Bail and the Powers criminal Court in Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.0.0: Introduction
When a suspect is described as having right, he is acknowledged to be entitled to something to which he has just claim under the law. By virtue of man’s creation, he has certain rights which are common to those of all other men. Most of the fundamental rights are in a sense natural right vested in every individual and to which he is entitled without any obligation or duty on the part of the government to provide facilities for their enjoyment.
Moreover, all fundamental rights are in the final analysis rights, which impose limitations on executive, legislative or judicial powers of the government and are accordingly easily justifiable. Fundamental Human Right entails universal humanity which men enjoys and shares with his fellow men whether he is a suspect or a freeman. This in its totality has informed the writing of this project.
1.1.0: Background to the Study
Based on the adoption of universal declaration of Human Rights and the incorporation of fundamental human rights in our constitution, basic fundamental human rights have been created and which should be respected by all men in the Nigeria society. Unfortunately however, many people in our society face untold hardship day in day out because they are denied their basic rights, which normally the Constitution of Nigeria would enforce even though they are suspects but because they are unaware of these rights they rarely or never claim them. However, those who are saddled with these responsibilities fail to do their work properly. In this respect, this project will discuss some of the rights and the major rights of the suspects and how it could be known, respected and enforced properly by those concerned.
1.2.0: Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study is to find out the various abuses committed by judicial authorities and the police against an accused whose case is yet pending or yet to be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Taking reference from events that lead to the inception of bail and how some defaults by King Charles (I) was check mated in England, the researcher wants to examine cases of violation of human rights in the process of bail grant or refusal as well as make recommendations considering the many evils that have been done to persons accused of committing offence not minding the presumption of innocence accorded them by our statutes.
This study would therefore, identify the bail procedures and constitutional protection of human rights in Nigeria in relation to personal liberty. This is so because, the researcher has observed some lopsided practices in the bail process amounting to violation of human rights; inhuman treatment, and undue procedural delay in the judiciary arm of government. All these seem to counter the provision of Section 134 of the Evidence Act, and S. 35 (Ic) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended4) which provides that personal liberty shall never be deprived safe ‘… in accordance with the provision of the law’ for the purpose of bringing an accused before a court at the order of the court upon reasonable suspicion of having committed a criminal offence or to such extent as may be necessary to prevent his committing a criminal offence. Even though there is a universal declaration of Fundamental Human Rights and Chapter IV of the Nigerian constitution in Fundamental Human Rights, the practicality has not been perfect because of the prevailing situation of unlawful treatment of suspects in the country.
It is unlawful to treat suspect any how simply because they are being regarded as suspects. This clearly shows that the judiciary is aware of the right of an accused person and that it is sacrosanct and cannot be taken away unlawfully in this country. The violations of these rights have been so rampant in Nigeria.
1.3.0: Objective of the Study
i. To study the relevance of the rule of law as a vital instrument for the protection and enjoyment of Fundamental Human Right and right to bail by the people most especially an accused person, who is the main centre of this work.
ii. To know the principle of the rule of law, through which the rights of the accused to bail can be respected and recognized by everyone.
iii. To enable the people know the best way to seek redress in the court of law whenever their rights are being infringed upon.
1.4.0: Purpose of the Study
Ignorance as we all know is a disease, and has been earlier said, Nigerians generally are not well abreast of their legal rights even though it has been boldly written and spelt out in the Constitution of the country. But because every disease has a cure, the cure for the lack of awareness of these rights is the major purpose of this work particularly the right of an accused as stipulated in section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Which are: Right to silence, Right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, Right to an interpreter, Right to informed properly the nature and detail of the charge among others
1.5.0: Methodology
This study will be in doctrinal legal research methodology according to Barr. Faga and Barr. Nwode (2015) Legal Research Class Mimeograph, doctrinal legal statutory provisions is the application of power of reasoning. It also uses interpretative methods to examine cases, statutes and other sources of law in an attempt to seek out, discover, construct, or reconstruct rules and principles. It then systematizes and employs them to conduct descriptive analysis and normative evaluation of the process of decision-making”.
While Banakar and Travers were of the view that the process of doctrinal methodology in legal research alnown as “Black-letter Method” involves the following;
Organization of the study or research around legal propositions;
Use of court reports and other conventional legal materials as principal sources of data readily accessible in a law library;
Drawing conclusion from these legal materials.
In the light of the above, the researcher has noted that there are two types of doctrinal methodology in legal research. They are (1) the analytical doctrinal methodology (2) Comparative Doctrinal Methodology.
In this study, the analytical doctrinal methodology shall be employed to give a detailed report on this topic. Analytical doctrinal methodology aims primarily at an exploration of what is the existing law. It involves an analysis of a specific legal problem, such as a specific provision of the statute or code or a specific case or line of cases. But in order to achieve originality, there has to be more than a mere summary of the statutory provisions or the line of cases. Rather, a new solution to the particular legal problem, a new way to interpret a particular statutory provision or court decision or a new way to evaluate a particular legal rule is to be adopted.
On the other hand, comparative doctrinal methodology seeks to use comparative method, comparing norms across different legal system or different jurisdiction within the same legal system or even comparing legal norms with norms in other disciplines for better understanding of one’s own legal system by contrasting comparative system. In addition, it searches for a unified law, test legal theory; seek to understand the forces that cause change in legal systems and societies or to make normative claims which may lead to law reform proposals.
This goes to show that comparative legal research methodology assumes that there is a certain degree of “transferability” of legal norms from one country’s legal system/legal culture/time period/jurisdiction to another.
1.6.0: Definition Of Terms
BAIL: can be defined as the process through which an accused person who is arrested on the allegation of committing an offence is released by a constituted authority upon the provision of adequate security guaranteeing that the accused person would report at the police station or in court for his trail whenever his presence is required.
ACCUSED: One charged with an offence
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM: The other party must be heard
LEGAL AID: Free or inexpensive legal services provided to those who cannot afford to pay full price. Legal Aid is usually administered locally by a specially established organization
NEMO DEBET ESSE JUDEX IN PROPRIA CAUSA: No one can be a judge in his own case
PRO BONO: Being or involving uncompensated legal services especially for the public good
PUBLIC DEFENDER: A lawyer or staff of lawyers, usually publicly appointed and paid, whose duty is to represent indigent criminal defendants
SUSPECT: A person believed to have committed a crime or offence. To consider wrong doing without certain truth
UBI JUS IBI REMEDIUM: Where there is a right there is a remedy

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