Constitutional Litigation in Nigeria

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When a magistrate remands a suspect in custody on the basis of a "holding charge" it is often done without a fixed return date for the next hearing, allowing the case to be forgotten. Even where the magistrate does order a return date, the police often fail to produce the detained person on that date. Lack of reasons. A judge must give reasons when remanding an individual in custody, identifying the grounds upon which custody is ordered, such as fear of flight, interference with witnesses or evidence, prevention of further offenses, or the protection of public order.

A magistrate remanding an individual in custody on the basis of a holding charge does not give any reasons for denying provisional release, save to assert lack of trial jurisdiction. Special diligence. Human rights law requires the prosecution authorities to demonstrate that they have acted with "special diligence" in preparing the case, so as to keep pre-trial detention to a minimum.

However, the facts of this case suggest that police officers in Nigeria routinely arrest before investigation, which often takes years to complete. Sufficiency of evidence. Police officers routinely arrest without sufficient evidence to remand, which should amount to "reasonable grounds" or "grounded suspicion" needed to justify a remand in custody. The government of Nigeria submitted that Alade had failed to approach a national court to seek his release from custody, that he had failed to exhaust domestic remedies.

Fourth Instance. Nigeria argued that the court was improperly acting as an appellate court from the decision of the magistrate. The violation of human rights that arose from that order fell within the protocol and was thus a matter for the court. Burden of Proof. Right to Liberty.

For that reason, the said detention is hereby adjudged illegal and this Court holds that the plaintiff has satisfied the requirements of proof …that his human right was violated. The applicant is hereby discharged from detention accordingly. He is detained at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison. The extended pretrial detention of juveniles should be a seldom-used measure of last resort, not the sadly common practice it is today.

Police in Nigeria commit extrajudicial violence and extortion with relative impunity, according to this report by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria. But young lawyers posted at local police stations are now keeping more people out of unnecessary detention.

Litigation Alade v. Country Nigeria. Status Closed. Nearly a Decade in Pretrial Detention Police in Nigeria routinely charge suspects with a serious offense in order to have them detained, but make little or no effort to investigate or prosecute the case. Facts Sikiru Alade was born in Nigeria in Arguments Arbitrary detention. Findings Timeline All Documents. July 11, Section 10 1 e. CPL f. Any person whom he suspects upon reasonable grounds of committing an offence outside Nigeria which is punishable in the country. Section 10 1 f.

CPL g. Any person having in possession of any instrument of house breaking without lawful excuse.

Section 10 1 g. CPL h.

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Any person against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by a Court of competent Commented [M. I Ezeh46]: By virtue of Section 25 of the Police Act, a police officer can make arrest based on an jurisdiction in the State. Section 10 1 h. CPL already issued warrant without the warrant in possession.

Any person who has no ostensible means of subsistence and who cannot give a satisfactory account of himself. Section 10 1 i. CPL j. Any person found in the State taking precautions to conceal his presence in circumstances which afford reason to believe that he is taking such precautions with a view to committing a felony or a misdemeanour. Section 10 1 j. CPL k. Any person who has committed or is accused of committing a non-indictable offence, and who on demand refuses to give his name and residence or gives a name and residence which the officer reasonably believes to be false.

Any person reasonably suspected of designing to commit any offence if it appears that the commission of the offence cannot otherwise be prevented. CPL, Section 18 1 j.

Law of Nigeria

Any person whom any other person charges with having committed a felony or misdemeanour. Section 24 1 b. Any person required to appear by public summons. Section 18 1 k. ACJA o. Section 18 1 i. CPC, Section Where the arrest is without warrant but is made upon reasonable grounds, the police officer will not be in breach of any law. Jackson v. Omorokuna, COP v. Obolo, IGP v. A police officer can only exercise the power of arrest without warrant within his state command.

For Example, Section 10 3. Therefore, an officer from Benue If no offence was actually committed, and although an offence was committed, the arrested can validly effect an arrest without warrant in Abuja. Has the limitation on Police made upon reasonable grounds. Wiltshire v.

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Where a policeman detains a suspect in Officers by Section 10 3. CPL been effectively abrogated? Can an officer of the police force effect an arrest without order to confirm his alibi or to investigate the case further, he would not be liable for false warrant anywhere? This is in view of the fact that the Police Force is a Federal Agency. Dallison v. However, in practice magistrates and Judges in Northern States also exercise powers of arrest without warrant. A Magistrate or Judge may also arrest or order the arrest of an offender in his presence if upon a complaint on oath by another person he would have issued a warrant for arrest of the offender if the facts known to him at the time of making or directing the arrest had been so stated in the Complaint.

Private Persons A private person may arrest the following persons without warrant: a. Any person who commits an indictable offence in his presence; or Commented [M. Any person whom he reasonably suspects of having committed a felony. See Nweke vs. State c. Any person who commits a misdemeanour by night.


A property owner can arrest any person found committing an offence injurious to property e. Any person he finds damaging public property.

ACJL, Section 20 - ACJA Section CPCL stipulates additional circumstances under which an arrest may be made by a private person: f. Any person who has escaped from his lawful custody h. Any person required to appear by public summons published under Section Any person who commits an offence for which the Police are entitled to arrest without a warrant.

ACJA j. Nweke v.

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