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The company had been required to make a return for revenue purposes (purchase tax) and the statute made it an offence to make a false return with intent to deceive. The company was charged with such, but responded that the action was of employees .

Held: The mens rea of the servant authorised to discharge the duty to make the return should be attributed to the company. The Court focused on the question whether the officers were acting within the scope of their authority and concluded that they were, notwithstanding that the purpose of the dishonest purchase tax returns was to conceal the defendant’s own theft from the company.

Viscount Caldecott LCJ described the officers as important officials of the company
Humphreys J said that it was difficult to imagine two persons whose acts would ‘more effectively bind the company’ and who could be said to be more obviously agents of the company.

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See also  Summary of Ofodile v. Chinwuba case

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