Q&A – 10 February 2020
Plastic surgery of sensitive part of body
I went overseas and got enhancement plastic surgery done of a very private and sensitive part of my body. The surgery was not successful and there is a problem with the placement and symmetry of the parts that were meant to look good. My question is when I sue the doctor and the hospital, will I have to show the judge these sensitive areas as I am unwilling to do so?
We are not sure which part of the body you are referring to but considering the sensitiveness and privacy issues that you have raised, there is a good chance you will need to get a doctor to examine you, and at the least, produce a medical report to support your claim. Without this evidence you might not be able to prove your case.
As for whether the Judge might want to look at the sensitive part, we doubt it as she/he is not an expert in medicine. We don’t expect you to have to show any parts in Court to prove your case; an expert report should normally do, although depending on the jurisdiction you sue in, there is a chance a witty defence counsel might want to be creative and force you to, but we doubt if this will be allowed. Your lawyer can guide you further.
Wedding bliss disappeared
I was deeply in love with a woman and we got married 9 years ago. Over the years the love spark that I had for her has disappeared. My wife, although still reasonably attractive, is a different person. How do I deal with this in law? What does the law say about this? I don’t mind her taking care of the kids and for me to support both them and her, but I want to live like a free bird again. Please guide me.
The main law that governs marriages is the Law of Marriage Act which does not contain the words spark or bliss as used above. Unfortunately, the law also does not address issues of love as such. You might need to meet a marriage counsellor or equivalent to guide you further.
As for living like a free bird, we are unsure what you are fantasizing but under marriage principles you owe full honesty to your wife. You cannot turn your wife into a maid, and start living a life of a bachelor. You can only do so if you divorce your wife, and with the reasons you have given us, we are not sure if you have good grounds for divorce.
Unexplained wealth and stolen property
My uncle is a businessman never having worked for the government. He was arrested and charged with the offence of possession of properties suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully acquired. He was told during his arrest that his wealth is incommensurate with his known sources of income. To my little understanding of the law, that offence is for public officials only who are required to account for their wealth. Can you please guide me on this?
The offence of possession of unexplained property and the offence of possession of property suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully acquired are two distinct offences created by two different legislations. The offence of possession of property suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully acquired is created by section 312(1)(b) of the Penal Code and it covers any person. The word unlawfully acquired as used under this section means acquired in circumstances which constitutes a criminal offence under any law or acquired as a proceed of crime. The prosecutor is required to prove not that the properties in possession or control of the accused are disproportionate to his past and present lawful income, but, that the circumstances for the acquisition of those properties raise a suspicion that the properties might have been stolen or unlawfully acquired. The prosecutor is required to prove the alleged circumstances for the acquisition of each property in order to establish the basis of his suspicion that the properties found in control or possession of the accused might have been stolen or unlawfully acquired.
The offence of possession of unexplained property is created by section 27(1)(b) of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act, 2007. Unlike section 312(1)(b) of the Penal Code which is applicable to any person, section 27(1)(b) of the PCCA is applicable to public officials only. If a public servant possesses or controls properties that are disproportionate to his past and present incomes, it raises a presumption that he might have acquired the properties corruptly or by other criminal conducts.
Whereas possession or control of properties that are incommensurate with the past or present lawful income of a public servant raises a presumption of corruption or other criminal conducts by a public official and constitute a crime under section 27(1)(b) of the PCCA, a mere fact that a private individual is in control or possession of properties that she/he cannot account for, does not, in itself constitute a crime of possession of property suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully acquired contrary to section 312(1)(b) of the Penal Code. You must note that section 312(1)(b) of the Penal Code requires more than a mere property audit or disproportionality of the wealth and lawful income of the accused. It requires proof of the circumstances for acquisition of the properties which raise suspicion of there being a criminality that generated the property.