HC Deb 21 May 1912 vol 38 cc1737-8

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether Philip Coker, having been sentenced by the Court of Lagos in January, 1910, to a term of nine months' imprisonment, was released on petition, after investigation, on the 14th June, 1910, on the ground of wrongful conviction; and on what grounds the petition, signed by the three assessors who took part in his trial and eighty-four inhabitants of Lagos, praying for a free pardon for Philip Coker and the opportunity of reinstatement in the Government service, was rejected by the Secretary of State?

Colonel SEELY (for Mr. Harcourt)

My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. The power to grant pardon is conferred by Order in Council on the Governor or Acting Governor, and it is the practice not to interfere with his discretion. The petition referred to was considered by the Secretary of State, but as neither the Governor nor the Chief Justice was of opinion that any new facts had been brought to light which would justify the grant of a pardon, he decided that there were no sufficient grounds for intervention. It is not the case that the prisoner was released on the ground of wrongful conviction.