exception. I would sum up by saying that the position to-day in Nigeria, in my view, is that the provision of the Constitution relating to Fundamental Human Rights has not in any way invalidated the Law of Sedition as contained in sections 50 and 51 of the Criminal Code insofar as these sections relate to the matters under consideration in this reference.
icon REFERENCED

Section 51 Criminal Code;
Section 50(2) Criminal Code;
icon SOME PROVISIONS

Provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1960:
Section 1. - This Constitution shall have the force of law throughout Nigeria and, subject to the provisions of section 4 of this Constitution, if any other law (including the Constitution of a Region) is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and the other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.
Section 24. - (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference; (2) Nothing in this section shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifable in a democratic society: (a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights, reputations and freedom of other persons, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of the courts or regulating telephony, wireless broadcasting, television or the exhibition of cinematograph flms; or (c) imposing restrictions upon persons holding offices under the Crown, members of the armed forces of the Crown or members of a police force.

In this connection, the true meaning of section 50(3) of the Criminal Code requires consideration. The section reads: (3) In determining whether the intention with which any act was done, any words were spoken, or any document was published, was or was not seditious, every person shall be deemed to intend the consequences which would naturally follow from his conduct at the time and under the circumstances in which he so conducted himself.
icon RELEVANT CASES

In considering the correct judicial approach, the Supreme Court of India said, in State of Madras v. Row (1952) section C.R. 597: "In evaluating such elusive factors and forming their own conception of what is reasonable in all the circumstances of a given cases, it is inevitable that the social philosophy and the scale of values of the judges participating in the decision should play an important part, and the limit to their interference with legislative Judgment can only be dictated by their sense of responsibility and self-restraint and the sobering reflection that the Constitution is meant not only for people of their own way of thinking but for all, and that the majority of the elected representatives of the people have, in authorising the imposition of the restrictions, considered them to be reasonable"
The member(s) and administrator(s) of HCB put in energy in order to provide the cases summary they do on this online platform. We desist from charging you a fee, and we have decided to keep this online platform free and accessible for as long as we deem fit. However, in order to keep alive the impetus that makes us provide these free services, kindly make a donation, if you can.
Bank: Zenith Bank.
Name: Branham Paul Chima.
Account No.: 2178756839.


icon NOTABLE DICTA

* PROCEDURAL

* SUBSTANTIVE

In my view the purpose of this subsection (50(3) CC) is to enable the prosecution to rely on the act or the words or the document itself without calling any extrinsic evidence to prove the intent, but the subsection cannot be construed so as to deprive a person of his right to show that his only intention is one of those set out in the exceptions to section 50(2) and for this purpose truth may be a relevant consideration. - Ademola, CJN. DPP v. Chike Obi (1961)

It is the duty of the court to decide the real intention of persons charged on the facts of each particular cases. - Ademola, CJN. DPP v. Chike Obi (1961)
The end of this brief.


If this brief was aidful to you, LIKE Hbriefs on Facebook and FOLLOW Hbriefs on Twitter to get frequent Legal updates from Hbriefs.
kind_emoji


place advert here




USE THE SEARCH BOX BELOW
If the search box is not available below, it is due to network issues; in that case, reload page or check back again.
The search feature works perfect! Although the search feature might not capture very recent uploaded cases; If you did not get a particular case, we recommend entering the Case Summary categories and use your browser search/find feature, or use the request feature below.


JUMP TO TOP


REQUEST A CASE SUMMARY





ABOUT



TERMS AND CONDITONS



ADVERTISE ON HBRIEFS



FOUNDER




Humongouz Empire
© 2018 - 2021

website developed by hzztudio