HC Deb 30 April 1889 vol 335 cc780-1

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Government was now in receipt of a Report by the Governor of the Gold Coast, on a petition from the jurymen at Accra, before whom Bella Cobinah and Napad Sebeh were tried last August on a charge of procuring the murder of Assistant Inspector Dalrymple at Tavieve; and, if so, what action has been taken thereon; whether the Governor has been called upon to explain the discrepancies between the indictment against those two men for alleged complicity in the murder of Mr. Dalrymple, and the Governor's statement, as reported in the Gold Coast Government Gazette, that they, and also a third prisoner, Akoto Mamlay, an old woman, had been tried, not only for the murder of Mr. Dalrymple last May, but also for certain other murders at an earlier date; and what reply, if any, has been made to the jurymen who, in the petition referred to, urge that the Governor's statements respecting the trial at which, with the concurrence of the Judge, they acquitted the two first named prisoners, is "not only incorrect, but also untrue and unjust and without foundation," and that they have been "greatly wronged by reason of their integrity as jurors having been unjustly impugned by his Excellency and the Legislative Council endeavouring to make scapegoats of them by imputing blame to them for the consequent result of an injudicious policy and the foolish blunders committed by some official or officials?"


In answer to the first and third paragraphs of my hon. Friend's question, I have to say that the Secretary of State is still awaiting the receipt of the petition through the Governor with his report thereon. The delay probably arises from the fact that he has only recently returned to head quarters from a prolonged tour of inspection. In answer to the second paragraph, it was intended to proceed against these men on both charges; but on their acquittal on the first indictment, the Prosecution decided not to proceed with the second.