BAIRAMIAN, J.S.C. (delivering the reasons for the ruling of the Court):- When this appeal came up on the 1st November, the respondent objected that it could not be heard on the ground that the Commissioner of Police has no right to appeal, or that he could not appeal without leave. What happened was this: the Magistrate convicted the respondent, but on appeal the High Court acquitted him; and the Commissioner of Police has appealed against the acquittal on grounds alleging error in law.
The question turns on the meaning of section 69 of the Magistrates' Courts Law, cap. 74 in the 1959 Laws of Western Nigeria, which provides that:-
"( 1) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the appeal court [viz the High Court] in a criminal case may appeal to the court of further Appeal [viz the Supreme Court of Nigeria] on a matter of law but not of fact or of sentence save with the leave of the court of further appeal."
(The other subsections are on procedure and powers).
The rival contentions are …