This Act provides for the administration of criminal justice system which promotes efficient management of criminal justice institutions. speedy dispensation of justice, protection of  the society from crimes and protection of the rights and interest of the suspect, the defendant and victims in Nigeria.




  1. Purpose.
  2. Application.



  1. Arrest generally.
  2. Mode of arrest.
  3. No unnecessary restraint.
  4. Notification of cause of arrest and rights of suspect.
  5. Arrest in lieu prohibited.
  6. Humane treatment of arrested suspect.
  7. Search of arrested suspect.
  8. Inventory of property of arrested suspect.
  9. Examination of arrested suspect.
  10. Search of place entered by suspect sought to be arrested.
  11. Power to break out of a house or place for purpose of liberation.
  12. Arrested suspect to be taken immediately to police station.
  13. Recording of arrests.
  14. Central Criminal Records Registry.
  15. Recording of statement of suspects.
  16. Arrest by police officer without warrant.
  17. Refusal to give name and residence.
  18. Arrest by private persons.
  19. Arrest by owner of property.
  1. Arrest of suspect doing damage to public property.
  2. Handing over of an arrested suspect by private person.
  3. Offence committed in presence of Judge or Magistrate.
  4. Arrest by Magistrate.
  5. Arrest for offence committed in presence of Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace.
  6. When public is bound to assist in arrest.
  7. Pursuit of suspect into other jurisdictions.
  8. Quarterly report of arrests to the Attorney-General.
  9. Release on bail of a suspect arrested without warrant.
  10. Power to release on bail before charge is accepted.
  11. Remedy of suspect detained in custody.
  12. Police to report to supervising Magistrates.
  13. Chief Magistrate to visit police stations every month.



  1. General authority to issue warrant.
  2. Form and requisites of warrant of arrest.
  3. Warrant to be issued on complaint only if on oath.
  4. Warrant may be issued on any day.
  5. Warrant, to whom directed and duration.
  6. Warrant of arrest may in exceptional cases be directed to other persons.
  7. Public summons for person absconding.
  8. Publication of public summons.
  9. Execution of warrant and procedure.
  10. Power to arrest on warrant but without-the warrant.
  11. Court may direct particulars of security to be taken  on execution  of warrant.
  12. Procedure on arrest of suspect outside division or district of court issuing warrant.
  13. Warrant issued by the Federal High Court.
  14. Re-arrest of suspect escaping.
  15. Provisions of sections 12 and  13 to apply to arrests under  section  48.



  1. Police to prevent offences  and injury to public  property.
  2. Information of design to commit offence.
  3. Arrest by police to prevent offences.
  4. Prevention by other public  officers of offences  and injury to public property.
  5. Power of Magistrate to require execution  of recognizance for keeping peace
  6. Security for good behaviour for suspected persons.
  7. Security for good behaviour for habitual offenders.
  8. Order to be made.
  9. Procedure in respect  of suspect present  in court.
  10. Summons or warrant in case of suspect not present.
  11. Copy of order under section 59 to accompany summons or warrant.
  12. Power to dispense with personal attendance.
  13. Inquiry as to truth of information.
  14. Order to give security.
  15. Discharge of suspect informed against.



  1. Commencement of period for which security is required.
  2. Conditions of recognizance.
  3. Power to reject sureties.
  4. Procedure on failure of suspect  to  give  security.
  5. Power to release suspect  imprisoned  for failure  to give security.
  6. Power of High Court to cancel recognizance.
  7. Discharge of sureties.



  1. Conditional order for removal  of nuisance.
  2. Service of order.
  3. Suspect to whom order is addressed to obey or appear  before  court.
  4. Consequences of failure to obey order or to appear.
  5. Procedure where suspect appears.
  6. Consequences of disobedience to order made absolute.
  7. Order pending inquiry.
  8. Prohibition of repetition or continuance of nuisance.



  1. Attachment of property of suspect absconding.
  2. Order to attach property.
  3. Restoration of attached  property.
  4. Issue of warrant in lieu of or in  addition to summons.
  5. Power to take bond for appearance.
  6. Provisions of this Part generally applicable to summons and warrant.



  1. Application of Part  8.
  2. General authority to bring suspect before a court.
  3. Right of making complaint.
  4. Form of complaint.

90     Form of documents  in criminal proceedings.

  1. Rule as to statement of exception.
  2. Limitation of period for making a private  complaint.



  1. Venue generally.
  2. Offence at sea or outside of Nigeria.
  3. Offence committed on a journey.
  4. Offence commenced and completed in different States.
  5. Chief Judge to decide question as to court of inquiry or place  of trial.
  6. Chief Judge may transfer a case.
  7. When cases may be remitted to another court.
  8. Removal under warrant.
  9. Transfer of case where cause of complaint has arisen out of jurisdiction of court.
  10. Court may assume jurisdiction under certain conditions.
  11. Assumption of jurisdiction after commencement of proceedings.



  1. Information by the Attorney-General.
  2. Issuance of legal advice  and other directives to police.
  3. Prosecution of offences.



  1. Discontinuance of criminal cases.
  2. Withdrawals from prosecution in trials  and inquiries  before a court.



  1. Different methods of instituting criminal proceedings.
  2. Mode of instituting criminal proceedings  in  a Magistrate court.
  3. Returns by Comptroller-General of Prisons.



  1. Procedure for receiving complaint  and first information report.



  1. Compelling appearance of a suspect.
  2. Summons and wan-ants.
  3. Making of complaint and issue of process.



  1. Issue and service
  2. Issue of summons and contents.
  3. Hearing by consent before return date of summons.
  4. Summons with immediate return date in special  circumstances.
  5. Discretion in ex parte application.
  6. Summons to be in duplicate.
  7. Service of summons.
  8. Normal methods of effecting service,
  9. Service where person summoned cannot be found.
  10. Service on public  officers.
  11. Service outside jurisdiction of court.
  12. Proof of service when serving officer not present .
  13. Receipt of service of summons.
  14. Person refusing to sign receip1 may be arrested.
  15. Proof of service.
  16. Summons disobeyed, warrant may be issued.
  17. Issue of warrant for suspect in the first instance.
  18. Application of sections 35 to 4 7 to such warrant.
  19. Warrant may be issued before or after return date of summons.
  20. Power to dispense with personal attendance of defendant in certain cases.



  1. Irregularity in summons, warrant, service, or arrest.
  2. Irregularities which vitiate proceedings.
  3. Variance between charge and complaint.
  4. Process valid notwithstanding death or vacation of office of person issuing.



  1. Validity of process: warrant of commitment and warrant of distress.
  2. General addressee of process for issue and execution.
  3. Certain provisions applicable to all summonses and warrants  in  criminal  matters.



  1. Application for search warrant
  2. Cases in which search warrants may be issued.
  3. Discharge of suspected person.
  4. Search warrant to be signed by Magistrate or Justice  of the Peace.
  5. Search warrant to whom directed.
  6. Time when search warrant may be issued and executed.
  7. Person in charge of closed place to allow access.
  8. Occupant of place searched may attend.
  9. Execution of search warrant outside jurisdiction.
  10. Magistrate may direct search in his presence.
  11. Detention of articles recovered.
  12. Perishable articles may be disposed of by court.
  13. Search for and disposal of gunpowder.
  14. Disposal of counterfeit currency and certain other thing.
  15. Transmission to court of other State.



  1. General entitlement to bail.
  2. Power of court to order person in custody to be brought  before it.
  3. Recognizance by parent or guardian of a child.
  4. Bail where a suspect  is charged  with  capital offence.
  5. Bail where a defendant is charged with offence  exceeding three  years  imprisonment.                                              l
  6. Bail where a defendant is charged with offence not  exceeding three  years  imprisonment.
  7. Bail in respect of matters  in other offences.
  8. Conditions for bail.
  9. Recognizance in respect of a child.
  10. Sureties.
  11. Judge may vary bail fixed by Magistrate or police.
  12. Reconsideration of bail.
  13. Before whom recognizance may be executed.
  14. Release on execution of recognizance.
  15. Mode of entering into recognizance.
  16. Continuous bail.
  17. Defendant bound by recognizance to appear before  a court  or police  may  be  committed to prison.
  18. Reconsideration of amount  of bail on application  by law  officer  or police.
  19. Variation of a recognizance if surety unsuitable.
  20. Discharge of sureties.
  21. Order of fresh security upon original  order.
  22. Forfeiture of recognizance.
  23. Mitigation of forfeiture.
  24. Where defendant fails to find surety.
  25. Forfeiture on conviction.
  26. Where recognizance forfeited warrant  may be issued.
  27. Arrest on failure to appear.
  28. Payment on recognizance.
  29. Appeal.
  30. Registration of bondsperson.
  31. Bondspersons may arrest absconding defendant or suspect.



  1. Methods of stating multiple ownership of property.
  2. Description of persons in criminal  process.
  3. Remedies of married woman  against  her  husband  and  others  in  respect   of  her  person   or property.
  4. Husband and wife competent as witnesses.



  1. Forms of charges in Second Schedule to be used and adapted.
  2. Offence to be stated in charge.
  3. Legal presumption of charge.
  4. Particulars in charge.
  5. Charge of criminal breach of trust.
  6. Charge of criminal falsification of accounts.
  7. Charge may contain the manner in which the offence was committed.
  8. Sense of words used in charge.
  9. Description of property and joint owners.
  10. Description of bank or currency notes.
  11. Provision as to statutory offences.
  12. Description of persons.
  13. Description of document.
  14. General rule as to description.
  15. Statement of intent.
  16. Defendants who may be charged jointly.
  17. Separate charges for distinct offences.
  18. Attempt same as substantive offences.
  19. Trial for more than one offence.
  20. Offences falling within two definitions.
  21. Acts constituting one offence but constituting a different offence when  combined.
  22. Where it is doubtful which offence has been committed.
  23. Incidental offences in the same transaction.



  1. Alteration and amendment of charge by permission of court.
  2. Procedure on alteration of charge.
  3. When court may proceed with trial  immediately after altering,  adding to  or framing charge.
  4. Recall of witnesses when charge is revised.
  5. Effect of error.
  6. Objection to a charge.
  7. Effect of material error.



  1. Where defendant charged with one offence may be convicted of another.
  2. Full offence charged, attempt proved.
  3. Attempt charged, full offence proved.
  4. Liability as to further prosecution.
  5. On charge of an offence  conviction  as accessory after the  fact to that  or connected  offence may follow.
  6. Defendant tried for lesser offence but a higher offence is proved.
  7. Conviction of kindred offences relating to property.
  8. Defendant charged with burglary may be convicted of kindred offence.
  9. On charge of rape conviction  under  defilement, incest,  unnatural or  indecent  assault may follow.
  10. Procedure for trial on charge for certain  offences.
  11. On charge of defilement conviction of indecent  assault  may  follow.
  12. Where murder or infanticide is  charged  and concealment of birth is proved
  13. Where murder is charged and infanticide is proved.
  14. Where offence proved  is not included  in  offence  charged.
  15. Withdrawal of remaining charges  on conviction or, one  of several  charges.



  1. Defendant convicted or acquitted  not to be tried  again for same  or kindred offence.
  2. A defendant may be tried again on separate  charge  in certain  cases
  3. Consequences supervening or not known  at previous trial.



  1. Issue of summons for witness.
  2. Service of summons and other processes on witnesses
  3. Warrant for witness after summons.
  4. Issue of warrant for witness.
  5. Mode of dealing with witness arrested under  warrant.
  6. Penalty on witnesses refusing to attend.
  7. Non-attendance of witness on adjourned hearing.
  8. Persons in court may be required to give evidence though  summoned.
  9. Manner of taking oath or affirmation.
  10. Witness refusing to be sworn, or produce  documents.



  1. Expenses of witnesses for the prosecution.

252   Expenses of witnesses  for the defence.

253   Adjournment may be granted subject to witnesses’  costs.

254   Ascertainment of witnesses’  expenses.



255   Application of the Evidence  Act.

256   Power to call or recall witnesses.

257   Certificates of certain government technical  officers.

258   Right of reply.

259   Public to have access to hearing.

260   Court may exclude certain persons  while taking  evidence  of a child or young  person.

261   Order under section 259 or 260 not to apply to press and certain others.

262   Prohibition on children being present  in court during the trial  of other persons.

263   Visit by court to locus.

264   Determination  of age.

265   Age in relation to offences.

266   Presence of defendant at trial.

267   Conduct of cases by legal practitioner for complainant or for defendant.

268   General control of prosecution by the Attorney-General.

269   Position in court of person  summoned.



270   Plea bargain guidelines.

271   Plea to information or charge.

272   Proof of previous conviction.

  1. Effect of plea of not guilty.
  2. Effect of plea of guilty.
  3. Amending charge where defendant pleads  guilty to offence not charged.
  4. Failure to plead due to malice or otherwise.
  5. Pleas: autrefois acquit or convict, pardon.



  1. Procedure when defendant  is suspected  to be of unsound  min
  2. Report from medical officer.
  3. Certificate of medical officer.       -.
  4. Release of defendant of unsound  mind pending  investigation  or trial.
  5. Resumption of proceedings  or trial.
  6. Resumption of proceedings  after release  under  section 281.
  7. Where defendant appears to have been of unsound mind.
  8. Safe custody of defendant discharged.
  9. Order of the Attorney-General in pursuance to section  285.
  10. Observation of prisoners  of unsound  mind.               .
  11. Procedure when defendant  of unsound  mind is reported  to be able to make his defence.
  12. Procedure where defendant of unsound  mind  is reported fit for discharge.
  13. Transfer from one place of custody to another.
  14. Delivery of defendant of unsound  mind to care of relative.
  15. Removal to another State.



  1. Applications for remand  or other interlocutory proceedings.
  2. A court may remand in prison custody.
  3. Court may grant bail in remand proceedings.
  4. Time and protocol for remand  orders.
  5. When court may exercise power of remand.
  6. Court may bring up person remanded or make  any order during remand.
  7. Place of remand.



  1. Presentation of case for prosecution.
  2. Defendant’s case.
  3. No case submission at the instance of the court.
  4. No case submission by the defence and replies.
  5. Defence and prosecutor’s right of reply,
  6. Reference to the Court of Appeal.
  7. Stay of proceedings.
  8. Consideration of case by court and announcement of finding.
  9. Judgment to be in writing.
  10. Defendant to be discharged where found not  guilty.
  11. Procedure on finding  of guilty.
  12. Sentence and sentencing hearing.
  13. Recommendation for mercy.
  14. Conviction on other charges pending.
  15. Compensation to victim in judgment.
  16. Delivery of judgment when Judge or Magistrate is  unavoidably absent.
  17. Warrant of commitment.
  18. Authority for carrying  out sentence  other than  of death.
  19. Error or omission not to affect legality of act.



  1. Power of court to order payment  of expenses  or compensation
  2. Payment to be taken  into consideration in subsequent civil  suit.
  3. Power of court to order restitution.
  4. Cost against private prosecutor.
  5. Compensation in cases of false and vexatious accusation .
  6. Injured person  may  refuse  to  accept  compensation,  but payment  of  compensation  is bar  to further  liability.
  7. Monies paid as compensation, recoverable as fines .
  8. Warrant for levy of fine.
  9. Powers of court when  convict is sentenced  to only fine.
  10. Wrongful conversion or detention of property and award  of damages.



  1. Meaning of “property”.
  2. Order for custody and disposal  of property pending trial
  3. Order for disposal of property  after trial.
  4. Custody or sale of property .



  1. Seizure of things  intended to be used in  commission of crime.
  2. Destruction of seditious, prohibited or obscene publications and  of obscene  objects.
  3. Search warrant may be used to search for things  subject  to section  333  or 334.
  4. Restoration of possession of immovable property.
  5. Procedure on seizure of property taken during  arrest  or investigation  or stolen
  6. Procedure where owner  of property  seized  is  unknown.
  7. Power to sell perishable property.
  8. Payment to innocent person of money found on defendant .
  9. Restitution and disposition of property found on defendant.
  10. Restitution of stolen property .
  11. Destruction of articles relating to counterfeiting where charge  is laid.

344   Destruction of articles relating to counterfeiting where no charge  is laid.

  1. Detention and destruction  of counterfeit currency,  etc.
  2. Mode of dealing with forfeiture not pecuniary.



  1. Summary procedure in perjury.



  1. Trials.
  2. Non-appearance and non-representation of legal practitioner.
  3. When summary trials shall be held.
  4. Non-appearance of complainant.
  5. Non-appearance of defendant.
  6. Non-appearance of both parties.
  7. Appearance of both parties.
  8. Withdrawal of complaint.
  9. Manner of hearing.
  10. Discharge of defendant when no case to answer.
  11. Defence.
  12. Process for compelling  production  of evidence  at instance  of defendant.
  13. Saving as to section 358 (a).
  14. Evidence in reply.
  15. Power to take deposition in certain cases.
  16. When statement may be used in evidence.
  17. Notes of evidence to be recorded electronically  or in writing.
  18. Local inspection.
  19. Cross complaints.
  20. Joinder  of complaints.
  21. Giving of decision upon conclusion  of hearing.
  22. Power to bind parties to be of good behavior.
  23. Effect of judgment  of dismissal  on merits, not on merits  and without prejudice.
  24. Summary trial of child by Magistrate.
  25. Power to remand.
  26. Law officer may require case to be adjourned or dealt with specially.
  27. Adjournment for law officer’s decision.
  28. Security for peace in cases tried summarily.
  29. Case files, legal advice, and related proceedings.



  1. Form of information
  2. Contents of information.
  3. Contents of information, proof of evidence,  etc.
  4. Application of rules relating  to charges.
  5. Filing of information,
  6. Assignment of information and issuance of notice of trial.
  7. Information by private person.
  8. Conditions for private prosecutors.
  9. Venue.
  10. Change of venue.
  11. Effect-of change of venue.
  12. Form of notice  of trial.
  13. Copy of information and notice of trial  to be delivered  to Sheriff.
  14. Time and mode of summoning  parties on information.
  15. Service of notice of trial  on witnesses.
  16. Registered courier companies  may serve processes.
  17. Return of service.
  18. Warrant where defendant does not appear.
  19. Law officer or legal practitioner  for State and defence  in capital cases.
  20. Time for raising certain  objections, day-to-day trial  and adjournments.
  21. Attendance of witness bound by recognizance to attend.
  22. Warrant for arrest of witness not attending on recognizance.
  23. Warrant for arrest of witness disobeying summons,
  24. Fine for non-attendance of witness.



  1. Construction of provisions relating to punishments.
  2. Death.
  3. How death sentence is to be carried out.
  4. Sentencing in the case of pregnancy.
  5. Sentencing in the case of a child offender.
  6. Authority for detention of convict.
  7. Judge’s certificate  of  death  sentence  to  be  sufficient  and  full  authority for  execution of convict, unless  be is pardoned  or reprieved.
  8. Steps to be taken by the Registrar.
  9. Convict may send request  to committee  on prerogative of mercy.
  10. State at which President is to consider report.
  11. Where a pardon or reprieve  is  granted.
  12. Copy of order to be sent to Judge.
  13. Where pardon or reprieve  is not granted.
  14. Copy of order to be sent to prison official.



  1. Procedure where woman   convicted  of  capital  offence  is  alleged  to  be  pregnant  or  who becomes  pregnant.



  1. Court to determine term of imprisonment.
  2. Power to order detention for one day in precincts of the  court.
  3. Consecutive sentence of imprisonment.
  4. Date from which sentence commences.
  5. Default in payment of fine.
  6. Execution of sentence on escaped convict
  7. Fine in default of imprisonment
  8. General provision on review  of sums of amount.
  9. General power  of awarding  imprisonment in  default  of payment of penalty.
  10. Scale of imprisonment for non-payment  of money  ordered  to be paid.
  11. Limitation of imprisonment in  default of payment of fine.
  12. Payment and allocation of fines and fees.
  13. Power to commit defendant in certain cases.
  14. Allowance of further time and payment by instalments.
  15. Payment of penalty to person executing warrant.
  16. Commencement of imprisonment pursuant  to a warrant.
  17. Varying or discharging order for sureties.
  18. Right of person  imprisoned  in  default to  be  released  on  paying sum  and  effect  of  part payment.
  19. Fines may be ordered to be recoverable by distress.
  20. Warrant of distress.

436   Procedure on the execution of distress warrant.

  1. Part payment to reduce period of imprisonment in proportion.



  1. Conditions attached  to  detention  in  a safe  custody  or  suitable  place other  than  prison   or mental asylum



  1. Meaning of “deport”
  2. Court may  recommend   deportation   for  offences   punishable  by   imprisonment   without option.
  3. Deportation in default of security for the peace.
  4. Deportation in case of dangerous  conduct.
  5. Procedure prior to court recommending deportation under sections 441 and 442.
  6. Procedure for recommendation of deportation  under sections 441, 442 and 443.
  7. Detention of person  concerned.
  8. Order of deportation.
  9. Minister of Interior may withhold Order and remit case to court.
  10. Citizens of Nigeria not be deported.
  11. Provisions as to. sentence of deportation.
  12. Deportation order may be limited.

451   Execution  of deportation  order.



  1. Procedure for trying child offenders.



  1. Meaning of probation  order.
  2. Conditional release  of  defendant and payment   of  compensation  for  loss  or  injury   and  of costs.
  3. Probation orders and conditions of recognizance.
  4. Relieving probation officer  of his duties.
  5. Duties of probation officers.
  6. Variation of terms and conditions of probation.
  7. Provisions in case of convict  failing to observe  conditions  of release.
  8. Suspended sentence and community service.
  9. Arrangements for community service.
  10. Performance of community service order.
  11. Default of convict in complying with community service order.
  12. Commission of further  offence.
  13. Amendment, review and discharge  of community  service orders.
  14. Discharge of community  service  orders.
  15. Confinement in rehabilitation and correctional centre.



468   Court may direct release of prisoner before completion of sentence.



  1. Establishment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee.
  2. Functions of the Committee.
  3. Secretariat of the Committee.
  4. Fund of the Committee.
  5. Annual estimates and accounts.
  6. Annual report.
  7. Power to obtain information.
  8. Proceedings and quorum of the Committee.



  1. Interpretation under this Part.
  2. Plea by corporation.
  3. Information against a corporation.
  4. Joinder of counts in same information.
  5. Power of representative.
  6. Matters to be read, said or explained to representative.
  7. Non-appearance of representative.
  8. Saving under this Part and joint charge against corporation and individual.



  1. Appeals from magistrate courts.



  1. Payment of fees.
  2. Suspension of payment of fees.
  3. State not required to pay fees.
  4. Use of forms in Schedules.
  5. Power to make rules of Court.
  6. Non-compliance.
  7. Saving as to other forms and procedure.
  8. Repeals.
  9. Interpretation.
  10. Citation.




An  Act   to  provide   for  the  administration   of  criminal justice  in  the  courts   of  the  Federal  Capital Territory and other federal courts in Nigeria;  and  for related matters.




ENACTED  by the National Assembly  of the Federal Republic  of Nigeria:





  1. (1) The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the  system  of administration of criminal justice  in Nigeria promotes  efficient management of criminal  justice institutions, speedy  dispensation  of justice, protection  of the society  from crime and  protection of the rights and interests of the suspect,  the defendant,  and the victim.


(2)    The courts, law enforcement agencies  and other authorities  or persons  involved in criminal justice  administration  shall  ensure  compliance  with the provisions of this Act for the realisation of its purposes.



2.(1) Without prejudice  to section  86  of this  Act,  the provisions  of this Act  shall  apply to criminal  trials for offences  established  by  an Act of the National  Assembly and other offences punishable in the Federal  Capital  Territory,  Abuja.


(2)    The provisions  of this Act shall not apply to a Court Martial.



Arrest  generally.

  1. A suspect or defendant  alleged or charged  with  committing an offence  established  by an Act of the National  Assembly  shall  be arrested,  investigated,  inquired  into,  tried  or dealt  with according  to the provisions  of this  Act,  except  otherwise  provided under this Act.


Mode of arrest.

  1. In making an arrest, the police officer or other persons  making  the arrest  shall  actually  touch or confine the body of the suspect,  unless  there  is  a submission  to the  custody by word or action.


No unnecessary restraint

  1. A suspect or  defendant  may not be handcuffed,    bound  or be  subjected  to  restraint except:

(a)    there is reasonable  apprehension of violence  or an attempt to escape;

(b)    the  restraint is  considered  necessary  for  the  safety  of the  suspect   or  defendant;  or

(c)    by order of a court.

Notification of cause of arrest and rights of suspect

  1. (1) Except when the suspect is in the actual  course  of the commission of an offence  or is pursued  immediately  after  the  commission  of an  offence  or has  escaped   from lawful  custody,  the  police  officer  or other  persons making  the  arrest  shall  inform the suspect immediately of the reason for the arrest.


(2)    The police  officer or the person  making the arrest  or the police  officer in  charge  of a police station shall inform the suspect of his rights to:

(a)    remain  silent or avoid  answering any  question  until after  consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice;

(b)    consult  a legal practitioner of his  choice  before  making,  endorsing or writing any statement  or answering  any  question put to him  after arrest; and

(c)    free  legal  representation  by the  Legal  Aid  Council  of Nigeria where applicable:

Provided the  authority having  custody  of the  suspect shall  have the  responsibility of notifying  the  next of kin or relative  of the  suspect  of the  arrest  at  no  cost to  the suspect.


Arrest in lieu prohibited

  1. A person shall not be arrested  in place of a suspect.


Humane treatment of arrested suspect

  1. (1) A suspect shall:

(a)    be accorded humane  treatment.  having regard to his right  to the dignity of his person; and                        .

(b)    not  be  subjected  to any  form  of torture,  cruel,  inhuman  or degrading treatment.


(2)    A suspect shall not be arrested  merely  011  a civil  wrong  or breach of contract.


(3)    A  suspect  shall be brought before  the  court  as prescribed by this Act  or any  other written law  or otherwise released conditionally or unconditionally.


(4)    The arraignment  and trial  of a suspect  for a crime  shall  be, in accordance with the provisions  of this Act unless otherwise stated in this Act.

Search of arrested suspect

  1. (1) Where a suspect  is  arrested  by  a police   officer   or  a private  person,  the  officer making the arrest or to whom  the private  person  hands  over the suspect:

(a)   may   search  the   suspect,   using   such   force   as  may  be    reasonably necessary for the purpose:  and

(b)    shall  place  in  safe  custody  all  articles  other  than  necessary  wearing apparel  found on the suspect.


(2)    Where an arrested  suspect  is admitted  to bail and bail is furnished,  he shall  not, subject to  the provisions   of section  11  of this  Act,  be  searched   unless  there  are reasonable grounds for believing that he has on his person  any:

(a)    stolen article;

(b)    instrument of violence or poisonous   substance;

(c)    tools  connected  with  the kind  of offence  which  he is  alleged  to have committed;  or

(d)    other  articles  which may furnish  evidence  against him  in regard  to the offence,  which he is alleged to have committed.


(3)    Where it is necessary  to search a suspect, the search  shall  be made  decently and by a person of the same  sex unless the urgency  of the  situation  or the  interest of due administration  of justice makes it impracticable for the search to be carried  out by a person of the same sex.             .,


(4)    Notwithstanding the provisions of this  section,  a police  officer  or any other person making an arrest may in any case take from the suspect  any instrument of violence  :. or poisonous substance  which he has on his person.


Inventory of Arrested Suspect

10.(1)        A police  officer  making   an arrest  or to  whom  a private  person  hands   over  the suspect, shall immediately record information about the arrested suspect and an inventory of all items or property recovered  from the suspect


(2)    An inventory recorded  under subsection  (1)  of this section shall be duly  signed  by the police officer  and the  arrested  suspect,  but the failure  of the  arrested  suspect  10 sign the inventory  shall  not invalidate it.


(3)    The  arrested  suspect  his  legal  practitioner or such  other  person,  as  the  arrested suspect may direct,  shall be given a copy of the inventory.


(4)    Where any property  has been taken  under  this section  from  an arrested  suspect, a police  officer  may,  upon  request  by  either the  owner  of the  property   or  parties having   interest   in  the   property,   release   such   property    on   bond   pending  the arraignment  of the arrested suspect before a court.


(5)    Where a  police  officer refuses  to release  the property  to the  owner  or any person having  interest  in  the  property  under  subsection   (4)  of this  section,  the  police officer  shall make  a report  to the  court  of the fact  of the  property taken  from  the arrested suspect and the particulars of the property.


(6)    The court to which  a report is made  under subsection  (5) of this section,  may,  if it is of the opinion that the property  or any portion of it can be returned  in the interest of justice to the safe custody of the owner or person  having  interest  in the property, direct  that the  property  or  any  portion  of  it  be returned  to  the  owner  or  to  such person having interest in the property.


(7)    Where any property has been taken from a  suspect  under this  section,  and the suspect is not  charged  before  a court but is  released  on the ground  that there  is  no sufficient reason to believe that he has committed an offence,  any property  so taken from  the  suspect   shall   be  returned to  him,   provided   the  property   is  neither connected to nor a proceed of offence.


Examination of arrested suspect

  1. Where  a   suspect is in lawful custody on  a charge of committing an offence of such a nature  and alleged  to  have  been  committed  in  such  circumstances   that  there  are reasonable  grounds  for  believing  that  an  examination   of  his  person   will   afford evidence  as to the commission  of the offence,  a qualified medical  practitioner  or any certified professional with relevant skills, acting at the request of a police  officer, may make such  an examination  of the suspect  in   custody  as is reasonably   necessary   in order to ascertain the facts which may afford the evidence, and to use such force as is reasonably necessary for that purpose.


Search of a Place entered by Suspect sought to be arrested

12.(1)        Where a  person  or police  officer  acting under  a warrant  of arrest  or  otherwise having authority to arrest, has reason to believe that the suspect to be arrested has entered  into  or is  within  any house or  place,  the  person  residing   in  or being  in charge of the  house or place shall, on demand by the police officer or person  acting for the police  officer, allow him free access to the   house or place  and afford  all reasonable facilities  to  search  the   house or place  for the  suspect  sought  to  be arrested.


(2)    Where access to a  house or place cannot be obtained under subsection (1) of this section, the person or police officer may enter the  house or place  and search  it  for the  suspect  to  be arrested,  and in order to effect  an entrance  into  the   house  or place, may break  open any outer or inner door or window  of any house  or place. whether that of the suspect to  be arrested or of any other person  or otherwise effect entry into such house or place, ii’ after notification  of his authority and purpose,  and demand of admittance duly made, he cannot  obtain  admittance.


(3)    Where the  suspect to  be arrested enters a  house or place in the actual  occupancy of another person  being  a woman who by custom  or religious  practice  does  not appear in public, the person making the arrest shall:

(a)    before entering the  house or place,  give notice to the woman  that  she is at liberty to withdraw;  and

(b)    afford  her every reasonable opportunity  and facility  for withdrawing, and may  then  enter. the   house or place,  but the  notice  shall  not  be necessary where the person making the  arrest is a woman.


Power to break out of a house or place for the purpose of liberation

  1. A police officer or any other person authorised to make an arrest may break  out  of a house or place in  order to liberate himself or any other person who,  having  lawfully entered for the purpose  of making an arrest. is detained  in the house or place.

Arrested suspect to be taken immediately to a police station

14 (1)        A   suspect  who  is  arrested,  whether with or  without  a warrant,  shall  be  taken immediately to  a police  station,  or other place  for the   reception  of suspect,  and shall  be  promptly  informed  of  the  allegation   against  him   in  the  language  he understands.


(2)    A  person  who  has  the  custody   of an  arrested   suspect   shall   give  the  suspect reasonable facilities for  obtaining legal  advice,  access to communication  for taking steps to furnish bail, and otherwise  making arrangements  for his defence or release.


(3)    Notwithstanding  the provision of subsection  (2) of this  section, any  such communication or legal advice  shall be done in the presence  of an officer who has custody of the arrested suspect.

Recording of arrest

15(1)         Where a   suspect is arrested,  whether  with or without  a warrant,  and  taken  to  a police station  or any other  agency  effecting  the  arrest, the  police   officer  making the  arrest or the  officer   in  charge  shall  cause  to  be  taken  immediately,  in  the prescribed form, the following  record of the suspect arrested:

(a)    the alleged offence;

(b)    the date and circumstances of his arrest;

(c)    his full name, occupation and residential  address;  and

(d)    for the purpose  of identification:

(i) his height,

(ii) his photograph,

(iii) his full fingerprint impressions,  or

(iv)  such other means  of his  identification.


(2)    The process of recording in  subsection  (1)  of this section shall  be concluded  within a reasonable time of the arrest of the suspect, but not exceeding  48 hours.


(3)    Any further action in  respect  of the suspect  arrested  pursuant to  subsection  ( 1)  of this section shall be entered in the record of arrests .


(4)    Where a  suspect  who  is arrested  with or without  a warrant  volunteers to make  a confessional statement, the police  officer shall ensure that the making and taking  of the statement shall be in writing  and may be recorded  electronically on a retrievable video compact  disc or such  other audio visual means.


(5)    Notwithstanding the provision of subsection  (4)  of this section,  an oral  confession of arrested suspect shall be admissible in evidence.


Central Criminal Records Registry

  1. (1) There shall be established at the Nigeria Police  Force  a Central  Criminal  Registry.


(2)    For the  purposes  of  subsection  (1)  of  this  section,  there  shall  be established at every  state  police  command   a Criminal Registry which  shall  keep  and transmit all such records to  the Central  Criminal Records  Registry.


(3)    The State or Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police  Command  shall  ensure  that the decisions of the court in all criminal  trials are transmitted to the  Central  Criminal Records Registry within  3 0  days of the judgement.


Recording of Statement of Suspect

17.(1)  Where a  suspect  is  arrested  on  allegation   of having  committed  an  offence,  his statement shall be taken, if he so wishes to make a statement.


(2)    Such  statement may be taken  in the presence  of a legal  practitioner of his  choice, or where he has no legal  practitioner of his choice, in  the presence of an officer of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria or an official  of a Civil Society  Organization or a Justice  of the Peace  or  any  other  person  of his  choice.  Provided  that  the  Legal Practitioner or any  other  person  mentioned  in  this  subsection   shall  not interfere while  the suspect is making  his  statement,  except  for the purpose   of  discharging his role as a legal practitioner.


(3)    Where a suspect does not understand or speak  or write in the English language, an interpreter   shall   record   and   read   over   the   statement  to   the   suspect  to   his understanding  and  the  suspect shall  then  endorse  the  statement  as  having been made by him,  and the interpreter shall attest to the making  of the statement.


(4)    The interpreter shall  endorse his  name, address,  occupation, designation  or other particulars on the statement.


(5)    The suspect  referred  to  in  subsection  (1)  of this  section  shall  also  endorse the statement with his full particulars.


Arrest by Police Officer without Warrant

18.(1) A police officer  may, without  an order  of a  court and without  E.    warrant,  arrest  a suspect:

(a)    whom  he  suspects  on  reasonable   grounds   of having   committed  an offence  against   a  law  in  Nigeria   or  against   the  law  of  any   other country, unless  the law creating  the offence provides that the   suspect cannot be arrested  without a warrant;

(b)    who commits any offence in his presence;

(c)    who obstructs  a police officer  while  in  the  execution  of  his  duty,  or who has escaped  or attempts to escape from lawful  custody;

(d)    in  whose  possession  anything  is  found   which  may  reasonably  be suspected to be stolen property  or who may reasonably be suspected of having committed  an offence with reference to the thing;

(e)    whom he suspects  on reasonable grounds  of being  a deserter from  any of the armed forces  of Nigeria:

(f)     whom be suspects  on  reasonable  grounds  of having  been  involved  in an act committed  at a place  outside  of Nigeria which,  if committed in Nigeria, would have  been punished as an offence, and for which  he is, under a law in force in Nigeria,  liable to be apprehended  and  detained in Nigeria;

(g)    having in his  possession without lawful  excuse, the burden  of proving which excuse  shall  lie  on  such  person,  any  implement  of housebreaking,   car   theft,   firearm   or   any   offensive   or   dangerous weapon;

(h)    whom he has reasonable cause  to believe  a warrant  of arrest  has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria;

(i)     found in Nigeria taking precautions to conceal his presence in circumstances,  which  afford reason  to  believe  that  he  is taking such precautions with a view to committing an offence;

(j)     whose arrest a warrant  has been issued  or whom he is directed to arrest by a Judge,  Magistrate,  Justice of the Peace or superior police  officer;

(k)    whom he reasonably suspects to be designing  to commit an offence for which the police may arrest without a warrant,  if it appears  to him that the commission of the offence cannot be otherwise prevented;  or

(l)     required to appear by a public  summons  issued under this Act or any other  Act.


(2)    The authority  given  to  a police  officer  to  arrest  a suspect who commits an offence in  his  presence  shall  be  exercisable  in  respect   of  offences  committed  in  the officer’s  presence notwithstanding  that the Act  creating  the offence  provides that the suspect cannot be arrested  without  a warrant.


Refusal to give name and Residence

19.(1)  Where  a suspect who, in the  presence  of  a police  officer,  has  committed  or has been  accused of committing  an offence  triable  summarily,  refuses  on  demand  of the officer to give his name  and residential address, or gives a name  or residential address  which the officer  has  reason to believe  to be false, he may be  arrested by the officer in order that his name  or residential  address may be ascertained.


(2)    Where the true name and residential  address  of the. suspect. have been  ascertained, he shall be released on his  executing  a recognizance, with  or without  sureties, to appear  before  a  Magistrate   if so  required,   but  if the  person  is -not  resident   in Nigeria, a surety or sureties resident      Nigeria  shall secure the recognizance,


(3)    Where  the true name and  address  of the  suspect cannot  be ascertained  within  24 hours from the time of arrest,  or if be fails to execute  recognizance,  or, where  so required, to  furnish  sufficient sureties,  be  shall  forthwith  be brought   before  the nearest Magistrate having jurisdiction.


(4)   Where the suspect on being  brought  before  the  court  still refuses,  the  court  may deal with him as it will  deal with an uncooperative witness under this Act.


Arrest by private person

  1. A private person may  arrest  a  suspect  in Nigeria  who  in  his  presence  commits  an offence,  or whom he reasonably suspects  of having committed  an offence  for  which the police is entitled to arrest without a warrant.


Arrest by owner of property

  1. A suspect found committing an offence involving  injury to property  may  be  arrested without  a warrant  by  the  owner   of the  property   or  his  servants,  agent   or  persons authorised  by him.


Arrest of suspect doing damage to public property

  1. A private person may arrest any suspect found damaging public property.


Handing over of an arrested suspect by private person

  1. (1) A private  person  who arrests a suspect  without a warrant  shall  immediately  hand over  the  suspect  so  arrested  to  a police  officer,   or,  in  the  absence  of a  police officer,  shall take the  suspect  to the nearest police  station,  and the  police officer shall  make  a note  of the name,  address  and other particulars of the private  person making the arrest.


(2)    Where  there  is  reason   to  believe   that  the   arrested  suspect   comes  under   the provisions  of section 18  (1) of this Act,  a police  officer  shall re-arrest him.


(3)    Where there is reason to believe that the suspect has  committed  an offence, and he refuses on the demand  of a police  officer to give his name  and address, or gives  a name or address which the officer reasonably believes  to be false,  he  shall be  dealt with under the provisions  of section  19 of this Act.


(4)    Where a suspect  so  arrested by  a private  person  is handed  over to a police officer or to  an official  of an agency  authorized  by law to make  arrests,  the police   officer or official  shall  take note  of the  name,  residential  address  and  other  particulars  of the private  person making  the  arrest,  and the date, time  and other  circumstances  of the arrest  and where  the  arrested  suspect  is taken  to the police  station  or TO   the agency, the charge room  officer  shall make the entries  in the crime diary.


(5)    The police  officer  or official  to whom  the arrested suspect  is handed over  by  the private  person  shall  obtain  from  the private person  who  made  the  arrest a formal witness statement  setting out the facts and circumstances of the arrest.


(6)    Where  there  is  sufficient  reason   to  believe   that   the  suspect  handed  over   has committed  an  offence,   he  shall  immediately  be  re-arrested  but  if there  is  no sufficient reason  to believe  that  the suspect  has  committed an-offence, he  shall  be released  immediately.


(7)    The provisions  of section   15  of this  Act  do  not apply  to  this  section   unless  the suspect  arrested   and  handed   over  has  been  re-arrested  in  accordance  with  sub section (2)  of this section.


Offence committed in presence of Judge or Magistrate

  1. Where an offence  is  committed  in  the presence   of  a Judge  or Magistrate  within  the division  or district  in  which the Judge  is  sitting or to which the Magistrate is  assigned, the Judge or Magistrate may himself arrest or order  a person  to arrest  the  suspect  and  may thereupon,  subject to the provisions  contained  in  this Act as to bail,  commit the suspect to custody.


Arrest by Magistrate

25.(1)  A Magistrate  may  arrest or direct  the  arrest  in his  presence  of  a suspect  whose arrest on a warrant he could have lawfully  ordered  if the facts  known  to him at the time of making or directing the arrest had been  stated before  him on oath by some other person.


(2)    Where a suspect is  arrested  in accordance with the provisions of either  section  23 or 24 of this Act, the Judge or Magistrate making  or directing  the making of such arrest may deal with  the suspect  so arrested  in the  same  manner  as if the  suspect had been brought before him by or under the directions of any other person.


Arrest for offence committed in presence of judge Magistrate or Justice of the Peace

  1. A Judge, Magistrate, or Justice of the Peace may arrest or direct the arrest of a suspect committing an offence in his presence  and shall thereupon hand him  over  to a police officer who shall proceed to take necessary  action.

When person is bound to assist in arrest

  1. A person is bound to assist a Judge,  Magistrate,  Justice  of the Peace,  police  officer  or other person  reasonably  demanding  his aid in arresting or preventing the  escape  of a suspect  whom  the  Judge,  Magistrate,   Justice  of the  Peace,  police   officer  or  other person is authorised  to arrest.


Pursuit of suspect into other jurisdictions

  1. A person   authorised  to  effect  the  arrest  of any  suspect   may,  for the  purpose  of effecting the arrest, pursue him into  any part of Nigeria.


Quarterly Report of Arrests  to the Attorney-General

29.(1) The Inspector-General of Police and the head of every  agency  authorised by Jaw to make  arrests  shall  remit  quarterly  to  the  Attorney-General  of the  Federation  a record  of all arrests  made  with or without wan-ant  in relation  to  federal  offences within Nigeria.


(2)    The Commissioner of Police in a State and head of every  agency authorised by law to make arrest within a State  shall remit  quarterly  to the Attorney-General  of that State  a record  of  all  arrests  made  with  or  without  warrant  in  relation  to  State offenses or arrests within the State.


(3)    The report  shall  contain  the  full particulars  of arrested  suspects  as prescribed  by section  15  of this Act.


(4)    A register  of arrests containing  the  particulars  prescribed in  section  15  of this  Act  shall  be kept in the prescribed form at every police  station or agency  authorised by law  to  make  arrests,  and  every  arrest,  whether  made  with  or  without  warrant, within the local  limits  of the police station  or agency,  or within  the Federal  Capital Territory, Abuja,  shall  be entered accordingly  by the officer  in charge  of the police station or official  in charge of the agency as soon as the arrested  suspect  is  brought to the station or agency.


(5)    The Attorney-General  of the  Federation  shall  establish an electronic  and  manual database  of all records of arrests at the Federal  and State level.


Release on bail of a suspect arrested without warrant

30(1)  Where  a  suspect  has  been  taken  into  police  custody  without  a  warrant  for  an offence  other  than  an offence punishable  with  death,  an  officer  in  charge  of a police  station shall inquire into the case  and release  the  suspect   arrested  on bail subject  to  subsection  (2)  of this  section,  and  where  it  will  not be  practicable to bring  the  suspect  before  a  court having  jurisdiction  with  respect to  the  offence alleged, within 24 hours after the arrest.


(2)    The  officer in charge of a police  station shall  release  the  suspect  on  bail  on  his entering into  a recognizance  with or without sureties for a reasonable amount of money  to  appear  before  the  court  or at the police   station  at the  time  and  place named  in the recognizance.


(3)    Where a suspect  is  taken into custody and it  appears  to the police officer  in charge of the  station  that the offence is of a capital  nature,  the  arrested suspect  shall  be detained  in custody,  and the  police  officer may  refer  the  matter to  the  Attorney-General  of the Federation  for legal  advice  and cause the suspect to be taken before a court having jurisdiction with respect to the offence within  a reasonable time.


Power to release on bail before charge is accepted

31.(1)  Where  a suspect  is taken into custody, and it appears  to the officer that  the  inquiry into the  case  cannot be completed  forthwith, he may  discharge the  suspect  on his entering  into  a recognizance,  with or without  sureties  for a reasonable amount, to appear  at the  police station  and at such  times  as  are named  in the  recognizance, unless  he previously receives  notice in writing from the police  officer in charge of that police  station that his attendance  is not required.


(2)    A recognizance under subsection  (1)  of this section  may be enforced  as if it were  a recognizance   conditional   for   the   appearance    of  the   said    suspect   before   a Magistrate s    court   or  the   mace   in   which   the   police   station   named   in   the recognizance is situate.


Remedy of Suspect Detained in Custody

32.(1)  Where  a  suspect  taken  into  custody  in  respect  of a  non-capital  offence  is  not released   on  bail  after  24  hours,  a  court  having  jurisdiction  with respect to  the offence may be notified by application  on behalf of the suspect.


(2)    The  court shall  order the production of the  suspect detained   and  inquire into  the circumstances  constituting the  grounds  of the  detention  and  where   it  deems  fit, admit the suspect  detained to bail.


(3)    An application  for bail under this section may be made  orally  or in  writing.


Police to Report to Supervising Magistrates

33(1)  An  officer  in  charge  of  a police  station  or  an  official  in  charge  of  an  agency authorised  to make  arrest shall,  on the last  working  day  of every  month,  report   to the nearest Magistrate the cases of all suspects  arrested  without wan-am  within the limits  of  their   respective  stations  or  agency   whether  the   suspects  have  been admitted  to bail  or not.


(2)    The  report  shall  contain  the  particulars  of the  suspects  arrested   as  prescribed  in section  15  of this Act.


(3)    The Magistrate shall on receipt  of the reports, forward them to the Criminal  Justice Monitoring Committee  which  shall analyse  the reports  and  advice  the  Attorney-General of the Federation  as to the trends of arrests, bail  and related matters.


(4)    The  Attorney-General   of the  Federation   shall,  upon  request  by  the  National Human  Rights   Commission,   the   Legal  Aid   Council   of  Nigeria  or   a  Non Governmental  Organization, make the report available to them.


(5)    Where no report  is made  in  accordance with  subsection  (I)  of this  section,  the Magistrate shall forward  a report  to the Chief Judge of the State  and the Attorney-General of the State for appropriate remedial action.


(6)    With  respect  to  the  Federal   Capital  Territory,  Abuja  such  report   referred  to  in subsection (5) of this section  shall be forwarded to the Chief Judge  of the  Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the Attorney-General  of the Federation for remedial action.


Chief Magistrate to visit Police Stations every month

34(1)         The Chief Magistrate,  or where  there  is no  Chief Magistrate within   the  police division, any Magistrate  designated  by the Chief Judge  for  that  purpose,  shall,  at least  every  month,  conduct   an  inspection   of police  stations  or  other places  of detention within his territorial jurisdiction other than the  prison.


(2)    During a visit, the Magistrate  may:

(a)    call for, and inspect, the record of arrests;

(b)    direct the arraignment  of a suspect;

(c)   where   bail   has   been   refused,   grant   bail   to   any   suspect   where appropriate if the  offence  for which the  suspect  is held  is  within the jurisdiction of the  Magistrate.


(3)    An  officer  in  charge  of  a  police   station  or  official   in  charge   of  an  agency authorised to make an arrest shall make available to the visiting  Chief Magistrate or  designated  Magistrate   exercising   his  powers  under   subsection  (1)  of this section:

(a)    the full record of arrest and record of bail;

(b)    applications and decisions  on bail made within the period;  and.

(c)    any other  facility  the Magistrate  requires  to exercise  his powers  under that subsection.


(4)    With respect to other Federal  Government  agencies  authorised to make  an arrests, the  High  Court  having  jurisdiction  shall visit  such  detention  facilities  for the purpose provided  in this section.


(5)    Where there  is default  by  an  officer  in  charge  of  a  police  station  or  official   in  charge  of an agency  authorised  to make  arrest to comply  with  the  provisions  of subsection (3)  of this section,  the default shall be treated  as a misconduct and.. shall be dealt with  iri accordance  with  the relevant  Police  Regulation under  the  Police Act, or pursuant to any  other disciplinary procedure  prescribed by  any  provision regulating the conduct of the officer or official  of the agency.



General Authority to issues Warrant

  1. Where under a law, there  is  power  to  arrest  a  suspect  without  warrant,  a warrant for his arrest may be issued.


Form and Requisites of Warrant of Arrest

  1. (1) A warrant of arrest issued under this Act, unless the contrary  is expressly provided under any other law, shall:

(a)    bear the date of the day  of issue;

(b)    contain all necessary particulars; and

(c)    be signed by the Judge  or Magistrate by whom  it is issued.


(2)    A warrant shall state concisely the offence cir matter for which it is issued and shall name or otherwise describe the  suspect to be arrested, and it shall order the police officer or officers to whom  it is directed to arrest the suspect  and bring him  before the  court  to  answer the  complaint  or  statement,  or  to  testify  or  be  dealt   with according  to the circumstances  of the  case,  and to  be further  dealt  with  according to law.


Warrant to be Issued on complaint only on oath

  1. A warrant of arrest shall not be issued in the first instance  in respect  of any  complaint or statement  unless the  complain,  or  statement  is  on  oath  either by  the  complainant himself orb;’ a material  witness.


Warrant may be issued on any day

  1. A warrant of arrest may be issued on any day,  including  a Sunday  or public holiday.


Warrant to whom Directed and Duration

39.(1)  A warrant  of arrest  may be  directed  to  a  police  officer  by name   or to   all  police officers.


(2)    It is not necessary  to make  a warrant of arrest returnable at any particular  time  and a warrant  shall  remain  in force  until  it  is  executed  or until  a Judge or a Magistrate cancels it.


(3)    Where  a  warrant  of arrest  has  been  executed   and  the suspect   arrested  has  been released, the warrant  shall  no longer be valid  authority for re-arresting the  suspect.


Warrant of arrest may in exceptional cases be directed to other persons

40.(1)  A  court  issuing  a   warrant   of arrest   may,   where   its  immediate   execution   is necessary  and no police  officer is immediately available,  direct it to  some  other person or persons  and the person or persons  shall  execute  the  same.


(2)    A person,  when  executing   a warrant of  arrest  directed  to  him,  shall  have all  the powers, rights, privileges and  protection given to  or afforded by  law to  a police officer executing a warrant of arrest and shall conform with the requirement placed by law on a police officer.


Public summons for Persons Absconding

  1. Where a court has reason to believe, whether  after  evidence  or not, that  a  suspect, against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by itself or by any court  or Justice of the  Peace,  has  absconded   or  is  concealing   himself so  that  tile  warrant  cannot be executed, the court may publish  a public  summons  in writing requiring that person  to appear at a specific place  and a specific  time  not less than 30 days  from  the  date  of publishing the public summons.


Publication of Public Summons

  1. (1) A public summons shall be published:

(a)    in a newspaper  that  enjoys  wide  circulation  or circulated in  any  other medium as may be appropriate;

(b)    by affixing it  to some  conspicuous part of the house or premises  or to some conspicuous  place. in the  town  or village,  in which  the  person ordinarily resides;  or

(c)    by affixing  a  copy  to  some  conspicuous   part  of  the  High   Court  or Magistrate’s court building.


(2)    A  statement in writing from  the  Judge  of the High  Court  or a Magistrate to the effect  that  the public  summons   was  duly  published  on  a specified   day,  shall  be conclusive evidence that requirements of this section have been complied with  and that the public summons was published on such day.


Execution of Warrant and Procedure

  1. (1) A warrant of arrest may  be  executed  on any  day, including  a  Sunday  or public holiday.


(2)    A warrant of arrest may  be executed  by any police  officer  at any time  and in any place  in  any State  other  than  within  the  actual  court  room  in  which   a  court sitting.


(3)    The Police  officer executing   a warrant   of arrest  shall,  before  making   the  arrest, inform the suspect to be arrested that there is a warrant for his arrest unless there is reasonable cause for abstaining from  giving the information on the ground  that it is likely to occasion escape, resistance or rescue.


( 4)  A suspect  arrested  on  a warrant   of  arrest  shall,  subject  to  the  provisions  of the  Constitution  of the Federal  Republic of Nigeria,  sections  44 and 45 of this  Act,  be  brought before the court that issued the warrant  of arrest,


Power to Arrest on Warrant but without the Warrant

  1. A warrant of arrest may be executed notwithstanding that it is not in  the possession at the time of the person executing the  warrant but the warrant  shall,  on the  demand  of the suspect, be shown to him as soon as practicable after his arrest.


Court may Direct particulars of security to be taken on Execution of Warrant

45(1) A court, on issuing a warrant for the arrest  of a suspect in respect  of a matter  other than an offence punishable  with death, may, if it thinks  fit by endorsement on the warrant,  direct that the  suspect  named  in the  warrant  be released   on  bail  on  his entering  into  such a recognizance for his  appearance   as may  be  required  in  the endorsement.


(2)    The endorsement shall specify:

(a)    the number of sureties, if any;

(b)    the amount in which  they  and the   suspect  named  in the  warrant are, respectively, to  be  bound;  or are to  provide  as  cash  security  on  the request of the surety  or suspect;

(c)    the court before which  the arrested  suspect  is to attend; and

(d)    the time at which  the  suspect  is to attend, including an undertaking to appear at a subsequent time  as may  be  directed by  any  court before which he may appear.


(3)    Where an endorsement is made,  the officer  in charge  of a police station  to which on arrest the suspect named  in the warrant is brought, shall discharge him  on  his entering  into a recognizance, with  or without sureties approved  by  that  officer, in accordance  with the endorsement,  conditioned  for his appearance  before  the court and at the time and place named  in the recognizance.


(4)    Where  security is taken  under  this section the  officer  who takes  the  recognizance shall cause  it to be forwarded  to the court before  which  the suspect named in the recognizance is bound to  appear.


(5)    Subject  to the provisions  of section 4E  of this Act.  the previsions of subsections  (3) and  (4)  of this  section  shall  not  have  effect  with  respect  10   a  warrant  executed outside Nigeria.


Procedure on Arrest of Suspect outside Division or District of Court Issuing Warrant

46.(1)        Where a warrant  of arrest is executed  in  a State  outside  the division  or district  of the court  by which it was issued, the  suspect  shall,  unless  security is taken under section  45  of this Act,  be taken  before  the  court  ‘Ni thin the division   or district in which the arrest was made.


(2)    The court  shall, if the   suspect,  on such  inquiry as the court  considers necessary, appears  to  be the  suspect  intended to  be arrested   by  the  court  which  issued  the warrant,  direct his removal in  custody to that  court,  but  if the   suspect has been arrested  in respect  of any matter  other than an offence  punishable with  death  and:

(a)    is  ready  and willing 10  give  bail to the  satisfaction of the  court  within the division  01 district of which  he was arrested; or

(b)    where  a direction  had  been  endorsed  under  section  45  of this  Act  on the  warrant  and the    suspect is ready  and willing to  give  the  security required  by  the  direction,  the  court  shall  take  bail  or security,  as  the case may  be, and  shall forward  the  recognizance, if  such  be  entered into; to the court which issued the warrant.


(3)    Nothing  in  this section  is  deemed  to prevent a police  officer  from taking  security under section 30 of this Act.


Warrant Issued by the Federal High Court

  1. (1) A warrant of arrest issued  by  a Federal  High  Court  sitting  anywhere   in  Nigeria may be executed in any part of Nigeria.


(2)    A warrant issued  under this section may be executed  in accordance  with section  44 of this Act.


Re-arrest of Suspect Escaping

  1. Where a suspect  in  lawful  custody  escapes  or  is  rescued,  the  person   from  whose custody be escapes  or is  rescued  or any other person  may pursue  and re-arrest him  in any place in Nigeria.


Provisions of Sections 12 and 13 to Apply to Arrests under Section 48

  1. The provisions of sections  12   and  13 of this Act  shall  apply to arrests under  section 48 of this Act,  although  the person  making  such  arrest  is not acting  under a warrant and is not a police officer having authority to arrest.



Police to Prevent Offences and Injury to Public Property

  1. (1) A police officer may intervene for the purpose of preventing, and shall,  to the best of his ability, prevent the commission  of an offence.


(2)    A police officer may of his authority intervene to prevent  an injury attempted to be committed  in his presence to any public  property,  whether  movable  or immovable, or the removal  of or injury to an)’ public  landmark  or buoy or other mark  used  for navigation.


Information of Design to Commit Offence

  1. A police   officer  receiving   information  of  a  design   to  commit  any  offence  shall communicate the information  to the police officer  to whom  he is subordinate,  and  to any other officer  whose duty it  is to prevent  or take  cognizance  of the commission of the offence.


Arrest by Police to Prevent Offences

  1. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or any other law relating  to arrest,  a police officer  upon  a reasonable   suspicion  of a  design  to  commit  an  offence  may  arrest, without  orders from a Magistrate  and without  warrant,  the suspect  where  it  appears  to the officer that the commission  of the offence cannot otherwise be prevented.


Prevention by other public officers of Offences and Injury to Public Property

  1. (1) A Judge, Magistrate,  or any  other public  officer charged  with responsibility  for maintaining  law  and order may intervene  for the purpose  of preventing and  shall, to the best  of his  ability, prevent  the  commission of an offence,  for  which  he  is authorised  to  arrest  without  a  warrant   or  any  damage  to  any  public   property, movable or immovable.


(2)   A person  is bound  to assist a Judge  or Magistrate   or police  officer or any  other public  officer reasonably  demanding  his aid:


(a)   in  preventing,   and   shall  to   the   best   of  his   ability,   prevent  the commission of an offence for which he is  authorised to arrest without a warrant or any damage  to any public property,  movable  or immovable;


(b)    in the suppression  of a breach of the peace  or in the prevention of any damage  to  any  property,  movable   or  immovable  or  to  any  railway, canal, water supply, telecommunication system, oil pipeline or oil installation,  or electrical  installation; or


(c)    in the prevention  of the removal  of any public landmark, buoy  or other mark used for navigation.

Power of Magistrate to require Execution of Recognizance for Keeping Peace

  1. (1) Where a Magistrate is informed on oath that a suspect is likely to:

(a)    commit a breach  of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity,  or

(b)    do any wrongful  act that  may probably  occasion a breach  of the peace or disturb the public  tranquillity,

the Magistrate  may, in the manner  provided  in this  Part,  require  the  suspect to show cause  why he  should  not  be  ordered  to  enter  into  a recognizance,  with  or without sureties,   for  keeping   the  peace   for  such  period,   not   exceeding  one  year,   as  the Magistrate  deems fit.


(2)    Proceeding  shall not be taken under this section unless  the suspect  is:

(a)    in the Federal  Capital  Territory, Abuja,  and

(b)    subject  of the  information under subsection  (L)  of this  section  within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate,  or the place  where  the breach of the peace  or disturbance has occurred  or where  the suspect is. is within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate.


Security for good behaviour for Suspected persons

  1. Where a Magistrate is informed on oath that:

(a)    a suspect  is taking  precautions to  conceal  his presence within the  local limits  of the Magistrate’s jurisdiction:  and

(b)    there is reason to believe  that the suspect  is  taking the precautions  with a view to committing an offence,


the Magistrate may,  in the manner  provided  in  this  Pait,  require the  suspect  to  show cause  why be should  not be ordered  to enter into  a recognizance, with  sureties,  for his good  behaviour for such period not exceeding 1     year,  as the Magistrate deems  fit.

Security for good behaviour for habitual offenders

  1. Where a Magistrate is informed on oath  that  a   suspect  within the  local  limits  of his jurisdiction:

(a)    is by habit an armed robber, a housebreaker,  or a thief;

(b)    is by habit  a receiver  of stolen  property,  knowing the  same  to  have been stolen;

(c)    habitually protects  or harbours  thieves,  or aids  in  the  concealment or disposal of stolen property;

(d)    habitually   commits   or   attempts  to  commit,   or   aids   or   abets   the commission  of any offence relating to property;

(e)    habitually   commits  or  attempts  to  commit,  or  aids  or  abets   in the commission  of, offence involving a breach of the peace;  or

(f)     is  so  desperate  or  dangerous  as to  render  his  being  at  large  without security hazardous  to the community,


such Magistrate may, in the manner provided  in this Act, require  such suspect to show cause why he should  not be ordered  to enter into a recognizance with  sureties  for his good behaviour for such period; not exceeding  3 years, as the Magistrate deems  fit.


Order to be Made

  1. Where a  Magistrate   acting  under   sections  54,  55  or  56  of this  Act   considers   it       necessary to require  a suspect  to show cause under the section, he shall make  an order       in writing setting out:

(a)    the substance of the information received;

(b)    the amount of the recognizance to be executed;

(c)    the term for which it is to be in force:  and

(d)    the number,  character,  and class of sureties, if any, required.


Procedure in respect of suspect present in court

  1. Where the suspect in respect  of whom  an order is  made is present  in  court,  it  shall  be read  over  to  him  or,  if he  so   desires,  the  substance  of the  information  shall   be explained to him.


Summons or warrant in case of suspect not present

59(1) Where the suspect  is  not present  in  court, the  Magistrate shall  issue  a summons requiring him to appear,  or,  where the suspect is in custody, a warrant  directing the officer in whose  custody he is to bring him before the court.


(2)    Where  it appears  to  the Magistrate,  on the report  of a police  officer  or on other information, the substance of which report or information shall be recorded by the Magistrate,  that  there  is  reason  to  fear the  commission   of a breach  of the  peace, and  that  the  breach   of  the  peace   cannot  be  prevented   otherwise   than   by  the immediate  arrest of the suspect,  the Magistrate  may at any time issue  a warrant for his arrest.


Copy of order under Section 59 to accompany summons or warrant

  1. A summons   or  warrant   of  arrest   issued   under   section   59   of  this   Act   shall   be  accompanied by a copy of the  order  made under section  57  of this  Act,  and the  copy shall be delivered by the officer serving or executing  the summons or warrant to  the suspect served with or arrested under  it.


Power to dispense with personal attendance

  1. The Magistrate  may,  where   he  sees  sufficient  cause,   dispense   with  the  personal attendance of a  suspect called  on to show cause why he should not be ordered to enter into a  recognizance for keeping  the  peace,  and may  permit  him  to  appear by  a legal practitioner.


Inquiry as to truth of Information

62.(1) Where an order under  section   57  of this Act  has  been  read  or  explained  under section  58 of this Act to  a  suspect  in court,  or  where  the  suspect  appears or is brought before a Magistrate in compliance  with or in execution of a summons or warrant  issued  under  section   59  of  this  Act,   the  Magistrate   shall   proceed to inquire into the truth  of the  information  upon  which  the  action has  been  taken, and to take such further evidence as may appear necessary.


(2)    The  inquiry  shall  be  made,  as  nearly   as  may   be  practicable,  in  the   manner prescribed  in this  section  for  conducting  trials,  and  recording  evidence,  except that the standard  of proof shall be that of preponderance of evidence.


(3)    Pending  the  completion  of the  -inquiry under  subsection (1)  of this   section,  the Magistrate,   if  he   considers    that   immediate   measures   are   necessary   for  the prevention of:

(a)    a breach of the peace  or disturbance  of the public  tranquillity;  or

(b)    the commission  of any offence or for the public safety,


may, for reasons to be recorded  in  writing,  direct the  suspect  in respect of whom  the order under section 57 of this Act  has been made, to enter into  a recognizance,  with  or without  sureties,  for  keeping   the  peace   or  maintaining  good   behaviour  until  the conclusion   of  the   inquiry,    and   may   detain   the   suspect    in   custody   until    the recognizance is  entered into or, in default of execution,  until the inquiry is concluded.


(4)    For the purposes  of subsection  (3) of this section:

(a)    a suspect  against whom  proceedings are not being  taken  under section 54  of this  Act  shall  not be  directed  to  enter  into  a recognizance  for maintaining good behaviour;

(b)    the conditions  of the  recognizance, whether  as to the  amount   or as  to the  provisions   of sureties   or the number  of sureties  or the  pecuniary extent of their  liability  shall  not be more  onerous  than  those  specified in the order under  section   5 8    of this Act;  and

(c)    a suspect  shall not be remanded in custody under the powers conferred by this section for a period  exceeding  15  days  at a time.


(5)    For the purposes  of this section,  the fact that a suspect  comes  within the provisions of  section   55   of  this   Act   may   be  proved   by   evidence   of  general   repute   or otherwise.


(6)    Where two or more suspects  have  been  associated  together   in the  matter under inquiry, they may be dealt with in the same or separate  inquiries as the  Magistrate thinks fit.


Order to give Security

63.(1)  Where on an inquiry  it  is proved  that  it  is necessary for keeping  the  peace   or maintaining  good behaviour,   as the  case may  be, that the   suspect in  respect of whom  the  inquiry  is  made   should  enter  into  a  recognizance,  with  or  without sureties, the Magistrate shall make an order accordingly, but:

(a)    a suspect shall not be ordered  to give security of a nature  different from or of an amount larger than  or for a period longer than that  specified  in the order made under section 57  of this Act;

(b)    the amount  of a recognizance  shall  be fixed  with  due  regard   to  the circumstances of the case and shall not be excessive;  and


(c)    where the suspect in respect  of whom the inquiry is made  is a child, the recognizance  shall  be. entered  into  as provided  in  section   164  of this Act.


(2)    A suspect  ordered  to  give  security  for  good  behaviour  under  this •  section  may  . appeal to the High Court.


Discharge of Suspect informed Against

  1. Where on an inquiry under section 59 of this Act it is not proved  that  it  is  necessary for  keeping the peace  or maintaining good  behaviour,  as the  case  may  be,  that  the suspect  in respect of whom  the inquiry is made  should enter  into a recognizance, the Magistrate  shall make an entry on the record  to that effect,  and shall, if the   suspect:

(a)    is in custody  only for the purpose  of the inquiry,  release  him;  or

(b)    is not in custody, discharge  him.



Commencement of period for which security is required

  1. (1) Where  a suspect  in respect  of  whom  an  order  requiring  security is  made  under section  57 of this  Act is, at the time the order is  made, sentenced  to or undergoing a sentence  of imprisonment,  the  period   for  which  the  security  is  required  shall commence on the expiration  of the sentence.


(2)   In other case, the period  shall commence on the date of the order unless the Court, for sufficient reason, fixes a later date.


Conditions of recognizance

  1. The recognizance to be entered  into  by a suspect  under  section  57  of this  Act  shall bind  him to keep the peace  or  be of good  behaviour,  as the  case  may  be,  and  in the latter case the commission  or attempt to commit  or the aiding, abetting,  counselling, or procuring  the commission,  anywhere  within Nigeria,  of  an offence  punishable  with imprisonment,  wherever it may  be committed,  any time during the  continuance of the recognizance, shall be a breach of the recognizance.


Power to reject sureties

  1. A court may refuse to accept  a  surety  offered  under  any of the preceding sections  on the ground that, for reasons to be recorded by the Court, the surety is an unfit person.


Procedure on failure of suspect to give security

  1. Where a suspect ordered to give  security  does not give  the  security  on  or before the date on which the period  for which the  security  is to be given  commences,  he  shall, except in the case mentioned in of this section,  be committed  to prison  until the period expires or until within the period  he gives the security to the court that made the  order requiring it.


Power to release suspect imprisoned for failure to give security

  1. Where a court is of the opinion  that  a suspect  imprisoned for failing to  give  security may be released without hazard  to the community,  the Court may,  if it deems fit, order the suspect to be discharged.


Power of High Court to cancel recognizance

  1. The High Court  may at any  time,  for sufficient   reasons  to  be  recorded in  writing, cancel any recognizance  for keeping the peace  or for good behaviour executed under any of the preceding sections by order  of any lower court.


Discharge of Sureties

71(1) A surety  for the peaceable  conduct  or good behaviour of another  suspect  may  at any time  apply to a court to  discharge a recognizance executed  under any  of the preceding sections within the district  or division  to which the Court  is assigned.


(2)    On an application  being made,  the  Magistrate shall,  if he is satisfied  that there  is good reason  for the application, issue such  summons  or warrant,  as he  thinks   fit, requiring  the  suspect  for whom  the  surety  is  bound  to  appear  or to  be  brought before him.


(3)    Where the  suspect  appears  or is brought ix-fort  a Magistrate,  the Magistrate  after hearing the suspect may discharge the recognizance  and  order the  suspect  to  give, for the unexpired  portion  of the  term  of the  recognizance,  fresh  security  for the unexpired portion of the same description as the original  security.


(4)   An  order  made  under  subsection  (3)  of this  section  shall,  for the  purposes  of sections  65, 66, 67 and 68 of this Act,  be deemed  to be an order under  section  57 of this Act.



Conditional order for removal of nuisance

  1. Where a  court  considers,  on  receiving  a police report  or  other  information  and on taking such evidence, if any,  as it deems  fit. that  an offence relating  to public nuisance is being committed,  the court may make  a conditional  order requiring  the  suspect:

(a)    within a time fixed in the order to cease committing the offence and  to amend  or  remove   the  cause   of the  nuisance   in  such  manner  as  is specified in the order;  or

(b)    to appear  before the  court  at a time  and place w be fixed  by the  order and  apply  to  have   the  order  set  aside  or  modified   in  the  manner hereinafter provided.


Service of Order

  1. (1) An order made under section 72 of this Act shall,  if practicable,  be  served on the   suspect  against  whom  it is  made   in the  manner  provided   for the  service   of  a summons.


(2)    Where an order referred  to in subsection (1)  cannot be served  in the  manner laid down in that  subsection, it may  be  served  by  registered  letter  through the  post, addressed to the suspect  against whom  it  is  made  at his last known   address   or, where his last address is not known,  then by affixing  a notice in some  conspicuous place  in  the  town  or  village   or  near  which  the  nuisance   or  offence  is  being committed.


Suspect to whom order is addressed to obey or appear before Court

  1. A suspect against whom an order under  section  72 of this Act is made shall:

(a)    perform,  within  the time  and in the manner  specified  in the  order, the act directed by the order;  or

(b)    appear  in  accordance with  the  order and apply  to have  the  order set aside or modified.


Consequences of failure to obey order or to appear

  1. Where a suspect against whom an order under  section 72 of this Act is made  does  not perform  the act specified  in the order  or appear  and apply to have the order  set  aside • or modified, he is liable, where the act:


(a)    offends  public  safety,  to  a  fine  of not  less  than  N100,000.00  for individual and not less than Nl,000,000.00  in case ofa corporate  body or imprisonment  for a term  of six months;  or

(b)    threatens  human  life,  to  a  fine   of not  less  than  N200,000.00  for individual  and not less  than N2,000,000.00 in case of a corporate body or imprisonment for a term  of 12 months.


Procedure where suspect appears

76(1) Where  a suspect  against whom  an order  under  section  72 of this Act  is made  to appear applies to have the order set aside  or modified, the court shall take  evidence in the matter in the same manner  as in a summary  trial.


(2)    Where the court is:

(a)    satisfied that the order, with or without modification, is reasonable and proper, the court shall make  it absolute  with such modification,  if any, as the court thinks fit;  and

(b)    not satisfied, it shall cancel the order.


Consequence of disobedience to order made absolute

  1. Where the  acts  directed  by an  order  under   section   72  of this  Act  which  is  made absolute  under  section  75 or  76 (2) (a)  of this  Act is not performed  within the  time fixed  and in  the manner  specified  in the order,  the court may cause it to be performed and may recover the cost of performing it either by:


(a)    the sale of any building,  goods  or other property  removed  by its order; or

(b)    seizure  and sale  of any  other movable  property  of the person   against whom the order  under  section  72  of this Act was made  in the manner prescribed in this Act for the recovery  of a fine.


Order pending Inquiry

78.( 1)  Where  the  court  making   an  order  under  section  72  of this  Act  considers  that immediate measures  should  be taken  to prevent  imminent danger  or injury  of a serious  kind  to the public,  it  may  issue  such  further  order  to  the  suspect against whom the order was made  as is required  to obviate  or prevent  the danger  or injury pending the determination of the matter.


(2)    In default of the suspect  referred to in subsection (1) of this  section  immediately disobeying  the further  order  referred  to in that subsection  or if notice  of the  order cannot,  by the exercise  of due  diligence,  be served  on him immediately,  the  court may use or cause to be used  such means  as it thinks  fit to obviate the  danger or to prevent the injury.


Prohibition of repetition or continuance or nuisance

  1. A court  may,  in  any proceeding  under  this Part  or  in  any criminal  proceeding  in respect  of a public  nuisance,  order  any  suspect not  to repeat  or continue  the  public nuisance.




Attachment of Property of suspect absconding

  1. A Judge or a Magistrate may,  at any time  after action  has been taken under  section  41 of this Act or on an application  made  in that regard  after summons  or warrant  has been issued but disobeyed, order the  attachment of any property, movable  or immovable or both,  belonging to a suspect the subject  of the public summons or warrant.


Order to attach property

81(1) An order under  section  80 of this Act shall  authorize  a public  officer named in it to attach  any property  belonging to a suspect named  in the order as the owner  of the property  within the area  of jurisdiction  of the Judge  or Magistrate by seizure or  in any other manner  by which  for  the  time  being  the  property  may  be  attached by way of civil  process.


(2)    Where,  a suspect  who  is the  subject  of an order  does  not appear within  the  time specified   in  the  public  summons,  the  property  under  attachment shall  be  at  the disposal  of the court.


(3)    Any property  under  attachment  shall  not  be  sold  until  the  expiration   of  three months  from  the date  of the  attachment unless  it is subject  to  speedy  decay  or the Judge  or Magistrate   considers  that the  sale would  be for the benefit of the  owner, in either of which  cases the judge or Magistrate may cause it to be sold whenever he thinks fit.


Restoration of attached property

82.(1)  Where within one year from the date of the attachment,  a  suspect,  whose property is or has been at the disposal of the Court under section  80 of this Act, appears voluntarily  or  being  arrested  is   brought  before  the  Court  and  proves  to  its satisfaction that he:

(a)    did  not  abscond  or  conceal  himself  for  the  purpose  of  avoiding execution of the warrant; and

(b)    had no notice of the public summons or warrant  as to enable him to attend within  the time specified  therein, that property,  so far as . it has not been sold, and the net proceeds of any part of it which has been sold shall,   after   satisfying   from   the   proceeds   all   costs   incurred   in consequence of the attachment, be delivered to him.


(2)    Where, after one year from the date of attachment,  the suspect  whose property  is attached or has been at the disposal  of the court does not appear voluntarily,  the property or the net proceed of its  sale sha!1 be forfeited  to the  Federal  or State Government as the case may .be.


Issue of warrant in lieu of or in addition to summons

  1. (1) A court or Justice of the Peace empowered by this Act to issue a summons for the    Issue  of warrant in appearance of a suspect may,   after recording reasons in writing,  issue  a warrant for his arrest in addition to or instead of the summons where:                                     ,  .

(a)    whether before or after the issue of the summons, the Court or Justice of the Peace sees reason to believe that the  suspect has absconded  or will not obey the summons; or

(b)    at the time fixed for his  appearance, the suspect fails to appear and the summons is proved to have been duly served in time to allow for his appearance  and  no  reasonable  excuse  is  offered  for  his  failure  to appear.


(2)    A court  or Justice  of the Peace  empowered by this  Act to issue  a  warrant  for  the arrest of a suspect may issue a summons in place of a warrant where he thinks fit.


Power to take bond for appearance

  1. Where a suspect for whose appearance or arrest a summons or warrant may be issued is present before a court or Justice of the Peace, the court or Justice  of the Peace may require him to execute a bond, with or without  sureties,  for his appearance  before a court.


Provisions of this Part generally applicable to Summons and Warrant

  1. The provisions contained in this Part relating to summonses  and warrants  and their issue,  service and  execution  shall,  so far as may  be, apply  to  every  summons  and every warrant issued under this Act.



Application of Part 8

  1. The provisions  of this Part  and  Pans  9 to 30  of this  Act  shall  apply  to all  criminal trials and proceedings  unless  express  provision  is made  in respect   of any  particular court or form of trial  or proceeding.


General authority to bring suspect before a court

  1. A court has authority to compel the attendance before it of a suspect  who  is within  the jurisdiction  and is  charged  with an offence  committed  within  the  State,  Federation  or the Federal  Capital Territory, Abuja,  as the case may be,  or which  according to law may be dealt  with  as if the  offence had been committed within  the jurisdiction  and to deal with the suspect according to law.


Right of making complaint

  1. (1) A person may  make   a  complaint   against  any  other  person   alleged  to   have  committed or to be committing an offence.


(2)    Notwithstanding   anything  to  the  contrary  contained   in  any  other  law,  a  police officer may make a complaint in a case of assault  even though  the party aggrieved declines or refuses to make  a complaint.


Form of complaint

89.(1)        It is not necessary  that a complaint shall be in writing, unless it is required to be so  by the law on which  it is founded,  or by some other Jaw,  and where  a complaint  is not made in writing, the court  or registrar shall reduce  it into writing.


(2)    Subject to the provisions of section  54  of this Act,  a complaint  may,  unless  some law otherwise requires,  be made  without oath.


(3)    A complaint may be made  by the complainant  in person,  or by a legal  practitioner representing him,  or by any person  authorized in writing in that behalf.


(4)    A complaint  shall be for one  offence  only, but the complaint shall  no: be  avoided by describing the  offence,  or  any material act relating to  it in  alternative  words according to the language  of the law constituting  suet  offence.


(5)    All complaints  made to  the court  directly  under this section may first  be referred  to the police for investigation before  any action is taken  by the court.


Form of documents in criminal proceedings

  1. A complaint, summons,   warrant or  any other document  laid, issued  or  made  for the purpose  of or in connection  with  any proceedings  before a court  for an offence,  shall be sufficient if it  contains  a statement of the specific offence with which  the  suspect  is charged,  together with  such  particulars  as may  be  necessary  for  giving   reasonable information as to the nature  of the charge.


Rule as to statement of exception

  1. Any exception,   exemption,  proviso,  condition.  excuse,   or  qualification,  whether  it does or does not in any enactment  creating  an offence  accompany in the same  section,   the  description  of  the  offence,   may  be  proved  by  the  defendant,  but  need   not  be specified  or refuted  in the  complaint,  and where  so specified   or refuted,   no  proof  in  relation  to  the  matter   so  specified   or  refuted  shall   be  required   on  the  part   of  the complainant.


Limitation of period for making a private complaint

  1. In every   case  where   no  time   is   specially   limited   for  making   a   complaint   for   a summary  conviction  of an offence  in  the law relating to such offence,  such  complaint  if made other than by a person in his  official  capacity, shall  be made within six years from the time when the matter of such complaint arose, and not after.



Venue generally

93.(1)  An offence  shall ordinarily  be inquired  into  and tried  by a court within  the local limits of whose jurisdiction:

(a)    the offence was wholly or in part committed, or some  act forming  part of the offence was done;

(b)    the consequence of the offence has ensued;

(c)    an offence was committed by reference to which the offence  is denied; or

(d)    a person against whom, or property in respect of which,  the  offence was committed is found, having been transported there by the  suspect or by a person knowing of the offence.


(2)    A criminal  charge shall be filed and tried in the division where the alleged offence was committed  unless  it  can be shown  that it  is  convenient  to do  otherwise  for   security reasons.


(3)    The Commissioner of Police shall ensure that one or more  armed policemen  are posted to provide security during every criminal trial.


Offence at sea of outside of Nigeria

  1. An offence  committed  at sea  or  outside  the territory  of Nigeria,  may  be  tried  or inquired into at any place in Nigeria to which the suspect  is  first brought,  or to which he may be taken thereafter.


Offence committed on a journey

  1. An offence committed while the suspect is in the course of performing  a journey  or voyage may be tried or inquired into by a court in the State or division  or district  of whose jurisdiction the suspect  or the person against whom. or the thing in respect  of which the offence was committed resides, is or passed in the course of that journey  or voyage.


Offence commenced and completed in different States

  1. Where an offence:

(a)    is commenced in a State and completed  in another State, or

(b)    is   completed   in  the   Federal  Capital   Territory,   Abuja   after  being commenced in another State,


the suspect may be dealt with, tried and punished as if the offence had been actually or wholly committed in any of the States,  or Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


Chief Judge to decide questions as to court of Inquiry or place of trial

  1. Where a question arises as to which  of the two or more courts of the Federal Capital Territory,  Abuja ought to inquire  into or try any offence,  it  shall  be decided  by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


Chief Judge may transfer case

98(1)  The Chief Judge of a High  Court  may, where it appears to  him that  the transfer  of a case will promote the ends  of justice or wlll be in the interest of the public  peace, transfer any case from one court to another.


(2)    The power of the Chief Judge  referred  to in subsection  ( 1)  of this  section  shall not be exercised where the prosecution has called witnesses.


(3)    Where the Chief Judge is to exercise  this power subsequent  to a petition, the Chief Judge shall  cause the petition  to be investigated  by an independent  body of   not more than three reputable legal  practitioners within  one week  of receipt of such petition.


(4)    The investigating body  shall  submit its report  within  two  weeks  of appointment except otherwise specified.


When cases may be remitted to another court

  1. A court before which a person charged  with  having  committed  an offence  is brought shall, where:

(a)    the offence ought to be properly  inquired  into  or tried by another court; or

(b)    in the  opinion   of the   court,  the  offence  ought  to  be  conveniently inquired into or tried  by  another court, within a reasonable period not exceeding 7 days, send the case and all processes  relating  to the case to the head  of court  for  re-assignment to  that  other  court,  and  where appropriate,  remand  the  suspect charged  in  custody or require him  to give  security  for his  attendance before  that  other  court  to  answer  the charges and to be dealt  with  accordingly.


Removal under Warrant

100.(1) Where a suspect  is  to be remanded  in  custody,  a wan am  shall  be  issued  by  the remitting  court  and  that  warrant  shall  be  sufficient  authority  to  any  person  to whom it is directed to:

(a)    receive and detain the   suspect  named  in the warrant;  and

(b)    produce him to the court  to which  the suspect charged  is remitted.


(2)    The person to whom the warrant is directed  shall execute  it according to  its  terms without any delay .


Transfer of case where cause of complaint has arisen out of jurisdiction

  1. Where a suspect is:

(a)    in  custody and the court directing a transfer  thinks  it expedient that the custody should be continued, or

(b)    not in custody, that he should  be placed  in  custody.


the court shall, by its warrant,  commit the  suspect to prison,  subject  to  such security  as it  may  deem  appropriate  in  the circumstances, until  he can  be taken  before a court wherein the cause of complaint arose.


Court may assume jurisdiction under certain conditions

102.(1)Notwithstanding the  provisions   of  sections  93  arid  98  of  this  Act,   a  Judge   or Magistrate of a division or district in which  a suspect:

(a)   is   arrested   and   charged   with   an   offence,   alleged   to   have   been committed in  another division  or district;

(b)    is in custody on the charge;  or

(c)    has  appeared  in  answer  to  summons   lawfully  issued   charging  the offence,

may, where he considers  that justice would  be better  served  and having  regards to the accessibility  and convenience  of the witnesses,  proceed  to hear the charge,  try and punish  the  suspect  as if the  offence had  been  committed  in the  division or district.


(2)    The offence referred  to in subsection (1)  of this section  shall,  for all purposes, be deemed to have been committed in that division or district.


Assumption of jurisdiction after commencement of proceedings

  1. Where a case is commenced  in any other division  or district than that in which  it ought to have been  commenced,  the court may  assume  jurisdiction  in  accordance with the provisions  of section  101  of this Act and all acts performed and all decisions  given  by the  court during the trial or any other  proceeding shall be deemed to be  valid  in  all respect as if the jurisdiction had been assumed  prior to the performance of the acts and the giving of the decisions.



Information by the Attorney-General

104.(1) The Attorney-General  of the Federation may  prefer  information  in  any  court  in respect of an offence created by an Act of the National Assembly.


(2)    The  Attorney-General  of  the  Federation  may   authorize   any  other  person   to exercise any or all the powers  conferred  on him tinder this section.


Issuance of legal advice and other directives to Police

105.(1)  The  Attorney-General  of the  Federation  may  issue  legal  advice  or  such  other directive  to  the  Police  or  any  other  law  enforcement  agency  in  respect  of an offence created by an Act of the National Assembly.


(2)    Where any proceeding  is pending  in  respect  of the. offence  for which  legal  advice or other direction referred to in subsection (1)  of this section  is  given, a copy  of the legal  advice  or  direction   shall  be  forwarded  by  the  Attorney   General   of  the Federation   or  Director   of  Public   Prosecutions  to  the  court  before  whom   the proceeding  is pending.


(3)    The Attorney-General of the Federation may  request from  the Police or any  other agency for the case file in any matter  in respect  of an offence  created by an Act  of  the National  Assembly  and the Police or other  agency  shall immediately  send  the case file as requested.


Prosecution of Offences

  1. Subject to the provisions  of the Constitution,  relating  to the powers  of prosecution  by the Attorney-General  of the Federation,  prosecution of all offences  in  any  court  shall be undertaken by:

(a)    the  Attorney-General   of  the  Federation  or  a  Law   Officer   in   his Ministry or Department;

(b)   a  legal   practitioner    authorised   by   the   Attorney-General   of   the Federation;  or

(c)    a legal practitioner authorized to prosecute by this Act or any other  Act of the National Assembly.



Discontinuance of Criminal cases

  1. (1) In any  criminal  proceeding   for  an  offence  created   by  an  Act  of  the  National Assembly,   and  at  any  stage  of the  proceeding  before judgment,  the  Attorney-General  of the  Federation  may  discontinue the  proceedings  either by  stating  in court or informing the court in writing  that the Attorney-General of the Federation intends that the proceeding  shall  not continue  and based  on the notice  the  suspect shall immediately be discharged in respect  of the charge  or  information for which the discontinuance  is entered.


(2)    Where the  suspect:

(a)    has been committed  to prison,  he shall  be released;  or

(b)    is  on bail, the recognizance shall  be discharged.


(3)    Where the suspect is not:

(a)    before  the  court  when the  discontinuance is  entered,  the  registrar  or other  proper  officer  of the  court  shall  immediately  cause   notice  in writing  of the entry  of the discontinuance to be given to the  officer  in charge   of the  prison   or  other  place   in  which   the  suspect   may   be detained  and  the  notice  shall  be  sufficient  authority  to  discharge the suspect;  or

(b)    in  custody,  the  court  shall  immediately cause  notice in writing to  be given  to the   suspect  and  his  sureties and  shall  in either case  cause  a similar notice in writing to be given to any witness bound  over to prosecute.


(4)    Where discontinuance is  entered in accordance  with the provisions of this  section, the discharge  of a suspect shall not operate  as a bar to any subsequent proceeding against him on account of the same facts.


Withdrawals from prosecution in trials and inquiries before a court

108.(1) In any trial  or proceeding  before a court,  a prosecutor may,  or on the instruction  of the Attorney-General  of the Federation,  in case  of offence against an Act  of the National  Assembly,  may,  at any stage  before judgment  is  pronounced,  withdraw the charge  against  any defendant  either  generally  or in  respect  of one  or  more of the offences with which the defendant is charged.


(2)    On the withdrawal, where it is made:

(a)    before the defendant  is  called  upon to  make  his  defence,  he  shall  be discharged  of the offence;  and

(b)    after  the  defendant  is  called  upon  to  make  his  defence,  he  shall  be acquitted of the offence.


(3)    In any trial  before  a court in  which  the  prosecutor withdraws in respect of the prosecution  of an offence before the defendant  is called upon to make his  defence.. the court may, in its discretion,  order the defendant to be acquitted  if it is satisfied, on the merits  of the  case, that  the order  is a proper   one,  and  when  an order  of , acquittal  is made,  the court shall  endorse its reasons  for making the  order  on the record.


(4)    Where a private prosecutor withdraws  from a prosecution for an offence under  the provisions  of this section, the court may,  in its discretion, award costs against  the prosecutor.


(5)    A  discharge   of  a  defendant  under  this  section  does  not  operate   as  a  bar  to subsequent   proceedings   against  him  on  account   of the   same  facts,   except   as otherwise provided  under this section.



Different methods of instituting criminal proceedings

  1. Subject to the provisions of any  other law,  criminal  proceedings may, in accordance with the provisions of this Act,  be instituted:

(a)    in  a Magistrates court,  by a charge or a complaint whether  or not on oath or upon receiving  a First Information Report;

(b)    in  the  High  Court,  by  information  of  the  Attorney-General  of  the Federation, subject to section  104 of this Act;

(c)    by information or charge filed in the court after the defendant  has been summarily committed  for perjury by a court under  the provisions  of this Act;

(d)    by  information  or charge  filed  in the  court  by  any  other  prosecuting authority;  or

(e)    by information  or charge  filed by  a private  prosecutor SJ!bject  to  the provision  of this Act.


Mode of instituting criminal proceedings in a Magistrate Court

  1. (1) Criminal proceedings  instituted in a Magistrate  court may  be:

(a)    by bringing a suspect  arrested without  a warrant before the  court  on  a charge contained  in a charge  sheet specifying  the  name,  address, age, sex  and occupation  bf the suspect  charged,  the charge  against  him  and the  time   and  place   where  the   offence   is   alleged    to   have    been committed;  and the charge sheets shall be signed by any of the persons mentioned  in section  I 06, of this Act;


(b)    upon  receiving  a First  Information  Report  for  the  commission of an offence for which  the police  are authorised to arrest  without a warrant and which  may be tried by the court within the jurisdiction where the police  station  is  situate, the particulars in the report shall  disclose the offence  for which  the complaint  is brought and  shall  be signed  by the police officer in charge  of the case;  or


(c)    subject to the provision of section  89 of this  Act, by  complaint to  the court, whether  or not on oath, that an offence has  been  committed by  a suspect whose  presence the  Magistrate has  power   to  compel,  and  an application  to the Magistrate,  in  the manner  set out  in this  section  for the .issue  of either a summons  directed  to,  or  a warrant to  arrest, the suspect.


(2)    The charge sheet filed  by the prosecution shall  be served  on the  defendant  within seven days of its being filed or such time as the court may  allow.


(3)    The trial  of a charge preferred under  subsection  (])  (a) and  (b) of this  section shall commence not later than  30  days from the date of filing  the charge,  and the trial  of the person brought  under the charge shall  be completed  within a reasonable time.


(4)    Where a charge is preferred under  subsection  (1)  (a) and (b) of this  section  and the trial  does  not  commence  within  30  days  of bringing  the charge,   or  trial  has commenced  but  has  not been  completed  after  180  days  of arraignment  on  that charge, the Court shall forward to the Chief Judge the particulars  of the charge  and reasons for failure to commence the trial  or to complete  the trial.


(5)    A  Court  seized   of  criminal  proceedings  shall   make   quarterly  returns   of  the particulars    of  all   cases,    including   charges,   remand    and    other   proceedings commenced  and dealt with in his  Court within the quarter,  to the Chief Judge.


(6)    In  reviewing  the  returns   made  by a Court under  subsections  (4)  and  (5)  of this section, the Chief Judge  shall have regard to the need to ensure  that:

(a)    criminal matters  are speedily dealt with;

(b)    congestion  of cases in courts is drastically reduced;

(c)    congestion  of prisons is reduced to the barest minimum; and

(d)    persons  awaiting  trial  are,  as far  as possible,   not  detained in  prison custody  for a length  of time beyond  that prescribed in section  293  of this Act.


(7)    The Administration of Criminal  Justice Monitoring  Committee, shall  have  power to consider  all returns  made  to the Chief Judge  under  subsections  (4)  and  (5)  of this  section  for  the  purpose   of ensuring  expeditious  disposal   of cases,   and  the National  Human  Rights  Commission   set up  under  the  National Human  Rights Commission  Act shall have access to the returns on request  to the Chief Judge.


Returns by Comptroller-General of Prisons

111(1)  The Comptroller-General of Prisons  shall make returns every  90 days to the  Chief Judge of the Federal  High Court, Chief Judge of the Federal  Capital  Territory, the President of the National  Industrial  Court, the  Chief Judge  of the  State  in which the prison is situated  and to the Attorney-General of the Federation of all persons awaiting  trial  held  in custody in Nigerian  prisons  for a period   beyond   180  days from the date of arraignment.


(2)    The returns  referred  to  in  subsection  (1)  of this  section  shall  be  in  a prescribed form and shall include:

(a)    the name of the  suspect held in custody  or Awaiting Trial  Persons;

(b)    passport  photograph of the  suspect:

(c)    the date of his arraignment or remand;

(d)    the date of his admission  to custody;

(e)    the particulars of the offence with which be was charged;

(f)     the courts before which he was arraigned;

(g)    name of the prosecuting agency; and

(h)    any other relevant  information.


(3)    Upon receipt of such return,  the recipient  shall take  such steps  as are necessary to address the issues raised  in the return in furtherance  of the objectives  of this Act.



Procedure for receiving complaint and first information report

  1. (1) Where a complaint is  brought  before  a police officer  in charge  of a police  station concerning the commission  of an offence and is:

(a)    one for which the police  are authorised to arrest  without a warrant,  and

(b)    triable   by  a  magistrate  court  within   which  jurisdiction   the  police station is situated,


the police shall, if the complaint is made  orally, reduce the complaint or cause it to be reduced into writing in the Police  Diary.


(2)    The complaint,  whether  given  in writing  or  orally  shall be reduced in writing into the Police Diary and read  or  cause  to be read  over  to the  complainant  and  every such complaint shall be signed  by the officer receiving  the complaint.


(3)    where on any other ground  the  officer in charge  of a police  station has  reason  to suspect the commission  of an offence referred  to in subsection (1 ), he shall enter or cause to be entered the grounds  of his suspicion  in a Police Diary.


(4)    Where the officer is satisfied that no public interest may be served by prosecuting, he may refuse to accept  the complaint  provided  that he notifies  the  complainant of his right to complain to a court under  section  109  (a) of this Act.


(5)    Notwithstanding  the  provision  of subsection   (2)  of this  section,  the  officer  in charge   of  a  police   station   may,   if in   his   opinion   the  matter    might   more conveniently be  inquired  into  by  an  officer  in  charge  of another police   station, refer the complaint to such other police  station.


(6)    After complying with the provisions of subsection G) of this section, the  officer in charge of the police formation shall act as follows:

(a)    he  shall forthwith  proceed  to  1:1e  scene  and investigate  the  case  and  if the suspect  is  not  in custody, take  such  steps  as may be necessary for the discovery  and arrest  of the suspect  or he may  direct a police  officer subordinate to him to do so and report to him;

(b)    in cases involving death  or serious  injury to any person,  the  officer in charge of the police station  shall arrange,  if possible, for the person to be taken to the nearest  hospital for such further examination as may be necessary;

(c)    where the complaint is given  against  a person  by name  and the  alleged offence  is  not  of a  serious  nature,   the  officer  in  charge  of a  police formation need not make  or direct investigation on the spot:

(d)    in the cases  mentioned in  paragraph   ( c)  of this  subsection,  the  officer in charge  of the  police   station shall  record in the  book  referred to  in subsection  (2)  and  in  the  First  Information  Report   to  the  court  his reason  for  not   entering   on  an  investigation  or  for  not  making  or directing investigation on the spot or not investigating the case;

(e)    where after the investigation, it appears that the complaints against  the suspect  are unfounded,  the  investigation shall  be  terminated  and  this fact shall be recorded  in the Police Diary mentioned  in subsection (2) of this section;  and

(f)     where the officer  considers  that the prosecution of the  alleged  offence will  serve  the  public  interest, the  officer  shall  reduce  the  complaint into the prescribed  form called First Information Report  and the officer shall take the   alleged suspect with the First Information Report  before a Magistrate within whose jurisdiction the police station is situated.


(7)    Where the suspect appears  or is brought before the Magistrate  court,  the particulars of the offence of which  be is accused  shall be read to him and he shall  be asked  if he has any cause to show why he should not be tried by the Magistrate.


(8)    Where upon hearing  the information, the alleged suspect admits the commission of the  offence  contained   in  the  First  Information   Report,  his  admission  shall   be recorded as near as possible in the words used by him and if he shows no sufficient cause   why   he   should   not   be   convicted,   the   Magistrate    may    convict    him accordingly and in that case it shall not be necessary to frame a formal  charge.


(9)    Where the suspect  denies  the  allegation  against him  and states  that  he  intends  to show cause why he should  not be convicted,  the Magistrate  shall  proceed  to hear the  complainant  and  take  such  evidence  as may  be produced in  support  of the prosecution  and the suspect  shall be  at liberty to  cross-examine the witnesses  for the  prosecution  and if he  so  does,  the prosecutor  may  re-examine the  witnesses where necessary.


(10) Where the evidence  referred  to in subsection  (9)  of this section  has been  taken  or at any stage of the case, the Magistrate  is  of the opinion  that there  is ground  that the   suspect  has   committed    an  offence  triable   under   this   part,   which   such Magistrate  court is competent  to try and which,  in the opinion  of the Magistrate. could  be  adequately  punished,  the  Magistrate   shall  frame  a  charge   stating  the offence for which the  suspect  will  either  be tried  by the  court  or direct that the suspect be tried in another Magistrate court.


(11) Where in the proceeding before a Magistrate court, the court, at any stage  before judgment, is of the  opinion  that  the  case  is one  which  ought  to be  tried  by the High Court, he shall transfer  the case along  with the suspect  to a High  Court  for trial upon a charge or information in accordance  with the provisions of this Ad.



Compelling appearance of a suspect

  1. A court  may  issue  a  summons   or  warrant   as provided  in  this  Act  to  compel  the appearance  before  it  of a  suspect  accused   of having  committed   an  offence  in  any place, whether  within or outside  Nigeria, triable  in a State  or in the  Federal  Capital Territory, Abuja.


Summons and Warrants

  1. In every case, the court may proceed either by way  of summons to the defendant or by  way  of  warrant  for  his  arrest   in   the   first  instance   according  to  the   nature  and circumstances of the case.


Making of complaint and issue of process

115(1) Subject to  the  provisions of section 89 of this  Act, a person who  believes  from  a reasonable   or  probable    cause   that  an  offence  has   been   committed  by   another person   whose    appearance  a  Magistrate  has  power  to   compel,  may   make  a complaint  of the commission  of the  offence to  a  Magistrate who  shall  consider  the allegations  of the complainant and may:

(a)    in his  discretion, refuse  to issue  process and shall  record his reasons  for such refusal;  or

(b)    issue   a  summons   or  warrant  as  he   shall   deem   fit  to  compel  the attendance of the  defendant before a Magistrate Court  in the  district.


(2)    The Magistrate shall  not  refuse to  issue  a summons  or warrant only  because the alleged offence is one for which a suspect may  be  arrested without warrant.




Issue and service

  1. A summons  may  be  issued  or served  on any  day,  including   a  Sunday   or public  holiday.


Issue of summons and its contents

  1. Where a complaint is made  before a Magistrate as provided in section  115  of this  Act and the Magistrate  decides to  issue  a summons, the  summons shall  be directed to  the suspect,  stating  concisely the  substance  of the  complaint and  requiring him  to appear at a  certain  time  and  place  not  less than  48 hours   after  the  service  of the  summons before  the  court  to  answer  to  the complaint and  to  be  further dealt  with according  to law.


Hearing by consent before return date of summons

  1. The court may, if it deems fit and with the  consent of the parties, hear and  determine  a complaint  notwithstanding  that  the  time  within  which the  defendant  was  required  to appear  may not have  elapsed.


Summons with immediate return date in special circumstances

  1. Where, on a complaint being made before a Magistrate as provided in section  115  of this Act, the Magistrate decides  to issue  a summons,  the  defendant  may  be  directed  to appear  immediately in cases  where an  affidavit is  made by  the  complainant  either  at the  time  of making the  complaint  or subsequently that  the  defendant is likely to  leave the district  within 48 hours.


Discretion in ex parte application

  1. A summons  issued  by  a court  under this  Act  shall  be  in writing,  made in  duplicate, signed  by the presiding officer  of the  court  or by such  other officer  as the  Chief Judge may  specify, from  time  to time.


Summons to be in duplicate

  1. A summons issued  by  a court  under   this  Act shall  be  in  writing, made in  duplicate, signed  by the  presiding officer  of the  court  or by  such  other officer  as the  Chief Judge may  specify, from  time  to time.


Service of summons

  1. A summons shall be  served  by a police officer  or by an  officer  of the  court issuing  it or other public officer,  or through a courier service company duly registered with the Chief Judge as a process service agent of the court under this Act.


Normal methods of effecting service

  1. The person effecting service of a summons shall effect it by delivering it on:

(a)    an individual, to him personally; or

(b)    a firm or corporation;

(i)     to one of the partners,

(ii)    to a director,

(iii)    to the secretary,

(iv)   to the chief agent within the jurisdiction,

(v)    by leaving  it  at the principal  place  of business  in Nigeria  of the firm or corporation, or

(vi)   to anyone having, at the time of service,  control of the business  of the firm;


(c)    a  Local  Government  Council,  then  m  accordance   with  the  Local Government Act or Law;


(d)    the  Nigeria  Police Force, or the  office  of the  Inspector-General  of Police, to the Commissioner of Police of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja or of the State;


(e)    any  Federal  Government  Ministry,  Department   or  Agency,  to  the Attorney-General of the Federation or 10  the Legal Department of such Ministry, Department or Agency;


(f)     any  state   Government  Ministry,   Department    or  Agency,   to   the Attorney-General  of the  State  or  to=the  Legal  Department  of such Ministry, Department or Agency; or


(g)    any arm of the armed forces, to the  Director  of Legal  Services  of the Service or Command concerned.


Service where persons summoned cannot be found

  1. Where service in the manner provided by section 123  (a)  of this Act cannot, by the exercise of due diligence, be effected, the serving officer may, with leave of the court, affix one of the duplicates of the summons to some conspicuous  part of the premises or place in which the individual to be served ordinarily resides  or works, and on doing so the summons shall be deemed to have been duly  served,


Service on public officers

  1. (1) Where a public  officer  is  to  be served  with a  summons,  the court  issuing  the summons  may send it  in  duplicate to the officer  in  charge  of the department  in which the person is employed  for the purpose  of being  served  on the person,  if it appears to the court that  it may be most conveniently so served.


(2)    The officer in  charge  of the  department shall,  on  receiving the  summons, cause  it to be served in the manner  provided  by section  123  (a) of this Act  and  shall return the duplicate to the  court  under  his  signature,  with  the  endorsement required  by section  115 of this Act, which  signature shall be evidence  of the service.


Service outside jurisdiction of court

  1. Where  a court issues  a summons  to  a person  outside  its  jurisdiction,  the  summons shall  be sent in duplicate to a court in whose jurisdiction the person resides or works.


Proof of service when serving officer not present

  1. Where the officer  who  served a summons  is  not  present  at the  hearing  of the  case, proof of service may be done by endorsement on a duplicate  of the  summons  and by an affidavit showing when  and how the service  was effected.


Receipt of service of summons

  1. (1) Where a summons  has  been  served  on the  person to  whom  it is addressed  or is delivered to any other person, the person to whom  it is addressed or the person to whom it is delivered,  as the case may  be, shall acknowledge receipt  at the  back  of the duplicate.


(2)    Where service is not  effected  by delivering the  summons  to  an individual but  by some other method approved  by this Act, the person effecting  service  shall  endorse on the duplicate particulars of the method  by which he effected  service.


Persons refusing to sign receipt may be arrested

  1. A person who is required to sign a receipt  on the back  of a duplicate summons  to the effect that he has received the summons  and fails to sign the receipt  may be:

(a)    arrested by the person  serving the  summons or any  other person with powers of arrest under this Act  and taken  before the court  which  issued the summons:  and

(b)    detained in  custody  or committed to prison for such time  not exceeding  14 days as the court may deem fit.


Proof of service

  1. An affidavit or declaration  made before  a court  by the serving  officer  or by a witness to the service  or return slip  of a registered courier  service  company that  a summons has been served  and a duplicate of the  summons endorsed,  by the person  to whom  it was  delivered  or tendered  or with  whom  it was left is admissible in evidence and the statements  made in it is deemed to be correct  unless  the contrary is proved.


Summons disobeyed, warrant may be issued

  1. Where the court is satisfied that the  suspect  has  been  served  with a summons and the suspect  does not  appear  at the time  and  place  appointed in  and  by the  summons  and his personal attendance  has not been  dispensed with  under  section  135 of this Act, the court may issue  a warrant  for his arrest  and production before the court.


Issues of warrant for suspect in the first instance

  1. Where a  complaint  is  before a  Magistrate as provided  in this Act,  and the  Magistrate decides to issue a warrant, he shall issue a warrant to arrest the suspect   and bring him before the court to answer the complaint and be dealt with according to law.


Application of sections 35 t o47 to such warrant

  1. Where a warrant of arrest is issued in consequence of a complaint on oath as provided under section  132  of this  Act,  the provisions  of sections  35  to  47 of this  Act  shall apply to such warrant.


Warrant may be issued before or after return date of summons

  1. Notwithstanding the issue of a summons as in section  177  of this Act,  a warrant may be issued  at any time  before  or  after  the time  appointed for  the appearance  of the suspect.


Power to dispense with personal attendance of defendant in certain cases

  1. (1) Where a Magistrate  issues  a summons  in respect  of any    offence for which  the penalty  is  a  fine  not  exceeding   N10,000.00  or  imprisonment  for  a  term  not exceeding six months  or both, the Magistrate,  on application of the   defendant:

(a)    may dispense  with the personal  attendance  of the  defendant where  the offence is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both; and

(b)    shall  dispense  with  personal  attendance   of the  defendant where   the offence  is  punishable by fine  only  if the  defendant pleads   guilty  in writing or appears  and so pleads by his legal practitioner.


(2)    The  Magistrate   trying  a  case  in which  the  presence  of the  defendant bas been dispensed with,  may in his discretion,  at any subsequent stage  of the proceedings, direct the personal attendance  of the defendant  and where  necessary,  enforce the attendance by means of the issuance  of a warrant to arrest  the defendant and bring him before the court.


(3)    Where a Magistrate  imposes  a fine on a defendant  whose  personal  attendance has been dispensed  with under this section, the Magistrate may at  the same  time  direct that if the fine is not paid  within  a stated time, the amount  shall  be recovered by distress  or  that  the  defendant   shall  be  imprisoned  for  a  period  calculated  in accordance  with the provisions contained in this Act for the non-payment of a fine.


(4)    Where the attendance  of a defendant  is  dispensed  with  and previous  convictions are alleged  against  him  not  admitted  in writing  or  through   his  legal  practitioner, the court, may  adjourn  the  proceedings  and  direct  the  personal attendance in the same manner  as provided  in subsection (2) of this section .


(5)  Where the attendance  of a defendant  has been  dispensed  with,  and his attendance is  subsequently   required,   the  cost  of any adjournment  for  that  purpose  shall  be borne by the defendant.



Irregularities in summons, warrant, service or arrest

  1. Where a defendant  is before  a court,  whether  voluntarily,  or  on  summons,  or after being arrested  with or without warrant, or while in custody for the  same  or any other offence, the trial may be held notwithstanding:

(a)    any  irregularity,  defect,  or  error  in  the  summons  or  warrant,  or

(b)    the want of any complaint  on oath; or

(c)    any defect in the complaint,  or any irregularity  in the arrest or custody of the defendant.


Irregularities which vitiate proceedings

  1. Where a court or Justice of the Peace, who is not empowered by 1 aw  does  any of the following things:

(a)    attaches and sells property  under section  80 of this Act

(b)    demands  security to keep the peace/ (c) demands  security for good behaviour:

(d)    discharges  a person  lawfully  bound to be of good behavior,’

(e)    cancels  a bond to keep the peace;

(f)     makes an order under  section  72 of this Act as to a public  nuisance;

(g)    prohibits,  under section  79 of this Act, the repetition or continuance  of a public nuisance-

(h)    tries  an offender: or

(i)     decides an appeal, the proceedings  shall be void.


Variance between charge and complaint

  1. A variance between the  charge  contained in the summons  or warrant   and  the  offence alleged in the complaint,  or between  any of them and the evidence  adduced on the pan of the prosecution,  shall not affect the validity  of any proceeding.


Process valid notwithstanding death or vacation of office of person issuing

  1. A summons, warrant  of any description  or other process  issued  under  a law  shall  not be  invalidated  by  reason  of the  person  who  signed  the  summons  or warrant  being dead, ceasing to hold  office or have jurisdiction.



Validity of process warrant of commitment and warrant of distress.

  1. (1) A warrant  of  commitment shall  not  be held  void  by reason  of  any  defect  in  it, where  it  is  alleged   that  the  defendant   has  been• convicted   or  ordered   to  do  or abstain from doing an act or a thing required to be done or left undone and there  is a good  and valid  order to sustain the warrant.


(2)    A warrant  of distress shall not  be held  void  by  reason  of any  defect,  where it is alleged that an order has been  made and there is a good and valid  ground  to sustain the  order,  and   a   person   acting   under   a  warrant  of  distress  is  not  deemed    a trespasser  from  the  beginning by  reason  of any  defect  in  the  warrant   or  of any irregularity in the execution of the warrant.


(3)    This Act shall not prejudice the right of a person to compensation  for any special damage caused by defect or irregularity in the execution of a warrant of distress.


General addresses of process for issue and execution

141.(1)  In  addition to the provisions  of sections  36  and 40  of this  Act  in  respect  of warrants of arrest,  all  summonses,  warrant of every description  and  process  of whatever description  shall  be sufficiently  addressed for service  or. execution by being directed to the Sheriff.


(2)    Notwithstanding the  provisions  of subsection  (1)  of this  section,  a warrant  or summons may be addressed  to a person by name or to  an officer  by his  official designation.


(3)    Where a warrant of arrest is addressed to the Sheriff the warrant may be executed by a police officer or officer of a court.


Certain provisions applicable to all summonses and warrants in criminal matters

  1. The provisions  contained  in  this  Act  in  respect  of  warrants  of  arrest,  and  the provisions contained in this Part relating to summonses,  warrants  of any description and other process and their issuance,  service,  enforcement and execution  shall,  so far as may be, apply to  every  summons, warrant of any description  and  other  process issued in respect of matters within the criminal jurisdiction of the court.




Application for search warrant

  1. Where an investigation under this Act is being made by a police officer, he may apply to a court or Justice of the Peace within the local limits of whose jurisdiction he is for the issue of a search warrant.


Cases in which search warrants may be used

144.(1)Where a  court or Justice of the Peace is satisfied by information  on oath and in writing  that  there is reasonable  ground for believing that there is in any building, ship,  carriage, receptacle, motor vehicle, aircraft or place:

(a)    anything upon  or  in  respect  of  which  any  offence  has  been  or  is suspected to have been committed,

(b)    anything  which there  is reasonable ground for  believing  will  provide evidence as to the commission of an offence, or

(c)    anything which there is reasonable ground for believing is intended to be used for the purpose of committing an offence,

the court or Justice of the Peace may at any time issue a warrant authorising  an officer of the court, member  of the police force, or other person named  to act in accordance with subsection (2) of this section.


(2)    A search  warrant issued  under  subsection  (1)  of this section  shall  authorize  the officer of the court, a police officer, or other person named to:

(a)    search such building,  ship,  carriage, receptacle, motor vehicle,  aircraft or place  for any  such  thing,  and  to  seize any  such thing  until further trial  proceeding  before  the  court  issuing  the  search  warrant   or some other court to be dealt with according  to law;  and

(b)    arrest the occupier  of the  house  or place  where  the  thing  was  found where the court deems fit to direct on the warrant.


Discharge of suspected person

  1. Where the occupier of any building  or the person  in  whose possession a thing  named in a search warrant is found and is brought  before a court or Justice of the Peace and  a complaint  is not made that  he has  committed an offence,  the  court  or Justice of the Peace shall immediately discharge  him.


Search warrant to be signed by Magistrate or Justice of the Peace

146.(1) A search warrant  shall  be under  the hand  by of the Judge, Magistrate  or Justice of the Peace issuing it.


(2)    A warrant  shall remain  in force until  it is  executed or  cancelled  by the court  which issued it.


Search warrant to whom directed

  1. A search warrant may be directed  to one or more persons  and, where  directed  to  more than one, it may be executed by all or by any one or more of them.

Time when search warrant may be issued and executed

  1. A search warrant  may be  issued  and  executed at any time  on any  day,  including  a Sunday or public holiday.


Person in charge of closed place to allow access

  1. (1)Where any building or  other thing  or place  liable to  search  is  closed,   a person residing  in or being  in charge  of the  building,  thing  or  place  shall,  on  demand of the police officer or other person  executing the search  warrant, allow  him  free  and unhindered  access to it and afford  all reasonable facilities for its  search.


(2)    Where  access  into the  building,  thing  or place  cannot  be so obtained,  the  police officer or other person  executing the search  warrant  may proceed  in the  manner prescribed by sections  9, 10,  12  and 13  of this Act.


(3)    Where a suspect  in or about the building, thing  or place  is reasonably suspected  of concealing on his person  an article  for which  search  should  be made,  the suspect may  be searched  and where  the  suspect  to  be  searched  is  a woman   she  shall  be searched by another woman  and may be taken  to a police  station  for that purpose.


(4)   A search  under  this  Part shall,  except  the court  or Justice  of the  Peace  owing  to the nature  of the case otherwise  directs,  be made  in the presence  of two  witnesses and  the  person  to  whom  the  search  warrant  is  addressed   may  also  provide  a witness within  the neighbourhood.


(5)    A list of all things  found  on his person  and  seized shall be drawn  up by the person carrying  out  the search  and  shall  be  signed or sealed by the person  to  whom  the search warrant  is addressed, the person  executing the search warrant,  the witnesses and a witnessed  copy of the list shall be delivered to the person  searched.


(6)    Where a place to be searched  is a building physically occupied by a woman who, according  to custom or religion  does not appear  in public,  the person making the search shall, before entering  the building,  give notice to the woman  that  she  may withdraw  and shall afford  her every  reasonable  facility  for withdrawing  and  may then enter the building.


Occupant of place searched may attend

  1. The occupant  of a place searched  or some person  on his behalf shall be permitted to be present at the search and shall,  if he so requires,  receive  a copy  of the  list of things seized there, signed or sealed by the witnesses,  if any.


Execution of search warrant outside jurisdiction

  1. A person  executing  a  search warrant  beyond  the jurisdiction  of the court  or Justice of the Peace issuing it shall, before doing so, apply to the court within whose  jurisdiction search is to be made and shall act under its directions.


Magistrate may direct search in his presence

  1. A  Magistrate   or  Justice  of the  Peace  may  direct  a  search  to  be  conducted  in  his presence   of  any  place  for  the  search of  which  he  is  competent  to  issue  a  search warrant.


Detention of articles recovered

  1. (1)Where upon the execution of a search  warrant  anything  referred  to in section  144 of this Act is recovered,  it may be detained  by the police,  taking  reasonable care that it is preserved until the trial or any further proceeding.


(2)    A list of all things recovered  in  the  course  of search  and of the places in which they  are  found  shall  be  drawn   up  by  the  person   carrying   out   the   search   in accordance with section  149  (5)  of this Act and a copy of the list  forwarded to the Judge,   Magistrate   or  Justice   of  the   Peace   who   issued   the   warrant  for  his information with indication as in the prescribed form  set out in  the First Schedule to this Act on the search warrant  of the things:

(a)    seized that are detained  or caused to be detained;  and

(b)    that were seized but have been released  to the owners.


(3)    Where  a defendant   is  charged  to court  with an offence  or no  appeal   or  further proceedings is pending  in relation  to an item recovered  during a search,  the police shall:

(a)    restore to the person  who  appears to be entitled to them; and

(b)    where  he is the defendant,  cause  to be restored  to him  or to  his  legal practitioner or to such other person  as the defendant may direct.


(4)    The police  or any other agency  carrying  out the search is  authorised  or required  by law to dispose of the items  seized  in  accordance with the provisions of section  153 of this  Act,  the police  or agency  shall  release  the  proceeds  of the  disposal  of the seized  items to the person  entitled to it.


(5)    Any property  or a part  of the  property  may be applied  to the payment  of any  cost or  compensation  directed  by  the  court  to  be  paid  by  the  defendant,   or  person entitled to the property.


Perishable articles may be disposed of by court

  1. Where a thing seized under  a search warrant  is  of a perishable or  noxious  nature, it may be disposed of in such manner as the court may direct.


Search fo rand disposal of gunpowder

  1. Where the thing to  be  searched  for  under  a   search  warrant   is  gunpowder,  arms, ammunition  or  any  other  explosive,   dangerous   or  noxious   substance  or  thing,  the person making the search has powers  and protection as are given by a law for the  time being in force to a person lawfully  authorised to search for the thing,  the thing shall be disposed  of in  the  same  manner  as  directed  by  the  Jaw,  or  in  the   absence  of the direction,  as the court may either generally or in  any particular instance order.


Disposal of counterfeit currency and certain other things

  1. Where, in consequence of the execution of a search warrant,  there  is brought before a court any forged banknote, banknote  paper,  counterfeit currency,  instrument, or other thing for forgery  or counterfeiting, the possession of which,  in the  absence of lawful excuse, is an offence, the court may cause the thing to be defaced  or destroyed.


Transmission to court of other State

  1. Where a search warrant  is issued  in respect  of an offence  against  the  law  of any  State of Nigeria and a summons  has been issued for that offence  by, or any person has  been charged  with that  offence  before  a court  of that  State,  the  Court issuing the  search warrant may, except  he has  disposed  of the thing  in accordance with section  153  of this Act,  transmit  anything  seized  and brought  before  him to that  court and in relation to anything so transmitted, the functions conferred  on a Magistrate by this  Act  shall  be exercised and performed  by that court instead  of the Magistrate who issued  the  search warrant.



General entitlement to bail

  1. When a person  who  is  suspected  to have  committed an offence  or is  accused  of an offence  is  arrested  or  detained,  or  appears  or  is  brought   before  a  court,  he  shall, subject re the provisions of this Part, be entitled  to bail.


Power of court to order person in custody to be brought before it

159.(1) Where  2  suspect  or defendant is  detained  in  a  prison,  police station  or  any  other place  of detention,  the  court  may  issue  an  order  to  the  officer   in  charge  of the prison,’ police  station  or other place to produce  the suspect or defendant  at the time and date specified  in the order before the court.


(2)    The court may,  on production of the person  or subsequently, make  such  order  or give such directives,  as it considers  appropriate  in the circumstances in accordance with the provisions of this Act.


Recognizance by parent or guardian of a child

  1. (1) Where a child is arrested with or without warrant and cannot  be brought forthwith before  a court,  the  police  officer  in  immediate  charge  for  the  time  being  of the police  station to which  the  child  is brought,  shall  inquire  into the  case  and  shall except-

(a)    the charge  is one of homicide;


(b)    the   offence   charged   is   punishable  with   imprisonment  for   a  term exceeding three years;


(c)    it   is  necessary   in   the   interest   of  the  child   to  remove   him   from association with any reputed  criminal or prostitute, release the  child  on a recognizance  entered into by his parent  or guardian,  with  or without sureties.


(2)    The parents  or guardian  of the child shall execute  a bond for  such  an  amount as will in the opinion of the officer secure the attendance  of the child  for the hearing of the charge.


Bail where a person is charged with capital offence

  1. (1) A suspect arrested,  detained   or  charged  with  an  offence  punishable  with   death shall only be admitted  to  bail  by a Judge  of the  High  Court,  under  exceptional circumstances.


(2)    For  the  purpose   of  exercise   of  discretion   in  subsection   (1)   of  this   section, “exceptional circumstance” includes:

(a)    ill health  of the  applicant  which shall be  confirmed  and  certified by  a qualified medical  practitioner employed in a Government hospital, provided  that  the  suspect  is able to prove that there  are  no  medical facilities to take care of his illness by the authority detaining him;

(b)    extraordinary  delay  in  the investigation,  arraignment  and prosecution for a period exceeding one  year;  or

(c)    any other circumstances  that the Judge  may,  in  the particular  facts  of the case, consider exceptional.


Bail where a defendant is charged with offence exceeding three years imprisonment

  1. A defendant charged  with  an  offence  punishable   with  imprisonment  for  a  term exceeding  three years shall,  on application  to the court,  be released  on bail  except  in any of the following circumstances:

(a)    where  there  is  reasonable ground  to  believe  that  the  defendant will, where released  on bail, commit  another offence;

(b)    attempt to evade his trial;

(c)   attempt   to  influence,   interfere  with,   intimidate   witnesses,   and   or interfere in the investigation of the case;

(d)    attempt to conceal  or destroy evidence;

(e)    prejudice the proper  investigation of the offence; or

(f)     undermine   or   jeopardize  the   objectives    or   the   purpose or the functioning  of  the  criminal  justice  administration,  including  the  bail system.


Bail where a defendant is charged with offence not exceeding three years imprisonment

  1. In any other circumstance other than those  referred  to in  sections  16 1  and  162  of this Act,  the defendant  shall  be  entitled   to  bail,  unless  the  court   sees  reasons   to  the contrary.


Bail in respect of matters in other offences

  1. Where a defendant is brought  before  a court  on any process  in  respect  of any matter not included  within Sections  158  to  163  of this Act, the person  may,  at the  discretion of the court, be released  on his entering  into recognizance, in the manner provided in this Act, for his appearance  before the  court  or any other court at the  time  and  place mentioned in the recognizance.


Conditions for bail

  1. (1) The conditions for bail in any case  shall  be at the discretion  of the  court  with due regard to the circumstances  of the case and shall not be excessive.


(2)    The court may require the deposit of a sum of money  or other  security  as the  court may specify from the defendant  or his surety before the bail is approved.


(3)    The money or security deposited  shall be returned  to the defendant  or his  surety  or sureties, as the case may be,  at the  conclusion of the trial  or on an application  by the surety to the court to discharge  his recognizance.


Recognizance in respect of a child

  1. Where in any  case  the  defendant  in respect  of whom   the  court   makes   an  order requiring that a recognizance  be entered  into  is a child, the child  shall  not  execute the recognizance  but the  court  shall  require   a parent,  legal  guardian  or  other  fit person, with  or without sureties, to  enter  into  a recognizance that the  child  shall  do  what  is required under the court’s  order.



  1. (1) A defendant admitted to bail may be required  to produce  such surety  or sureties  as, in the opinion  of the court,  will  be sufficient to ensure his  appearance as and when required.


(2)    The defendant or his surety or sureties  may be required  to enter into recognizance, accordingly.


(3)    A  person  shall  not  be  denied,  prevented  or  restricted  from   entering  into  a recognizance  or standing  as  surety  for  any  defendant  or  applicant on  the ground only that the person is a woman.


Judge may vary bail fixed by magistrate or Police

  1. A Judge of a High Court may direct that the:


(a)    bail  conditions  required  by a  Magistrate’s  court  or police   officer be reviewed;  or


(b)    defendant  in  custody   in  a  State  or  in  the  Federal   Capital  Territory, Abuja be admitted  to bail.


Reconsideration of bail

  1. Where a  defendant  has  been  admitted to  bail  and  circumstances  arise  which, in the opinion of the Attorney-General of the Federation would justify the court in cancelling the bail or requiring a greater amount,  a court may, on application  being made by the Attorney-General of the Federation, issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant  and, after giving the defendant an opportunity of being heard, may commit him to prison to await trial, or admit him to bail for the same or an increased amount.


Before whom recognizance may be executed

  1. (1) The terms of recognizance fixed by the court  in respect to any surety  or sureties shall be processed in that court.


(2)    The recognizance as mentioned  in subsection  (1)  of this section may  be entered into by the parties before  any other court, any registrar,  superior police  officer, officer in charge of a police station or any official in charge of a prison.


(3)    Recognizance entered into as prescribed in subsection (2) of this section shall have the same effect as if they have been entered into before that court.


Release on execution of recognizance

  1. (1)As soon as recognizance has been entered into  in  accordance  with the  provisions of section  164  of this Act or money or other security deposited in the registry  of the court:

(a)    the defendant for whose appearance it has been entered into or security executed shall be released; and

(b)    where be is in prison or police station or other place of detention, the court admitting him to bail shall  immediately issue a written  order  of release to the official  in charge of the prison  or  such other  place  of detention  and the  official  on receipt of the  order  shall  immediately release him.


(2)    The release order or any process in relation to it may be served  in accordance  with the relevant law regulating service of processes in  the court,  or by such  person  or courier company as the Chief Judge may authorize to serve  criminal processes  of the court.


(3)    Nothing in this section  or in any other  section relating to  bail is deemed to require the release of a defendant liable to be detained for some matter other than that in respect of which the recognizance was entered into or to which the bail relates.


Mode of entering into recognizance

  1. Where as a condition for the release of any  defendant, he is required to enter  into  a recognizance with  sureties,  the recognizance of the sureties  may be taken separately and either before  or  after  the  recognizance  of the  principal,  and  if so  taken,  the recognizance of the principal  and sureties shall be as binding as if they had been taken together and at the same time.


Continuous bail

173(1)  Where a defendant is released on bail, the recognizance may be conditioned  for his appearance at every time and place to which,  during the course of the proceedings, the hearing may from time to time be adjourned.


(2)    The court may, where the circumstances appear just:

(a)    vary the order  of  release  on bail  of the defendant  at  any  subsequent hearing; and

(b)    at any subsequent stage  of any proceeding, cause a defendant who has been released on bail to be arrested and be committed to custody:

Provided  that  the Judge shall  state  in  his record the reason for the  variation  of  the order or committal  of the defendant.


(4)    Nothing in this section  or in any other section relating to bail is  deemed  to require the release of a defendant  liable  to be detained  for some matter  other than  that in respect of which the recognizance  was entered into or to which the bail relates.


Defendant bound by recognizance to appear before a court or police may be committed to prison

  1. Where an   application  is  made  before   the  Court  by  information  on   oath  by  a complainant, surety or other person that a defendant bound by recognizance to appear before a court or police officer:

(a)    is about to leave Nigeria, or

(b)    for the purpose  of evading  justice,  is  about to  leave  or has  left  the division  or  district  of the  court  before which he  is  to  appear  or  in which he normally resides,  the court may cause him to be arrested  and may commit him to prison  until the trial,  unless the court  considers  it fit to admit him to bail on further recognizance.


Reconsideration of amount of bail on application by law officer or police

  1. Where a defendant has been admitted  to bail and circumstances  arise  which, if the defendant had not been  admitted  to  bail  would, in the opinion  of a law  officer  or police officer, justify the court in refusing bail or in requiring bail of greater  amount,  a court. may:

(a)    on the circumstances  being  brought to  its notice  by  a law  officer  or police officer,  issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant;  and

(b)    after  giving him an opportunity  of being heard, commit  him  10  prison to await trial  or admit him to bail  for the same or an increased  amount as the court may deem just.


Variation of a recognizance of surety unsuitable

  1. Where at any time after a recognizance has been entered  into,  it  appears  to the  court that for any reason the surety  or sureties  are unsuitable, the court may:

(a)    issue a summons or warrant for the appearance of the principal;  and .

(b)    on his coming to the  court,  order him to execute a fresh  recognizance with other surety  or sureties,  as the case may be.


Discharge of sureties

  1. (1) All or any of the sureties  to a  recognizance  may at any  time  apply  to  the  court which  caused the recognizance  to be taken to discharge  the bond  either  wholly  or so far as relates to the applicant.


(2)    On an  application  under  subsection   (1)  of this  section,  the  court  shall   issue  a warrant  for the  arrest of the  defendant  on  whose  behalf the  recognizance  was executed and on his appearance  shall discharge  the recognizance  either  wholly or so  far  as relates  to  the  applicant   and  shall  require  the  defendant   to  find   other sufficient sureties or meet some other conditions and if he fails to do so, may  make such order as it considers fit.


Order of fresh security upon original order

  1. Where a  surety to a recognizance  becomes  insolvent  or dies or where  a recognizance is  forfeited,  the  court  may  order  the  defendant  from  whom  the  recognizance  was demanded  to furnish fresh  security  in accordance with the directions  of the  original order and,  if the security  is not furnished,  the court may proceed  as if there had  been default in complying with the original  order.


Forfeiture of recognizance

  1. (1)Where it is  proved  to the  satisfaction  of the  court  by which  a recognizance  has been taken or,  when the recognizance bond is for appearance  before  a court  and  it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that a recognizance  has been  forfeited, the court shall  record the grounds  of proof and may  call on any person  bound by the bond to pay the penalty thereof or to show cause why it should not be paid.


(2)    Where  sufficient cause  is not shown  and  the penalty  is not  paid,  the  court  may proceed  to recover  the penalty from  a person  bound,  or from  his  estate if  he  is dead, in the manner laid  down in this Act for the recovery  of fines.


(3)    A surety’s estate shall only be liable  under this section if the surety  dies  after  the recognizance is forfeited.


(4)    When the penalty  is not paid  and cannot be recovered  in the manner provided  in this Act, the person bound shall  be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.


(5)    The  court  may  at  its  discretion   remit  any  portion  of the  penalty  and  enforce payment in part only.


Mitigation of forfeiture

  1. The court may at any time cancel or mitigate  the forfeiture,  on the person liable  under the recognizance  applying and giving security to the  satisfaction  of the  court, for  the future performance  of the condition  of the recognizance and paying,  or giving  security for  the payment  of the  costs  incurred   in  respect  of the  forfeiture  or  on  such  other conditions as the court may consider just.


Where defendant fails to find surety

181           Where  a  defendant  required  by  a court  to  find  sufficient  sureties  fails  to do  so, the court, shall, unless it  is just  and proper  in the circumstances, make some order in the case of a defendant:

(a)    charged with an offence  and released  on bail, an order committing him to  prison  until  he  is  brought   to  trial,  discharged   or  finds  sufficient sureties, or meets  such other conditions as the court may  direct  in the circumstances; or

(b)    ordered to give security  for good  behaviour,  an order committing him to  prison  for the remainder of the period for which  he  was  originally ordered to give security or until he finds sufficient  sureties.


Forfeiture on conviction

  1. (1) Where a recognizance to keep the peace and be of good behaviour or not to do or commit some  act or thing,  has been  entered  into by a defendant as principal  or as surety  before  a court, a court,  on proof that the person  bound by the recognizance as principal  has been convicted   of an  offence  which  is  by  law  a breach  of the condition of the recognizance, may  order that the:

(a)    recognizance be forfeited; and

(b)    persons bound by it,  whether as principal  or as sureties  or any  of those persons, shall pay the sums  for which they are respectively bound.


(2)    A  certified  copy  of the  judgment  of the  court  by  which  the   defendant  was convicted of the offence may be used  as evidence  in proceedings under  this section and, where the certified  copy  is  so  used,  the  court  shall  presume the  defendant committed the offence until the contrary is proved.


Where recognizance forfeited warrant may be issued

  1. Where a recognizance is ordered to be forfeited, the court having jurisdiction over the matter, may,  immediately  or   at   any   time   after   the   order, issue  a warrant  of commitment  against  a  person   liable,   whether as  principal or surety  under  the recognizance, for any term not exceeding the term prescribed  in respect   of a like  sum in  the  scale  of imprisonment  set  out  in this  Act  except  the  amount  due  under  the recognizance  is paid.


Arrest on failure to appear

  1. Where a defendant who is bound  by a recognizance or bond  to appear  before a court or police station does not so appear,  the  court may issue a warrant  for his arrest.


Payment on recognisance

  1. All sums paid  or recovered in  respect  of a  recognizance order by a  court  in pursuance of section  J   78 of this Act to be forfeited  shat  be paid to   the  Treasury   and  a  receipt issued which shall be produced  in court as evidence  of payment.



  1. An order of forfeiture made under this Act shall be subject to appeal


Registration of bonds persons

  1. (1) The Chief Judge of the Federal  High  Court  or of the  High  Court  of the  Federal Capital Territory, Abuja may make  regulation for the registration and licensing of corporate  bodies  or persons  to  act  as bondspersons within  the jurisdiction  of the court in which they are registered.


(2)    A person shall not engage in the business of bail bond services without  being  duly registered  and licensed in  accordance with the subsection  (1) of this section.


(3)    A person who engages in bail bond  services without registration and licence or in contravention  of the regulation   or terms   of his  licence  is. liable  to  a fine  of five hundred thousand  naira or imprisonment  for a term not exceeding 12  months  or to both  fine and imprisonment.


(4)    On  conviction  under  this  section,   the  court  shall  forward   a report  to  the  Chief Judge and in instances  of gross violation of the terms  of the licence and  revoke the licence.


(5)    A  bondsperson  registered  under  subsection  (1)  of this  section   may   undertake recognizance,  act as surety,  or guarantee  the  deposit  of money  as required by the bail  condition  of a  defendant  granted  bail  by  the  court  within  the   division  or district in which the bondsman is registered.


(6)    A person or organisation shall not be registered  as a bondsperson unless  the person is,  or  the  organisation  is  composed  of persons  of unquestionable  character  and integrity  and  deposits  with  the  Chief Judge   sufficient  bank  guarantee  in  such amount  as may be determined by the Chief Judge  in the regulation,  having regard to the registered class or limit of the bondsman’s recognizance.


(7)    A  registered  bondsperson   shall  maintain   with   a  bank  or  insurance  company designated  in his licence, such fully paid deposit to the limit of the amount of bond or recognizance  to which his  licence permits  him to undertake.


(8)    The Chief Judge may withdraw the registration  of a bondsperson  who  contravenes the terms of his licence.


Bondsperson may arrest absconding defendant or suspect

  1. Where a bondsperson  arrests  a defendant  or suspect   who  is absconding  or who  he believes is trying to evade or avoid appearance  in court he shall:

(a)    immediately hand him over to the nearest  police  station; and

(b)    the defendant arrested shall be taken to the appropriate  court within 12 hours.




Methods of stating multiple ownership of property

  1. Where in  a complaint, summons, warrant  of any description,  charge sheet,  information or any  document  issued by  a  court  in the  exercise   of its  criminal jurisdiction  it  is necessary  to refer to the ownership  of any property, whether  movable  or immovable, which belongs to or is in the possession  of more than  one person, may if:


(a)    the property belongs to, or is in the possession of more than one person whether  as  partners   in  trade  or  otherwise,  joint  tenants,   tenants  in common or other joint owners  or possessors, be described  in the name of any one of those persons and another or persons;


(b)    the  property belongs  to  a company,   association,  club  cir  society,   be described,  subject to the provisions  of any other Jaw, as the property of the   official   of  the   company,    association,  club   or  society,   or  as belonging  to the company,  association, club  or society  by its legal  or registered title;

(c)    the  property  belongs   to,  or   is   provided  for  the  use  of  a  public establishment; service  or department,  be  describe as the property of the Federation  or of the State, as the case may be;


(d)    it is necessary  to   state the  ownership of a church, chapel,  mosque or building  or  place   set   apart  for  religious   worship   or  of  anything belonging to or being in the place,  be stated as the property  of a person in charge of or officiating in the church,  chapel,  mosque,  or building or place, or thing, without naming him or them;


(e)    it is necessary  to state the ownership  of any money  or other property in the charge,  custody,  or under  the control  of,  a public  officer,  be  stated to  be the money  or property of the  Federation   or of the  State,  as  the case may be;


(f)     where it is necessary to state the ownership  of:

(i)     any work  or building made,  erected  or maintained,  either  wholly or in part, at the expense of the public revenue  or of any part  of it,

(ii)   any township,  town,  or village  or any Local Government, or of anything belonging to or being in or used in relation .to the  same,

(iii)    anything  provided  for  the  use  of  any  part   or  of any  public institution  or establishment, or of any materials  or tools provided or used for repairing any work  or building or any public  road  or highway,  or

(iv)  any other property whatsoever, whether  movable  or immovable, as aforesaid, be sufficient to state as the property  of the Federation or  of  the   State  or  of  the  town,   or  village,   OT   of  any  Local Government,   as  the   case  may  be,  without  naming   any  of  the inhabitants of the area or jurisdiction;


(g)    the property  belongs to a woman  who has contracted  a marriage  under the Marriage  Act  or a marriage recognised as a valid marriage under any  law  in  force  in  Nigeria,  be  stated  as  belonging to  the  married woman.


Description of persons in criminal process

  1. (1) Where in  a  complaint,   summons,  warrant   of  any   description,  charge   sheet, information  or  any  document   issued  by  a   court  in  the  exercise  of  its  criminal jurisdiction,  it  is  necessary  to  refer  to  a person,  the  description  or  designation  of that person  shall  be  such  as  is  reasonably  sufficient  to  identify  him  except   as provided under  section 232 of this  Act.


(2)    it shall  not  be  necessary   to  state  the  person’s  correct  name,  or  his  residence, degree,  or  occupation,  so  far  as  the  person  has  been  reasonably  described  to identify him.


(3)    Where  it  is  impracticable  to  give  the  person’s  correct   and  exact  description  or designation  because  the name  or the  description or designation  of the person  is  not known  or for any other reason,  the description  or designation  shall  be  given  as  is reasonably   practicable- in  the   circumstances,   or  the  person   may,    subject   to subsection (4) of this section, be described as “Person Unknown”.


(4)    A defendant  who is  accused  of  an offence  shall  not  be  described  as  “a  person unknown”  except in the case of a verdict found on a coroner’s inquisition.


Remedies of married woman against her husband and others in respect of her person or property

  1. A woman who has contracted a valid marriage  shall have in her own name  against all persons,  including the husband  of the marriage,  the same remedies and redress by way of criminal  proceeding  for  the  protection  and  security  of her  person   or  her  own separate property as if such property  belonged  to her as an unmarried woman.


Husband and wife competent as witnesses

  1. ln any proceeding taken under the provisions of section  191  of this Act,  the  husband and  wife  shall  be  competent  and   compellable   witnesses  in  accordance  with   the provisions  of the Evidence Act, 2011.




Forms of charges in second schedule to be used and adapted

  1. A charge may be as in the forms set out in the Second Schedule  of this Act,  with  such modification  as may be necessary  in the circumstances of each case.


Offence to be stated in charge

  1. (1) A charge shall state the offence with which the defendant is charged.


(2)    Where the law creating the offence:

(a)    gives it a specific name, the offence  shall be described in the charge  by that name only;  and

(b)    does  no,  give  it  a  specific  name,  so  much  of the  definition  of the offence  shall  be stated  as to give  the defendant  notice  of the  facts  of the offence with which he is  charged.


(3)    The  law,  the  section  of the  law  and  the punishment section  of the  law  against which the offence is said to have been committed,  shall be set out in the-charge.

Legal presumption of charge

  1. The fact that a charge is made is equivalent to a statement that every legal condition required by law to constitute the offence charged  was fulfilled in the particular case.


Particulars of charge

  1. (1) The charge shall contain  such  particulars  as to the  time and place  of the  alleged offence and the defendant, if any, against  whom   or the thing, if any, in respect of which it was committed as are reasonably sufficient to give the: defendant  notice  of the offence with which he is  charged.


(2)    A charge  sheet shall be filed  with  the photograph of the defendant  and  his  finger print  impression,  provided  that  where  the photograph  and finger print  impression are not available, it shall not invalidate the charge.


Charge of criminal breach of trust

  1. Where a defendant is charged with criminal  breach of trust or fraudulent appropriation of property,  it  is  sufficient  to specify  the gross sum in respect  of which  the  offence  is alleged to have been committed  and the dates between  which the  offence  is  alleged  to have  been  committed  without   specifying  particular  items  or  exact  dates,  and   the charge so framed shall be deemed to be a charge of a single offence.


Charge of criminal falsification of accounts

  1. When a defendant is charged with falsification of accounts, fraudulent  falsification of accounts or fraudulent  conversion,  it  shall  be sufficient  to  allege  a general intent to defraud without  naming  any particular person  intended  to be defrauded  or specifying any particular sum of money intended  to be the subject  of the fraud or any  particular day on which the offence was committed.


Charge may contain the manner in which the offence was committed

  1. Where the nature of the offence is such that  the particulars  required  by  sections  194 and  196  of this  Act  do  not  give the  defendant   sufficient  notice  of the  matter  with which he is charged,  the charge  shall  also  contain  such  particulars   of the  manner in which the offence was committed  as will be sufficient  for that purpose.


Sense of words used in charge

  1. (1) In a charge, words used in describing an offence  are  deemed  to have  been  used  in the sense attached to them, respectively,  in the law creating  the offence.


(2)    Figures,  expressions  and abbreviation  may be used for expressing  anything which is commonly expressed by those figures,  expression  or abbreviation.


Description  of property and joint owners

201.(1)  The description  of property  in  a charge  shall be  in ordinary  language  indicating with reasonable  clearness  the  property   referred  to  and  where  the  property is  so described  it  is not necessary,  except  when  required for the purpose  of describing an offence  depending  on  any  special  ownership   of property   or  special   value  of property, to name  the  person  to  whom. the property  belongs  or the  value   of the property.


(2)    Where property is  vested  in more  than  one person and the owners  of that  property are referred to   in  the  charge,  foe property  may  be  described   as being   owned   i11 accordance with the appropriate pro-vision set  out in section  1   89 of this Act.


(3)    Where the owner of any property is a company,  association,  club  or  society,  proof of the  registration  of the  company,   association,  club   or  society  shall   not   be required  unless  the  court  decides  that  proof shall  be  given,  in which   case,   the further  hearing   may   be  adjourned    for  the  purpose  or  the  court  may,   in  its discretion,  amend  the  proceedings  by  substituting  the  name  of some  person  or persons for the registered title.


Description of bank or currency notes

202.(1) Any bank or currency  note  may  be  described  as money,   and any averment as to money,  regarding  the  description  of the  property,   shall  be  sustained  by  proof of any  amount  of  any  bank  or  currency   note,  although   the  particular  species  of currency  of which the  amount  was  composed  or the particular nature  of the  bank or currency note  need not be proved.


(2)    In a case of stealing  and defrauding  by false pretences, the  bank or currency  note may be described  by proof that  the defendant  dishonestly appropriated or  obtained any  bank  or currency  note, or any portion  of its value,  although the  bank  or currency note may have  been  delivered to him in order  that some part of its value should  be returned  to the party  delivering  it  or to an)’  other  person,  and  that  part should have been returned accordingly.


Provision as to Statutory Offences

203.(1)  Where a law constituting an offence states the offence to be the omission to do any one of different acts in the alternative, or the doing or the omission to do any act in any one of the different capacities, or with any one of the different intentions, or states  any part of the offence  in the  alternative,  the  act,  omission,  capacity,   or intention, or other matter stated in the alternative in the law, may be stated in the alternative in the charge.


(2)    It shall  not be necessary in any charge where the offence  is one  constituted by  a law to negate any exception or exemption from or qualification to the operation of the law creating the offence.


Description of persons

  1. The description or designation  of the defendant in a charge or of any other person  to whom reference is made therein may be in the manner set out in  section  190  of this Act.


Description of document

  1. Where it is  necessary to  refer to  a document  or  an  instrument  in  a  charge,  it  is sufficient to describe it by any name or designation by which it is commonly known, or by the purport of the document without setting  out the content or attaching  a copy of such document to the charge.


General rule as to description

  1. Subject to any other provision of this Act, it is sufficient to describe  any place, time, thing, matter, act, or omission to which it is necessary to refer in a  charge in ordinary language in such a manner as to indicate with reasonable clarity the place, time, thing; matter, act or omission referred to.


Statement of intent

  1. It is not necessary in stating an intent to defraud, deceive or injure to state an intent to defraud, deceive or injure  any particular person, where the law  creating  the  offence does not make an intent to defraud,  deceive or injure  a particular person an essential ingredient of the offence.


Defendants who may be charged jointly

  1. The following defendants may be charged and tried together, defendant accused of:

(a)    the same offence committed in the course of the same transaction;

(b)    an offence  and another of abetting or being accessory to or attempting to commit the same offence;

(c)    more than one offence  of the same  or similar character,  committed  by them jointly;

(d)    different offences committed in the course of the same transaction;

(e)    offences  which include theft,  extortion  or  criminal  misappropriation and  another  accused  of  receiving  or  retaining   or  assisting  in  the disposal  or concealment of property, the possession  of which has been transferred by offences  committed by the first named persons,  or of abetment of or attempting to commit any of the last  named offences; and

(f)     dishonestly receiving  stolen  property  or assisting  in  concealment of stolen  property,   or  in  respect  of stolen  property  the  possession  of which  has  been  transferred   by  one  offence,  and  another accused   of offences  committed  during  a fight  or  series  of fights  arising  out  of another fight, and persons  accused of abetting  any of these  offences.


Separate charges for distinct offences

  1. For every distinct offence with which  a defendant  is accused, there  shall be a separate charge  and  every charge  shall  be tried   separately except in the following circumstances:


(a)   any  three   offences   committed   by  a  defendant  within   12  months whether  or not they  are of the same or similar  character or whether or not they are in respect  of the same person  or  persons;


(b)    any number  of the same type of offence committed by a defendant;


(c)    any number  of offence  committed  by a defendant in the course of the same transaction  having  regard to  the proximity of the time  and place, continuity of action and community of purpose; or


(d)    cases mentioned in sections  210 to 215 of this Act


Attempt same as substantive offences

  1. An offence is deemed to be an offence of the same kind as an attempt to commit that offence where the attempt  is itself an offence.


Trial for more than one offence

  1. Where in one series of acts or omissions   so  connected  together as to  form the  same transaction or which  form  or are part of a series of offences of the  same or a similar character,  more  offences  than  one  are committed  by the  same  defendant,  charges  for the offences  may  be joined   and  the  defendant  accused  tried  for  the  offences  at one that.


Offences falling within two definitions

  1. Where the acts or omissions alleged constitute an offence  falling  within two  or more separate definitions  in any law for the time  being  in force under  which  offences are defined or punished, the  defendant accused  of them may  be  charged  with and tried  at one trial for each of those  offences.


Acts constituting one offence but constituting a different offence when combined

  1. Where several acts  or omissions,   of which  one  or more than one  would  by  itself or  themselves  constitute an offence,  constituted when  combined with  a different  offence, the  defendant  accused   of  them  may  be  charged  with  and  tried  at  one  trial  for the offence  constituted   by  those   acts   or  omission   when   combined  or  for  any  offence,   constituted by any one or more of those  acts.


Where it is doubtful which offence has been committed

  1. Where a single act or omission or series  of acts or omissions is of such  a nature  that  it is  doubtful  which  of several  offences,  the facts of which  can be proved, will  constitute the offence  with  which  the  defendant  may  be  charged  with having  committed all  or any of those  offences  and any number  of those  charges  may be tried  at once  or he may be charged in the alternative with  having  committed  any of those  offences.


Incidental offences in the same transaction

  1. Where a single act or omission the fact or combination of facts constitutes  more  than one offence,  the defendant  may be charged  and tried at one trial for one  or  more of those offences.




Alteration and amendment of charge by permission of court

  1. (1) A court may permit an alteration  or amendment  to a charge  or  framing  of a new charge at any time before judgment is pronounced.


(2)    An alteration  or amendment  of a new  charge  shall  be read  and explained  to  the defendant and his plea to the amended or new charge  shall be taken.


(3)    Where a defendant  is arraigned  for trial  on an imperfect or erroneous  charge,   the court may permit or direct the framing of a new charge,  or an amendment to, or the alteration of the original  charge.


(4)    Where any defendant  is committed  for trial  without a charge or with  an imperfect or erroneous charge, the court may frame  a charge  or add or alter the charge  as the case may be having regard to the provisions  of this Act.


Procedure on alteration of charge

217.(1) Where a new charge is  framed or alteration  made to a charge under the provisions of section 216  of this Act,  the court shall call on the defendant  to plead  to the new or altered charge as if he has been arraigned  for the first time.


(2)    The court shall proceed  with the trial  as if the new  or altered charge had  been  the original charge.


When court may proceed with trial immediately after altering, adding to or framing charge

218.(1) Where the  charge  as revised  under  section  216  or  21 7  of  this  Act  is  such  that proceeding  immediately with the trial  is not likely  in the  opinion of the  court, to prejudice the defendant in his defence or the prosecutor, as the case may  be,  in the conduct of the case, the court may in its discretion  forthwith proceed with the trial as if the charge so revised had been the original  charge.


(2)    Where a  charge  is  so  amended,   a note  of the  order  for  amendment  shall  be endorsed  on the  charge,  and  the  charge  shall be  treated,  for the purpose of all proceedings  in connection therewith,  as having been  filed in the amended  form.


Recall of witnesses when charge is revised

  1. Where  a charge  is  altered,  amended  or  substituted  after  the  commencement  of the trial, the prosecutor and the defendant  shall  be  allowed  to  recall  or re-summon and examine  any witness who may have been  examined  and  to  call  any further  witness, provided  that  such  examination  shall  be  limited  to  the  alteration,  amendment  or substitution  made.


Effect of error

  1. An error in  stating the offence  or the particulars  required to be stated in a charge or an  omission to state the offence or those particulars, or any duplicity,  mis-joinder or non- joinder of the particulars  of the  offence  shall not be regarded  at any stage  of the  case as material  unless the defendant was in fact misled by the error or omission.


Objection to a charge

  1. Objections shall not be taken or entertained  during proceeding  or trial  on the  ground of an imperfect or erroneous charge.


Effect of material error

222.(1) Where an appellate court is  of the opinion  that a  defendant convicted  of an offence was misled in his defence by the absence  of a charge, or by an error in the  charge, which has  occasioned  a  miscarriage  of justice,  it  may  direct  that  the  trial  be recommenced on another charge.


(2)    Where the appellate  court is of the opinion that  the  facts  of the case  are such  that no valid charge could  have  been preferred  against  the defendant  in  respect of the facts proved,  it shall quash the conviction.



Where defendant charged with one offence may be convicted of another

  1. Where a defendant is  charged  with  one  offence  and  it  appears  in  evidence  that  he committed  a  similar  offence  with  which   he  might  have  been   charged  under  the provisions  of this Act, he may be convicted of the  offence,  which  he is shown  to have committed although he was not charged  with it.


Full offence charged, attempt proved

  1. Where a defendant is charged  with an offence but the evidence  establishes  an attempt to commit the  offence,  he  may  be  convicted  of having  attempted   to  commit  that offence although the attempt is not separately  charged.


Attempt charged, full offence proved

  1. Where a defendant is charged  with  an attempt  to commit  an offence but the evidence establishes the commission  of the  full offence  he  shall not be entitled to  an acquittal but he may be convicted  of the attempt and punished  accordingly.

Liability as to further prosecution

  1. Where a defendant has been  convicted of al’.  attempt  under  either  section  224  or 225 of this Act,  he shall not subsequently  be  liable  to  be prosecuted   for the  offence  for which he was convicted  of attempting to  commit.


On charge of an offence conviction as accessory after the fact to that or connected offence may follow

  1. Where a defendant  is  charged  with an offence  and the evidence  establishes that  he is an  accessory  after  the  fact  to   that   offence  or  to  some  other  offence  of  which   a defendant charged with the first-mentioned offence, may be convicted by virtue  of any of the provisions of this Act,  he may  be convicted  as an accessory after the fact to that offence or that other offence,  as the case may be and be punished  accordingly.


Defendant tried for lesser offence but a higher offence is proved

228.(1)Where on  the  trial  of a defendant  for  a  lesser  offence  it  appears  that  the  facts proved in  evidence  amount  in  law  to  a higher  offence  not charged,  the  defendant shall not by this reason be acquitted  of the lesser offence.


(2)    The defendant referred  to in  subsection  (1)  of this section  is  not liable  afterwards to be prosecuted  for the higher  offence  proved,  but the court may in  its  discretion stop the trial  of the lesser  offence  or direct  that the defendant  be charged  and  tried for  the  higher  offence,  in  which   case,  the  defendant  may  be  dealt   with  in  all respects as    he had not been put to trial  for the lesser offence.


(3)    Where  a  charge  is  brought   for  the  higher  offence  pursuant  to  this  section,  the defendant shall be tried before another court.


Conviction of kindred offences relating to property

  1. Where a defendant is charged with an offence relating to property and the evidence establishes the  commission by  him  with  respect  to  the same property  of another offence, he may be convicted of that other offence  although he was not charged  with it.


Defendant charged with burglary may be convicted of kindred offence

  1. Where on trial  for burglary, housebreaking  or  related  offence, the  facts  proved  in evidence Justify a  conviction for some other offences  and not the offence with which the defendant is charged, he may be convicted of the other offence and be punished  as if he had been convicted on a charge or an information charging him with the offence


On charges of rape conviction under defilement, incest, unnatural or indecent assault may follow

  1. Where on a trial for rape, defilement, incest, unnatural or indecent offences  against a person, the facts proved in evidence can ground conviction for an indecent assault and not  the offence with which the defendant is  charged,  he may be convicted   of the offence  of indecent  assault,  and be punished as if he had been convicted on a charge or an information charging him with the offence of indecent assault.


Procedure for trial on charge for certain offences

232.(1)A trial for the offences referred to in subsection (4) of this section may not, where the court so determines, be held in an open court.


(2)    The names, addresses, telephone  numbers  and  identity  of the  victims  of such offences  or  witnesses  shall  not  be  disclosed  in any  record  or  report   of the proceedings  and it shall  be sufficient to designate  the names of the  victims  or witnesses with a combination of alphabets.


(3)    Where in any proceeding the court deems it necessary to protect the identity of the victim or a witness, the court may take any or all of the following measures:

(a)    receive evidence by video link;

(b)    permit the witness to be screened or masked;

(c)    receive written deposition of expert evidence; and

(d)   any  other   measure  that  the   court, considers   appropriate   m   the circumstance.


(4)    The provision of this section shall apply to:

(a)    offences under section 231  of this Act;

(b)    offences under the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act;

(c)    offences relating to Economic and Financial Crimes; (d) Trafficking in Persons and related offences; and

(e)    any other offence  in respect of which  an Act of the National  Assembly permits  the  use  of  such  protective   measures  or  as  the  Judge   may consider appropriate in the circumstances.


(5)    Any contravention  of the provisions  of subsection  (2)  of this section  shall  be  an offence and liable on conviction to a minimum term  of one year imprisonment.


On charge of Defilement Conviction of Indecent Assault may follow

  1. Where on a trial  for an offence  of defilement,  the  facts  proved  in evidence warrant  a conviction for  an  indecent assault  and  not the  offence  with  which the  defendant is charged, the  defendant  may  be  convicted  of indecent  assault  although   he  was  not charged with that offence.


Where murder or infanticide is charged and concealment of birth is proved

  1. Where a defendant is charged and tried for the murder of child or for infanticide  and it appears on the evidence  that the defendant  was not guilty  of murder  or of infanticide, as  the  case  may  be,  but  was  guilty  of the  offence  of  concealment  of birth,   the defendant may be convicted  of that offence.


Where murder is charged and infanticide proved

235.(1)Where a defendant is charged and tried for the murder of a newly-born  child and it appears on the evidence that the defendant was not guilty  of murder  but was  guilty of infanticide, the defendant may be convicted  of infanticide.


(2)    Nothing in subsection (1)  of this section  prevents a defendant  who is tried  for the murder of a newly-born child from being:

(a)    convicted of manslaughter;

(b)    found  guilty of concealment  of birth; or

(c)    acquitted  on the ground that by virtue  of an applicable law he was not criminally  responsible,  and  dealt  with   accordingly  or in  accordance with this Act or any other law.


Where offence proved is not included in offence charged

236.(1)Where a defendant  is charged with an offence consisting of several particulars, a combination    of  some  of  which  constitutes  a  lesser   offence  in  itself  and   the combination  is proved  but the remaining particulars  are  not proved,  he    may  be convicted  of,  or plead guilty to the lesser offence  although he was not charged  with it.


(2)    Where a defendant is charged with an offence  and facts  are proved  which  reduce  it to a lesser offence, he may be convicted of the lesser offence although he was  not charged with  it.


Withdrawal of remaining charges on conviction on one of several charges

  1. (1)Where more than  one  charge  is made  against   a defendant  and  a conviction  bas been  had  on  one  or more  of them,  the  prosecutor may,  with the  consent  of the court,  withdraw  the remaining  charge  or charges  or the  court,  of its  own  motion, may stay the trial  of the charge or charges.


(2)    A withdrawal  has  the  effect  of an  acquittal  on the  charge  or charges  unless  the conviction  which  has been had is  set aside,  in which  case,  subject to any  order  of the  court  setting aside such conviction, the  court  before  which the withdrawal  was made may,  on  the  request of the  prosecutor, proceed  on  the  charge   or charges withdrawn.



Defendant convicted or acquitted not to be tried again for same or kindred offence

238.(1) Without prejudice to  section 226  of this  Act,  a defendant charged with an offence is not liable  to be tried for that  offence  where  it  is  shown that  he  has previously been:

(a)    convicted or acquitted of the same  offence by a competent court;

(b)    convicted or acquitted by a   competent court  on  a charge on which he might  have been  convicted of the  offence charged;  or

(c)    convicted  for  or acquitted  of  an  offence  by a  competent court   other than  the  offence charged, being  an  offence for which, apart  from  this section,  he  might   be  convicted  by  virtue   of being  charged with  the offence charged.


(2)    Nothing  in subsection  (1)  of this  section  shall  prejudice  the  operation  of a  law giving  power  to  a court,  on an appeal,  to  set  aside a verdict or finding of another court  and order a re-trial.


A defendant may be tried again on separate charge in certain cases

  1. A defendant acquitted or convicted of an offence may  afterwards be tried  for a distinct offence  for  which   a   separate  charge   might  have   been  made  against  him  on   the previous trial under  the provisions of section 211 of this  Act.


Consequences supervening or not known at previous trial

  1. A defendant acquitted or  convicted  of an  offence  constituted by  an  act  or omission causing  consequences which together with  that  act or omission  constitute  a different offence from that for which he was  acquitted or convicted,  may  afterwards  be tried for the  last-mentioned  offence  if the  consequences  had  not happened or were riot  known to the court to have happened at the time when  he was  acquitted or convicted when the consequences create the offence of murder or manslaughter.



Issue of summons for witnesses

241.(1)  The   court  may,  on   an  application   of  the   prosecution  or  the   defence,   issue   a summon  or   writ of subpoena on a witness requiring him  to attend  court to  give evidence in respect of the case,  and to bring with him  any  specified  documents or things   and  any other   document  or thing relating to  them   which may  be   in  his possession or power  or under his control.


(2)    Where  the  prosecutor is  not  a public  officer  the  person to whom the  summons is addressed is not bound  to attend  unless his travelling expenses are paid to him.


Service of summons and other processes on witnesses

  1. (1) A court with criminal jurisdiction shall  have  a  process server specifically  assigned to it.


(2)    The process server has the responsibility  to effect due efficient  service  of witness summons,  defendant’s  production  orders,  writs and  all other processes  issued  in the court in respect of all criminal  matters.


(3)    A summons  shall  be  served  on the person  to  whom   it  is  directed  in  the  same manner as is set out in section  122 or 123 of this  Act  or, with leave  of the  court, section 124  and sections  126 to 130  of this Act shall apply to the summons.


(4)    Service of processes  may  be effected by registered reputable courier  companies, recognised  and   authorised   by  the   Chief  Judge   or  President   of  the  National Industrial  Court in accordance  with  the provisions of this  Act,  and  the  registered courier  companies  may  be  assigned  to  a  court  with   criminal  jurisdiction   as  a process server in accordance  with subsection  (1) of this section.


(5)    The Attorney-General of the  Federation or a person  so authorized by him  or the police, may  serve  on a person  whom  the  prosecutor wishes  to  call  as witness,  a witness summons  or writ of subpoena.


(6)    Proof of service  of a process  or document shall  be endorsed  by the process server effecting the service,  and shall be filed in the court’s file.


Warrant for witness after summons

  1. Where a witness summoned to give evidence  does not:

(a)    attend court at the time  and place indicated  on the summons,  and

(b)    provide  any reasonable excuse for his non-attendance,


then after proof that  the  summons was  duly  served  on him,  or that  the  person  to  be served wilfully avoids  service, the  court  may issue  a warrant  to  arrest  and  bring him before the court.


Issues of warrant

  1. Where the court is satisfied  in the first instance, by proof on oath,  that  a person  likely to give material  evidence,  either for the prosecution or for the defence,  will  not  attend to  give  evidence  without  being   compelled  to   do   so,  then,  instead   of  issuing  a summons, it may issue  a wan-ant for the arrest of the person.


Mode of dealing with witness arrested under warrant

245.(1) A witness  arrested  under  a warrant  shall,  if practicable and where  the  hearing of the case for which  his evidence  is required  is  fixed  for a time  which  is more  than 24 hours after the arrest, be taken  before  a Magistrate  and the Magistrate:

(a)   may,   on  the   witness   furnishing    security   by  recognizance  to   the satisfaction  of the  Magistrate for his  appearance at the hearing,  order him to be released  from  custody:  or

(b)    shall,  on the  witness  failing  to  furnish  the  security,  order  him  to  be detained  for production at the hearing.


(2)    The provisions  of this Act relating to bail, summons and warrants  in respect  of the defendant shall apply to witnesses.


(3)    A witness  arrested  or  detained  under this  section  shall  not be kept  in the  same room or place  as the  defendant,  if the defendant  is in custody  and the  defendant shall not be allowed to make any contact with the witness.


Penalty on witnesses refusing to attend

  1. (1) A witness who:

(a)    refuses   or  neglects,   without   reasonable    cause,   to  attend   court   in compliance  with the  requirements  of a summons   duly  served  in the manner prescribed by law, or

(b)    departs  from the premises  of the Court without  the leave  of the Judge or Magistrate  hearing the case,


is   liable  on   summary  conviction,  to  a  fine  not  exceeding  N10,000.00  or  to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months.


(2)    A complaint  shall  not  be made  for an  offence  under  this  section  except by  the order of the court made  during the hearing  of the case  for which  the  evidence of the witness is required.


Non-attendance of witnesses on adjourned hearings

  1. A witness who is present  when the hearing or further hearing  of a case is adjourned, or who has  been  duly  notified  of the  time  and place to  which  the  hearing   or further hearing is so adjourned,  shall attend any subsequent  hearing  and if he defaults, he may be dealt with in the same manner  as if he had refused  or neglected  to attend  the  court in obedience to a witness  summons.


Persons in court may be required to give evidence though not summoned

  1. A person present  in  court  and  compellable  as a witness.,  whether  a party  or  not in  a cause, may be compelled  by a court to give evidence,  and produce  any document in his possession,  or in his power,  in the same manner  and subject to the same  rules  as if he had been summoned  to attend  and give  evidence,  or to  produce  the document and may be punished in like manner  for any refusal to obey the order of the court.


Manner of taking oath or affirmation

  1. A witness stall  take  an oath  or make  a solemn  affirmation  in  such  a manner as the court considers binding  on his conscience.


Witnesses refusing to be sworn or produce documents

250.(1) When a person  attending  court and who is  required  to give evidence,  without any sufficient excuse  or reason:

(a)    refuses to be sworn  or to affirm as a witness;

(b)    having  been  sworn  or having  taken  affirmation refuses  to answer any question put to him; or

(c)    refuses  or neglects  to produce  any  document  or anything  which  he  is required by the court to produce,


the court may adjourn the hearing of the case and may in the meantime  by warrant, commit  the  person   to  prison   or  other  place   of  safe  custody  for  a  period   not exceeding 30 days.


(2)    Nothing in this section shall:

(a)    affect the liability  of the person  to any  other punishment for refusing or neglecting to do what is so required  of him; or

(b)    prevent the court from  disposing of the case in the meantime  according to any other sufficient  evidence  taken by it.



Expenses of witnesses for prosecution

  1. Where  a person  attends  court  as  a  state  witness,  the  witness  shall  be  entitled  to payment of such reasonable  expenses  as may be prescribed.


Expenses of witnesses for the defence

  1. Where a person attends court as a witness to give evidence for the defence,  the  court may in its discretion 011  application,  order payment by the Registrar  to such witness of court such sums of money,  as it may  deem  reasonable  and sufficient  to  compensate the witness for the  expenses he reasonably incurred  in attending the court.


Adjournment may be granted subject to witnesses’ costs

  1. The court may permit on application of a party  for an adjournment  of the proceedings and in so doing,  may  order the  party  seeking  the  adjournment to pay  to  a witness present  in court  and whose  evidence it has  not been  possible  to take  owing   to  the adjournment,  such sum in the amount payable to  a witness in accordance with  section 251 and 252 of this Act,  or such sum as the court may fix.


Ascertainment of witnesses expenses

  1. The amount of the expenses payable to a witness pursuant to sections  251  and  252  of this Act shall  be processed  and paid  by the Registrar of the Court to the witness out  of the relevant vote as appropriated by the Judiciary.



Application of the Evidence Act

  1. Subject to the provisions   of any  other law, the  examination of witnesses shall  be  in accordance with the provisions  of the Evidence Act.


Power to call or recall witnesses

  1. The  court may,  at any  stage of a trial,  inquiry  or other proceedings  under  this  Act, either  of its  own  motion  or  on  application of either  party  to  the  proceeding,  call  a person  as a  witness  or recall  and  re-examine a person  already  examined  where   his evidence appears to the court to be essential to the just decision  of the case.


Certificate of certain Government technical officers

  1. A certificate  signed  by any  of the  officers  named  in  section  55  of the Evidence  Act shall be admissible in evidence ‘in accordance with the provisions  of that  Act.


Right of reply

  1. In a case where the right  of reply  depends on the  question  whether  evidence has  been   called  for the defence, the fact  that the defendant  charged  has been called  as a witness shall not of itself confer  on the prosecution the right  of reply, but a law  officer  for the prosecution shall in all cases have the right  of reply.


Public to have access to hearing

259.(1) Subject  to the provisions  of sections  232  and 260 to 262 of this  Act and  of any other law specifically  relating thereto, the  room or place in  which  a trial  is to take place under this Act shall be an open court to which the public  generally may have access as far as it can conveniently contain them.


(2)    Notwithstanding  the  provisions   of subsection  (1)  of this  section,  the  Judge   or Magistrate  presiding  over   a  trial  may,   in  his   discretion   and   subject   to   the provisions of section 260 of this Act, exclude the public at any stage of the hearing on the grounds of public policy, decency or expedience.


(3)    Where the court is sitting  in a place other than in a building,  the authority given in subsection  (2) of this  section  to  exclude  the  public  shall  be  construed  as  being authority to prevent the public  approaching  so near to where the court  is sitting,  as in the opinion of the Judge or Magistrate,  to be able to hear what  is taking place  at the trial or be able to communicate with a person  allowed to be present.


Court may exclude certain person while taking evidence of a child or young persons

  1. Where a person who, in the opinion of the court has not attained the age of 18 is called as witness in any proceeding  in relation  to an offence  against  or any  conduct contrary to decency or morality, the court may direct that all or any person not being:

(a)    members  or officers of the court, or

(b)    parties  to  the  case,  their  legal  representatives  or  persons  otherwise directly concerned  in the case,


be excluded from the court during the tiling of the evidence of such person.

Order under section 259 or 260 not to apply to press and certain others

  1. (1) An order made under  section  259 or 260 of this  Act excluding  the  public from  a court shall not unless specifically  stated:

(a)    authorise  the exclusion  of bona fide  representatives of a newspaper news agency;  or

(b)    apply  to  messengers,   clerks  and  other persons  required  to  attend   the court for purposes  connected  with their employment.


(2)    Where an order is made,  the  Court shall record the grounds  on which  the order  is taken.


Prohibition on children being present in court during the trial of other persons

  1. An infant, other than an infant in the arms of parent  or guardian,  or child  shall  not be permitted to be present  in court during the trial  of a defendant  charged  with an offence or during any proceeding  preliminary to the trial  except:

(a)    he is the  defendant charged with the alleged  offence;  or

(b)    his presence  is required  as a witness  or otherwise for the  purposes of justice in which  event he may ‘remain for  so  long as his  presence is necessary.


Visit by court to locus

  1. (1) Where it  appears to the court that in the interest  of justice, the court should  have  a view  of any place, person  or thing connected  with  the  case, the  court  may,  where the view relates to a place, either adjourn  the. court to that place and there continue the proceedings  or adjourn the case and proceed  to view  the place, person  or thing concerned.


(2)    The  defendant  shall  be  present   at  the  viewing  of  the  place,   person  or  thing concerned.


(3)    At the locus, the court shall give directions  as it may  deem  fit for the  purpose of preventing  communication between  the witnesses  and the defendant.


( 4)   A breach  of a direction  given  under  subsection (3)  of this  section  shall  not  affect the validity  of the proceedings  unless  the court otherwise  directs.


Determination of age

  1. (1) Where  the  age of a person  is in  issue  in  any  criminal  proceeding,  the  court  may determine the question by taking  into  account  one or both  of the following:

(a)    the apparent physical  appearance of the person  concerned;

(b)    any evidence,  in relation  to the  age of the  person concerned,  received by the court in accordance with the provisions of the Evidence  Act,  the Child Rights Act,  or any other Jaw in force.


(2)    The evidence of a witness,  who is not  an expert  within  the meaning  of section 68 of the Evidence  Act, 2011,  shall be admissible for the purpose  of this section.


(3)    An order or judgment  of the court shall not be invalidated  by any subsequent proof that the  age  of the person  has  not  been  correctly stated to the  court,  and  the  age presumed   or  declared  by  the  court  to  be  the  age  of that  person   shall,   for  the purpose  of this Act, be deemed to be the true age of that person.


Age in relation to offences

  1. Where in a charge for an offence, it is  alleged  that the person  by or in respect  of whom the  offence  was  committed,  was  a  child    under  or  above   a  specified  age,  and  he appears  to the court to have been  at the date  of the  commission of the alleged  offence a child under  or above the specified  age, as the case  may be, he shall, for the purposes of this  Act,  be presumed  at that  date to  have  been  a child  or to have  been  under  or above that  age, as the case may be, unless  the contrary  is proved.


Presence of defendant at trial

  1. A defendant shall,  subject to the  provisions of section   135  of this  Act,  be present in court during the whole of his trial unless:

(a)    he  misconducts  himself in  such  a manner as to  render  his continuing presence  impracticable  or undesirable; or

(b)    at the hearing of an interlocutory  application.


Conduct of cases by legal practitioner for complainant or for defendant

267.(1)  The complainant and  defendant  shall  be entitled  to  conduct  their  cases  by a legal practitioner  or  in  person   except   in  a trial  for  a  capital   offence   or  an  offence


(2)    Where the defendant  is in custody or on remand,  he shall  be allowed  access  to his legal practitioner at all reasonable  times.


(3)    Where the defendant elects to defend himself in person, the court  shall inform  him of his rights within the trial and the consequences  of his election.


(4)    The Court shall ensure  that  the  defendant is  represented  by  a  counsel   in  capital offences provided that a defendant who refuses to be represented by counsel  shall, after being informed under  section  349  (6) of this Act  of the  risks  of defending himself in person,  be deemed  to have elected to defend himself in  person  and this shall not be a ground to void the trial.


General control of prosecution by the Attorney-General

268.(1) Where a private  legal practitioner prosecutes  on behalf of the Attorney-General of the  Federation  or  a  public   officer  prosecuting   in  his  official  capacity  in  any criminal proceeding,  the private  legal practitioner or public  officer  shall  prosecute subject  to  such  direction      as  may  be  given  by  the  Attorney-General  of the Federation.


(2)    Where proceedings  in  respect  of  an offence  are instituted  by  a police officer,   it shall be in the name of the Inspector-General of Police  or Commissioner of Police, as the case may be.


(3)    Where a proceeding  in respect  of an offence is instituted  on behalf of the Attorney• General  of the  Federation,  it  shall  be  in  the  name  of the  Federal  Republic  of Nigeria.


(4)    The Attorney-General of the Federation  may delegate to the Attorney-General of a State  the powers  conferred  on him by this  section  either  generally  or with  respect to  any offence  or class  of offences  and  such  offence  shall  be  prosecuted in  the name of the Federal  Republic  of Nigeria.


(5)    Such powers  so delegated  to  the  Attorney-General  of  a  State  may  be  exercised directly by him or any officer in his Ministry  or department .


Position in court

  1. Where a defendant appears  before a court on a summons,  he shall be required to enter the dock, to standing or sit in it, except where circumstances do not permit, as may  be directed by the court.




Plea bargain guidelines

  1. (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or in any other law, the Prosecutor may:

(a)    receive  and consider a plea bargain  from a defendant  charged  with  an offence either directly from that defendant or on his behalf;  or

(b)    offer a plea bargain  to a  defendant  charged with  an offence.


(2)    The prosecution  may  enter   into  plea  bargaining  with  the  defendant,  with  the consent of the victim  or his  representative during  or after the presentation  of the evidence  of the prosecution,  but before the  presentation  of the  evidence  of the defence, provided that all of the following conditions  are present:

(a)    the  evidence  of the  prosecution  is  insufficient  to  prove  the  offence charged beyond reasonable doubt;

(b)    where the defendant  has  agreed  to return  the proceeds  of the  crime or make restitution to the victim  or his representative; or

(c)    where the defendant,  in a case of conspiracy,  has fully cooperated with the investigation  and  prosecution of the  crime  by providing relevant information for the successful prosecution of other offenders.


(3)    Where the prosecutor is of the view that the offer or acceptance  of a plea  bargain is in the interest  of justice,  the public interest,  public policy  and the need  to prevent abuse of legal process, he may  offer or accept the plea bargain.


(4)    The prosecutor and the defendant  or his  legal  practitioner may,  before the  plea  to the charge, enter into  an agreement in respect  of:

(a)    the   term   of  the   plea   bargain    which   may  include   the   sentence recommended  within  the  appropriate  range  of punishment  stipulated for  the offence  or  a  plea   of guilty  by  the  defendant  to  the  offence charged  or  a   lesser  offence  of which  he  may  be  convicted  on  the charge; and

(b)   an  appropriate   sentence    to   De   imposed  by  the   court   where    the defendant  is  convicted  of the  offence  to  which  he  intends  to  plead guilty.


(5)    The prosecutor  may  only  enter  into  an agreement contemplated  in subsection  (3) of this section:

(a)    after  consultation  with  the  police  responsible for the  investigation  of the case and the victim  or his representative;  and

(b)    with  due regard    to  the  nature   of and  circumstances  relating  to  the offence, the defendant and public  interest;


Provided  that  in  determining  whether it  is  in  the  public  interest  to  enter  into  a plea bargain, the prosecution  shall  weigh  all relevant factors,  including:

(i)     the  defendant’s   willingness   to  cooperate   in   the  investigation   or prosecution  of others,

(ii)    the defendant’s history with respect  to criminal  activity,

(iii)    the defendant’s  remorse or contrition  and his willingness to assume responsibility for his conduct.

(iv)   the desirability  of prompt  and certain disposition of the case,

(v)    the likelihood  of  obtaining  a conviction  at trial  and  the  probable effect on witnesses,

(vi)  the probable   sentence   or  other  consequences   if  the  defendant  is convicted,

(vii)   the need to avoid  delay in the disposition of other pending cases,

(viii) the expense  of trial  and appeal, and

(ix)           the  defendant’s  willingness    to  make  restitution  or  pay compensation  to the victim where appropriate.


(6)    The prosecution  shall  afford  the  victim  or his representative the  opportunity  to make representations to the prosecutor  regarding:

(a)    the content of the agreement;  and

(b)    the inclusion in the agreement  of a compensation or restitution  order.


(7) An agreement between  the parties  contemplated in  subsection  (3)  of this  section shall be reduced to writing and shall:

(a)    state that,  before  conclusion of the agreement,  the defendant has  been informed:

(i)     that he has a right to remain  silent,

(ii)    of the consequences of not remaining silent, and

(iii)    that  he is not obliged  to make  any  confession  or admission  that could be used in evidence  against him;

(b)    state fully, the terms  of the agreement  and any admission  made;

(c)    be signed  by the  prosecutor, the  defendant,  the legal  practitioner  and the interpreter,  as the case may be; and

(d)    a  copy  of  the  agreement   forwarded   to  the  Attorney-General   of  the Federation.


(8)            The presiding  judge  or magistrate  before  whom  the  criminal  proceedings  are pending  shall not participate in the  discussion  contemplated  in  subsection  (3) of this section.


(9)    Where  a  plea  agreement   is  reached   by  the  prosecution   and  the  defence, ,the prosecutor  shall  inform  the  court that  the parties  have reached  an agreement and the presiding judge or magistrate  shall then inquire from the defendant to confirm the terms of the agreement.


(10) The presiding  judge  or magistrate  shall  ascertain  whether  the  defendant  admits the allegation  in the charge to which he has pleaded  guilty and whether he entered into the agreement  voluntarily and without undue influence and may  where:

(a)    he is  satisfied that  the  defendant  is guilty  of the offence  to  which  he has pleaded  guilty,  convict  the defendant  on his plea of guilty to  that offence, and shall  award  the  compensation to. the victim  in accordance with the term of the  agreement which shall  be delivered by the  court  in accordance with  section  308  of this Act;  or

(b)    he  is  for  any reason  of the  opinion  that  the  defendant   cannot  be convicted  of the   offence  in  respect  of  which  the  agreement  was reached  and  to  which  the  defendant  has  pleaded  guilty  or  that   the agreement   is  in   conflict   with   the  defendant’s  right  referred  to   in subsection  (6) of this  section,  he  shall  record  a plea  of not guilty  in respect of such  charge  and order that the trial proceed.


(11)  Where  a defendant  has  been  convicted   under  subsection  (9)  (a),  the  presiding judge or magistrate shall consider  the sentence  as agreed upon and where  he is:

(a)    satisfied  that  such  sentence  is  an  appropriate  sentence,   impose  the sentence;

(b)    of the view  that  he  would  have  imposed   a  lesser  sentence  than  the sentence agreed,   impose  the lesser sentence; or

(c)    of  the  view  that  the  offence  requires   a  heavier   sentence  than   the sentence  agreed  upon,  he  shall  inform the  defendant  of such  heavier sentence he considers  to be appropriate.


(12) The presiding  Judge  or Magistrate shall make  an order that  any money,   asset  or property  agreed to  be forfeited  under  the plea  bargain shall be transferred  to  and vest in the victim  or his representative or any  other person as may  be  appropriate or reasonably  feasible


(13)  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of  the   Sheriffs  and  Civil  Process  Act,  the prosecutor  shall take reasonable steps to ensure  that any money,  asset  or property agreed  to  be  forfeited   or  returned   by  the  offender  under  a  plea   bargain   are  transferred  to or vested  in the  victim,  his representative  or  other  person l awfully   entitled to it.


(14)  Any  person   who,  wilfully   and  without just  cause,  obstructs  or  impedes  the vesting  or transfer of any  money, asset  or property under  this  Act,  commits an offence  and is  liable  on conviction to imprisonment for 7 years without  an option of fine.


(15)   Where the defendant  has been  informed of the heavier  sentence  as contemplated in subsection ( 11)  ( c )of this  section, the defendant  may:

(a)    abide by his plea of guilty  as agreed upon  and agree that, subject 10  the defendant’s right to  lead evidence and  to  present  argument  relevant 10 sentencing,   the   presiding   judge    or   magistrate   proceed    with   the sentencing;  or

(b)    withdraw  from  his  plea  agreement,  in  which  event   the  trial  shall proceed de  nova before another presiding  judge  or magistrate,  as the case may be.


(16) Where   a trial  proceeds  as contemplated  under  subsection (15)  (a)  or  de  nova before  another presiding  judge or magistrate  as contemplated  in  subsection  ( 15) (b):

(a)    no references  shall be made to the agreement;

(b)    no admission  contained  therein  or statements  relating  thereto   shall  be admissible against the defendant;  and

(c)    the prosecutor and the defendant  may not enter into  a similar plea and sentence agreement.


(17)  Where a person is convicted  and sentenced  under the provisions of subsection  (1) of this  section, he shall  not  be charged  or tried  again  on the  same  facts  for  the greater offence earlier charged  to which he had pleaded to a lesser offence.


(18)  The judgment  of the court contemplated  in  subsection  10 (a) of this  section shall be final and no appeal shall lie in any court against such judgment,  except  where fraud is alleged.


Plea to information or charge

  1. (1) Before a defendant takes his plea, the court shall inform him of his rights under the provisions  of section 269 of this Act.


(2)    The defendant to be tried on a charge or an information  shall be:

(a)   brought  before   the   court   unfettered  unless   the   court  sees   cause otherwise  to  order,  and  the  charge  or information  shall  be  read  over and explained  to him to the satisfaction  of the court by the registrar  or other officer of the court;  and

(b)    called  upon  to plead  instantly unless. where  the person  is  entitled to service of the information, he objects to the non-service and where the court finds that he has not be been duly served.


(3)    The court shall record the fact that it is satisfied  that the defendant understands the charge   or  information  read   over   and   explained   to  him   in. the  language  he understands,  and shall record the plea of the defendant  to the charge  or information as nearly as possible in the words used by him.


Proof of previous conviction

  1. Where the  fact  of  a  previous   conviction   of  a  defendant  is  a  fact   in   issue,  the prosecution   shall  prove  the  same  in accordance  with the provisions   of the  Evidence Act.


Effect of plea of not guilty

  1. A defendant who pleads not guilty shall be deemed to have put himself to trial.


Effect of plea of guilty

274.(1)  Where a defendant  pleads  guilty to an offence  with which  he is  charged,  the court shall:

(a)    record his plea as nearly as possible;

(b)    invite the prosecution  to state the fact of the case; and

(c)    enquire  from the  defendant whether  his  plea  of guilty  is  to  the  fact  as stated by the prosecution;


(2)    Where the court is satisfied that the defendant  intends to admit the truth  of all the essential elements of the  offence for which he  has  pleaded  guilty,  the  court  shall convict and sentence  him  or make  such  order  as  may  be necessary, unless  there shall appear sufficient reason to the contrary.


(3)    Where the defendant pleads  guilty to a capital offence,  a plea  of not guilty  shall be recorded for him.


Amending charge where defendant pleads guilty to offence not charged

  1. Without prejudice to other provisions of this Act, where the defendant  pleads  guilty  to an offence not contained in the  charge  or information  on which  he was arraigned, the Court shall direct the prosecution to amend the  charge or information accordingly to include the admitted  offence,  in  which  case,  a fresh  plea  of the  defendant shall  be taken  on the amended charge or information.


Failure to plead due to malice or otherwise

  1. (1) ‘Where the  defendant,  when   called  upon  to  plead remains   silent   or  refuses   to answer, the Court shall  enter a plea of not guilty  on his behalf.


(2)    A plea entered under subsection  (1)  of this section  shall have the  same  effect  as if  . the defendant actually pleaded to the charge.


(3)    The Court may inquire into the  mental  state  of the  defendant  and  if the  court  is satisfied that the defendant  is of sound mind, the  court shall  proceed  with his trial.


(4)    Where the court finds that the  defendant is of unsound mind,  the provisions of this Act in relation to persons of unsound mind  shall  apply.


Pleas: autrefois acquit or convict pardon

  1. – (1) A defendant against whom a charge  or information is filed may plead  that

(a)    by virtue  of section  238  of this  Act  he  is  not liable  to  be tried  for the offence with which  he is  charged;  or

(b)    he has obtained a pardon for his offence.


(2)    Where either  of the pleas  under  subsection  (1)  of this section  is raised  in  any case and denied to be true in fact,  the court shall determine whether such  plea  is  true  in fact or not.


(3)    Where  the  Court  holds  that  the  facts  alleged   by  the  defendant  do  not  prove  the bail or requiring  a greater  amount, a court may, on application being  made  by the Attorney-General  of the Federation,  issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant and, after giving the defendant  an opportunity of being  heard, may commit  him to prison to await trial, or admit him to bail for the same or an increased  amount.




Procedure when defendant is suspected to be of unsound mind

278.(1) Where in the course  of a criminal trial, the court has reason to suspect the mental capacity or soundness  of mind  of a defendant,  by virtue of which he is unable  to stand trial or defend himself, the Court  shall order the medical  examination  of the defendant’s mental state or soundness of mind.


(2)    An investigation under subsection (1)  of this section may be held in the  absence  of  – the defendant where the court is satisfied  that owing to the state of the defendant’s mind  it would  be in the  interests of the  defendant  or of other  persons  or  in the interests of public decency that he should be absent.


(3)    Where  the  Court  is  not  satisfied  that  the  defendant  is  capable   of making  his defence,  the  Court  shall  adjourn  the  trial  or proceedings   and  shall  remand   the person for a period not  exceeding 1  month  to be detained for observation in some suitable place.


(4)    A  defendant  detained  in accordance with  subsection  (3) of this  section   shall  be kept  under observation by a medical officer  during the period  of his  remand and before the expiration of that period, the medical  officer shall:

(a)    give to the court his  opinion  in writing as to the state  of mind of that person; and

(b)    where he is unable  within  the period  to form any definite  opinion, he shall so  certify to  the  court  and  ask  for  a further  remand   and  such further remand may extend to a period of3 months.


(5)    Where further period  of remand  is granted under subsection  (4) of this  section,  the case shall be fixed returnable by  the  court  at the  expiration  of the period granted under subsection 4 (b) of this section.


(6)    A court, before ‘which  a defendant suspected  to be of unsound  mind  is accused  of any offence may, on the application of the Attorney-General of the Federation or a law  officer made  at any stage  of the  proceedings prior  to the trial,  order that  the person be sent to an asylum  or such other suitable place for observation.


(7)    The  medical  officer  in charge   of the  asylum  or such  other  suitable place  shall, within a period not exceeding 1  month  in the first instance  or on application to the court  for  a further  period   of 3   months,   submit to the  court  a report   in  writing containing his opinion on the soundness of mind of the defendant.


Report from medical officer

2 79.         Where  the medical  officer  or such  officer  in charge  of the  asylum  or other  suitable place  to which the defendant  is  referred  for observation under  the provisions of this section fails to submit a report as provided in section 278 (4) and (7) of this Act within the period stipulated in those sub sections,  the court may discharge the person,  or shall release him on bail in accordance with the provisions  of this Act relating to bail.


Certificate of medical officer

  1. (1) Where the medical officer certifies that the defendant is of:

(a)    sound mind and capable of making  his defence,  the court  shall,  unless it is  satisfied  by the  defence  that  the  defendant  is  of unsound  mind, proceed with the trial; or

(b)    unsound  mind  and incapable  of making  his  defence, the  court  shall, where it is satisfied of the fact, postpone  the proceeding.


(2)    The trial of the issue  as to whether or not the defendant  is of unsound mind  and incapable  of making  his  defence  shall,  where  the  finding  is that  he  is .  of sound mind and capable  of making  his  defence,  be deemed  to be part  of his  trial  before the court.


(3)    The certificate  of the medical  officer  who issued the certificate  shall  be admissible under this section  even in the  absence  from  court  of the medical officer  provided there is sufficient explanation  for his absence.


(4)    Where the defendant  is certified  to be of unsound  mind  and incapable of making his  defence,  it  shall  not  be  necessary  for  him  to  be  present   in  court   during proceedings  under this section.


Release of defendant of unsound mind pending investigation or trial

281(1)  Where a defendant is found  to  be of unsound  mind  and incapable of making  his defence, if the  offence charged  is bailable  by the  court, it may  in its  discretion, release him on sufficient  security being  given:

(a)    that  he  shall  be properly   taken  care  of  and  shall  be  prevented  from doing injury to himself or to any other person;  and

(b)    for his appearance when required  before the court or ( such officer  as the court appoints in that behalf.


(2)    Where  a   defendant  is  before   a  Magistrate   charged   with  an  offence  which   is bailable  by a Judge but not by a Magistrate or where  the offence  is bailable  by a Magistrate  but the Magistrate  refused  to grant bail, the Magistrate  shall inform  the defendant of his right to apply to a Judge for bail.


(3)    Where the offence charged is not bailable  by the High  Court or where  a Judge  has refused bail  under subsection (1)  of this section  or after an application  made under subsection  (2) of this section  or where  sufficient  security  is not given  or where  no application  is made for bail, the Judge shall report  the case to the Attorney-General of the  Federation,  who,  after  consideration  of the report  may,  in his  discretion, order the  defendant  to be confined  in  a lunatic  asylum  or other  suitable  place  of safe custody  and the Judge shall give effect to the order.


(4)    Where  the  order  is  not  given  within  2  months,   the   court  may  discharge  the defendant or release him on bail on satisfaction that doing so will not endanger the life of the defendant  or the life of anyone  else.


(5)    Pending  the  order of the Attorney-General of the Federation, the defendant,  may be committed to an asylum or other suitable place of custody for safe custody.


Resumption of proceedings or trial

  1. Where a proceeding or trial is postponed under section 278  or 279  of this  Act,  the court may at any time re-open the proceeding or re-commence the trial and require  the defendant to appear  or be brought before the court,


Resumption of proceedings after release under section 281

  1. Where the defendant has been released under  section  281 of this Act, the court  may at any  time  require   the  defendant  to  appear  or  be  brought  before  it  and  may   again proceed with the proceeding  or trial.


Where defendant appears to have been of unsound mind

  1. Where the defendant appears  to be  of unsound  mind  at the time of any  remand or   similar pre-trial proceedings  before a court,  and the issue  of the state of soundness of mind of the defendant is in issue, being  a defence  to the main  offence for which he is    mind arrested relating to  insanity  or intoxication, the  court  shall  proceed to  deal  with the defendant  in accordance with sections  278 to 291  of this  Act  and shall not  make  any finding  of fact  in relation  to such defence  that the  defendant is open to plead  at his trial for the offence.


Safe custody of defendant discharged

  1. Where the finding states that the defendant  committed the act alleged, the court  before which  the trial  has  been  held  shall, where  the  act would  have  but for the  finding  of incapacity  constituted an offence,  order  the person  to be kept  in safe custody  in such place and manner  as the  court thinks  fit and shall, within  31  days of the order,  report the case for an order of the Attorney-General of the Federation.


Order of the Attorney-General in pursuance to section 285

286.(1)The Attorney-General of the Federation may at his  discretion order the  defendant to be confined  pursuance  to section 285 in a mental  health  asylum, prison or other suitable place  of safe custody.


(2)    In  exercising  this discretion,  the Attorney-General  of the  Federation  shall  ensure that the  defendant is placed  in such  facility as to  afford  him adequate  care  at the expense of the State.


Observation of prisoners of unsound mind

  1. Where a defendant is confined under sections 281 (3)  and  (5), 285 or 286 of this Act, the medical  officer of the prison,  where  such  defendant is confined  in a prison,  or the medical  officer attached to the asylum  or other facility, where  he is  confined  in any asylum  or such facility shall keep him under  observation in order to ascertain  his state of mind and such medical officer shall make  a special  report  for the information of the Attorney-General of the  Federation  as to the  state  of mind  of such defendant  at that time or times as the Attorney-General  of the Federation shall  require.


Procedure when defendant of unsound mind is reported to be able to make his defence

  1. Where a defendant is, under the provisions of section 279  of this Act, confined  in a prison,  asylum  or  other  facility  and is  certified  by  the  medical officer  to whom  the case is referred for his report to be capable of making his defence, the defendant shall be  taken before the  court  at such  time  as the court  appoints,  and  the  court  shall proceed with the trial  or proceeding,  as the case may be, and the certificate  shall be receivable as evidence.


Procedure where defendant of unsound mind is reported fit for discharge

289.(1) Where the medical officer of a prison or the medical  officer attached to an asylum or other facility in which a defendant is confined under sections 281,  285 or 286 of this Act certifies that the defendant in his judgment may be discharged  without the danger of him causing injury to himself or to any other person,  the Attorney- General of the Federation may, on the receipt of that report, order the defendant to be discharged or to be detained in custody or in prison or to be in custody or be transferred to an asylum where he has not already been sent to an asylum.


(2)    Where the Attorney-General of the Federation orders a defendant to  be transferred to an asylum, he may appoint two medical officers to report on the state of mind of the defendant and on any other facts  the court may require,  and on receipt  of the report, the court may order his discharge or detention as it thinks fit.


Transfer from one place of custody to another

  1. Where a defendant is confined in a prison or an asylum, the Attorney-General of the Federation may direct his transfer from one prison or asylum to any  other prison  or asylum as  often as may be necessary  or may at any time  order for his  release from detention as he may consider necessary.


Delivery of defendant of unsound mind to care of relative

291.(1)Where a relative or friend of a defendant confined under section 281 or 286 of this Act desires that the defendant be delivered over to his care and custody, the court may, on the application of the relative  or friend and on his giving security to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant delivered shall be:

(a)    properly taken care of; and

(c)    prevented from doing injury to himself or to any other person,


in its discretion,  order the defendant to be delivered to  the  relative  or friend  on condition  that the defendant  shall  be produced for the inspection  of such  officer and at such times as the court may direct.


(2)    Where a defendant  delivered to a relative or  friend under  subsection  (1)  of this section is confined under the provisions of section  285 of this Act, the court may further require the relative or friend to give satisfactory  security that if at  any time it  appears  to the  court that the  defendant  is  capable  of making  his  defence,  the  relative or friend shall produce the defendant for trial.


(3)    Sections 281 and 287 of this Act shall apply, with necessary  modifications,  to a defendant  delivered  to  the  care  and  custody  of a relative  or  friend  under  this section.


Removal to another State

  1. Where it is necessary to remove a prisoner to a prison or asylum under the provisions of this Part, an order for the removal given under the provisions of this Part shall be sufficient authority  for the removal  and the detention of the prisoner  in  any prison  or such other place of detention within the Federation.




Application for remand or other interlocutory proceedings

  1. (1) A suspect arrested for an offence  which a magistrate court has no jurisdiction  to try shall, within a reasonable  time  of arrest,  be brought before a magistrate  court for remand.


First Schedule

(2)    An application for remand under this section shall be made ex parte and shall:

(a)    be made in the prescribed  “Report and Request for Remand  Form”  as contained in Form 8, in the First Schedule to this Act; and                                  First Schedule

(b)    be verified on oath and contain reasons for the remand request.


A court may remand in prison custody

294.(1) Where the Court, after examining the reason for the arrest and for the request  for remand in accordance with the provisions  of section 293 of this Act,  is satisfied that there is probable  cause to remand the suspect pending the receipt of a copy of the legal  advice from the Attorney-General  of the Federation  and arraignment of the suspect  before  the  appropriate  court,  as .   the  case may be,  may  remand  the suspect in custody.


(2)    In considering whether “probable  cause” has been established for the remand  of a suspect  pursuant   to  subsection  (1)   of  this  section,  the  court  may   take  into consideration the following:

(a)    the nature and seriousness  of the alleged offence;

(b)    reasonable grounds to suspect that the suspect has been involved  in the commission of the alleged offence;

(c)    reasonable   grounds  for  believing  that  the  suspect  may  abscond   or commit further offence where he is not committed to custody; and

(d)    any other circumstance  of the case that justifies the request for remand.


Court may grant bail in remand proceedings

  1. The court may, in considering an application for remand brought under section:293  of this Act,  grant  bail  to  the  suspect  brought  before  it,  taking  into  consideration   the provisions of sections  15 8  to 188  of this Act relating to bail.


Time and protocol for remand orders

296(1)  Where an order of remand  of the  suspect is made pursuant to section  293 of this Act, the order shall  be for a period not exceeding 14 days in the first instance,  and the case shall be returnable  within the same period.


(2)    Where on application  in writing,  good cause is shown why there  should. be an extension of the remand period, the court may make an order for further remand of the  suspect  for  a  period   not  exceeding   14  days  and  make  the  proceedings returnable within the same period.


(3)    Where the  suspect  is still in  custody on remand  at the  expiration of the  period provided  for  under   subsection  (1)  or  (2)  of  this   section,  the   court   may,   on application  of the suspect,  grant bail  in  accordance  with the provisions  of sections 158 to 188 of this Act.


(4)    At the expiration of the remand  order  made pursuant to subsection  (1)  or (2) of this section,   and  where   the   suspect  is   still  remanded   with  his  trial   having    not commenced,  or  charge  having  not  been   filed   at  the   relevant    court   having jurisdiction, the court shall issue a hearing  notice on:

(a)   the  Inspector-General   of  Police   and  the  Attorney-General   of  the Federation,

(b)    the  Commissioner   of Police   of the  state  or  of the  Federal  Capital Territory  or the Attorney-General  of the Federation,  as the  case  may be, or

(d)    any relevant  authority  in whose  custody  the  suspect  is  or  at  whose instance  the  suspect  is  remanded,  and  adjourn  the  matter   within   a period not exceeding  14  days of the expiration  of the period  of remand order made under subsection (1) or (2) of this section,


to inquire as to the position of the  case  and for the Inspector-General  of Police  or the Commissioner  of Police  and the  Attorney-General  of the  Federation to  show  cause why the suspect remanded  should not be unconditionally released.


(5)    Where the  1nspector-Genera1  of Police   or the  Commissioner  of Police   and  the Attorney-General  of the Federation show  good cause pursuant  to subsection  (4)  of this section and make a request to that effect, the court:

(a)    may extend the remand  of the  suspect for a final period  not  exceeding 14  days for the  suspect  to  be  arraigned  for trial  before  an  appropriate court; and

(b)    shall make the case returnable within  the said period  of 14  days  from the date the hearing notice/was issued pursuant  to subsection .(4) of this section.


(6)    Where a good cause is not shown for the continued  remand  of the suspect  pursuant to subsection  ( 4) of this  section,  or where  the  suspect  is  still  on remand   custody    after the expiration  of the  extended   period  under  subsection   (5),  the  court  shall, with or without  an application  to that  effect,  discharge  the suspect and the  suspect shall be immediately released  from custody.


(7)    No  further  application   for  remand   shall  be  entertained  by  any  court  after  the proceeding in subsection ( 6) of this section.


When court may exercise power of remand

297.(1) The powers conferred on the court under this Part may be exercised  by the court:

(a)    whether  the suspect remanded is present  in court or not; and

(b)    on  its own  motion or on  application,  including   an application   by  a person   in charge  of the  prison   or  other place  of custody  where the suspect  remanded is detained.


(2)   The  legal  advice  of the Attorney-General  of the  Federation  shall  in all  cases  be copied  to the  court,  and the court may  act only on the copy of the advice  to make  any order that may be necessary in the circumstances.


(3)    Where the legal advice of the Attorney-General of the Federation indicates  that the suspect   remanded  has no  case  to  answer,  the   court  shall  release  the   suspect immediately.


Court may bring up person remanded or make any order during remand

298.(1)During   remand,   the  court  may  nevertheless  order  the  suspect  remanded to  be brought  before it.


(2)    The court may order that the suspect remanded be transferred to a hospital,  asylum or  any suitable  place  for the purpose   of  giving  him  medical  treatment,  or may make  any order that it considers necessary  to make  at any time during the  remand period.


Place of remand

  1. A  suspect  committed to prison  under  this  Act  shall  be  remanded  in prison   or  other place of safe custody.




Presentation of case for prosecution

300.(1) After  a plea  of not guilty has been taken  or no plea  has been made, the prosecutor may   open  the  case  against  the  defendant   stating  shortly  by  what  evidence  he expects  to prove  the guilt of the defendant.


(2)    The  prosecutor shall then examine  the witnesses for the prosecution who  may  be cross-examined  by  the   defendant  or  his   legal   practitioner  and  thereafter  re-examined by the prosecutor, where necessary.


Defendant’s case

  1. After the  case  of the prosecution  is concluded,  the  defendant  or the legal  practitioner Representing  him,  if any,  is entitled  to  address  the  court  to present his  case  and  to  adduce evidence  where so required,


No case submission at the instance of the court

  1. The court may,  on its own 111oti011  or  on application by the  a defendant  after  hearing the  evidence  for the  prosecution,  where  it  considers  that  the  evidence  against   the defendant  or any  of several  defendants  is not sufficient  to justify the continuation of the trial,  record a finding  of not  guilty  in respect  of the  defendant  without  calling  on him  OJ   them  to  enter  his  or  their  defence   and  the  defendant shall  accordingly  be discharged and the court shall then can on the remaining defendant, if any, to enter his defence.


No case submission by the defence and replies

  1. (1) Where the defendant  or  his  legal  practitioner  makes   a  no  case  submission  in accordance with the provisions  of this Act, the court shall call on the prosecutor to  reply.


(2)    The defendant  or his  legal practitioner  has the right  to reply  to any new  point of law raised by the prosecutor,  after which, the court shall give its ruling,


(3)    In considering  the application  of the defendant  under  section  303,  the  court  shall, in the exercise  of its discretion, have regard to whether:

(a)    an essential element of the offence has been proved;

(b)    there  is  evidence  linking  the  defendant  with  the  commission  of  the offence with which he is charged;

(c)    the  evidence so  far  led  is  such  that  no  reasonable court  or tribunal would  convict on it;  and

(e)    any other ground on which  the  court may  find  that  a prima  facie  case has not been made out against  the defendant  for him to be called  upon to answer.

Defence and prosecutor’s right of reply

304.(1) After  the  case  for  the  prosecution  is  concluded,   the  defendant  or  the   legal practitioner representing him, if any, is entitled to address the  court  at the commencement or  conclusion  of his  case,  as he deems  fit,  and if no  witnesses have been called  for the defence than the defendant himself or witnesses  solely  as to  character  of the  defendant  and  no  document   is  put  in  as  evidence  for the defence,  the prosecution shall not be entitled  to  address  the  court  a  second  time but if, in opening the case for the defence, the legal practitioner appearing for the defendant introduced  a new matter  without  supporting it by evidence,  the  court  in its discretion may allow the prosecution to reply.


(2)    Where any witness, other than the defendant himself or witnesses solely  as to the defendant’s  character,  is  called  or  any document   is  put  in as  evidence  for  the defence, the legal practitioner appearing  for the defendant is entitled  after  evidence has been  adduced  to address  the  court  a second  time  on the  whole  case  and  the prosecution  shall have a right of reply.


(3)    The provisions  of this section shall not affect the right  of reply  by a law officer.


Reference to Court of Appeal

  1. (1) Where a  question   as  to  the  interpretation  of  the   Constitution  of  the   Federal Republic  of Nigeria arises in the  course  of a trial  and  is referred  to  the  Court  of Appeal  under   the  provisions   of the  Constitution,  the   court  before   which   the question arose may in its discretion:

(a)    adjourn the trial until the question  has been considered and decided,

(b)    conclude  the trial and postpone  the verdict  until  such time  as the question has been considered and decided,  or

(c)    conclude the trial and pass sentence but suspend  execution until such  time as the question has been considered  and decided,


and  in  any  such  case  the  court in  its  discretion  shall  commit  the  defendant  or convict to prison  or admit him to bail in accordance  with the provisions  of Part  19 of this Act.


(2)    When the question  referred to in subsection (1) (a) of this section has been  decided by the Court   of Appeal,  the Court shall:

(a)    continue  the trial or discharge the defendant; (b) acquit or convict the defendant; or

(c)    order the execution of the sentence  as the circumstance may require.


Stay of proceedings

  1. An application for stay of proceedings in respect  of a criminal  matter  before the court shall not be entertained.


Consideration of case by court and announcement of finding

  1. (1) When the case for .both sides is closed,  the court  shall  consider  its verdict and for this purpose  may  retire or adjourn the trial.


(2)    After  the  court  has  made its finding,  the  court  shall pronounce that  finding in the open court.


Judgment to be in writing

  1. (1) The Judge  or Magistrate shall record  his judgment in writing  and every judgment shall contain  the point  or points for determination, the decision  and the reasons for the decision and shall be dated and signed by the Judge  or Magistrate at the time  of pronouncing it.


(2)    The Magistrate, instead of writing the judgment, may record briefly in the book  his decision  or finding  and his reason  for the decision  or finding,  and then  deliver an oral judgment.


Defendant to be discharged where found not guilty

  1. Where the court finds the defendant not guilty, it shall immediately discharge him  and record  an order of discharge  and acquittal  accordingly.


Procedure on finding of guilty

  1. (1) Where  the  fu1dihg is guilty, the  convict  shall,  where ‘he  has not previously called any witness to character,  be asked whether  he wishes  to call any witness  and,  after the  witness,  if any, has been heard,  he shall  be asked  whether  he desires  to  make any  statement or produce  any necessary  evidence or information in mitigation of punishment in accordance with section 311  (3) of this Act.


(2)    After  the defendant has made his statement, if any, in mitigation of punishment the prosecution shall,  unless  such  evidence  has already  been  given,  produce  evidence of any previous conviction of the defendant.


Sentence and sentencing hearing

  1. (1) Where the provisions of section 310 of this Act have been complied  with, the  court may  pass   sentence  on  the  convict   or  adjourn   to   consider   and  determine  the sentence and shall then announce  the sentence in open court.


(2)    The court shall, in pronouncing sentence, consider the following factors in addition to sections 239 and 240 of this Act.

(a)    the  objectives  of sentencing,  including  the  principles  of  reformation and deterrence;

(b)    the interest of the victim,  the convict and the community;

(c)   appropriateness  of  non-custodial  sentence   or  treatment  m  lieu   of imprisonment;  and

(d)    previous conviction of the convict.


(3)    A  court,  after  conviction,  shall  take  all  necessary   aggravating  and  mitigating evidence or information in respect  of each convict that may  guide  it in  deciding the nature  and extent  of sentence  to pass  on the  convict  in  each  particular case, even though the convicts were charged  and tried together.


Recommendation for mercy

  1. The court may, in any case in recording sentence, make a recommendation for mercy and shall give the reasons for its recommendation.


Conviction on other charges pending

  1. (1) Where a defendant  is  found  guilty of an offence,  the  court   may,  in  passing sentence, take into consideration any other charge then pending against  him, where the   defendant  admits the  other charge and desires  that  it   be  taken    into consideration and if the prosecutor of the other charge consents.


(2)    Where a desire is expressed  under subsection  (1)  of this section  and consent  given, the court shall:

(a)    make an entry to that effect on the record book;

(b)    the  prosecution  shall  state  the  facts  of  the  case  111    accordance  with section 300 of this Act.


(3)    Where the other charge  pending  against the  defendant  is considered in accordance with subsections  (1)  and (2) of this  section  and sentence  passed  on the  defendant with consideration  or in  respect  of the  other  pending  charge,  the  defendant shall not,  subject  to the  provisions   of sections  236  to  237  of this  Act,  or  unless  the conviction has been set aside, be liable to be charged  or tried in respect  of any such offence so taken into  consideration.


Compensation to victim in judgment

314.(1) Notwithstanding the limit  of its  civil or criminal jurisdiction,  a court has power,  in delivering its judgment, to award to  a  victim  commensurate compensation by the defendant or any other person  or the State.


(2)    The Court in considering the  award  of compensation to  the  victim  may  call  for additional  evidence  to enable  it determine  the quantum  of compensation to award in subsection  (1) of this section.


Delivery of judgment when Judge or Magistrate is unavoidably absent

  1. Where a Judge  or Magistrate having  tried  a  case  is  prevented   by  illness or other unavoidable  cause  from  delivering his  judgment or  sentence,  the  judgment  or  the sentence, if it  has been reduced  into  writing  and  signed  by the  Judge  or  Magistrate, may be delivered  and pronounced in open  court  by any other Judge  or Magistrate in the presence of the defendant.


Warrant of commitment

  1. Where a sentence or conviction  does not  order the payment of money  but  orders  the convict to be imprisoned, the court shall issue a warrant of commitment accordingly.


Authority for carrying out sentence other than of death

  1. A warrant under the hand of the  Judge  or Magistrate by  whom  a convict   has  been sentenced  or  committed  to  prison  for  non-payment of a penalty  or fine grants   full authority to the officer  in charge  of any prison  and to  all other persons for carrying into effect the sentence described in the warrant  not being a sentence  of death.


Error of omission not to affect legality of act

  1. The court may, at any time, amend  any defect  in an order or warrant  of commitment and no:

(a)    omission or error  as to time  and place;  or

(c)    defect in form in any order or warrant of commitment given under  this Act,


shall  be held to render  void  or unlawful  an act  done  or intended  to  be  done  by virtue  of the  order  or warrant   if it  is  mentioned,   or  may  be  inferred,  that  it  is founded on a conviction or judgment sufficient to sustain  it.




Power of court to order payment of expenses or compensation

319.(1) A  court  may,  within the proceedings or while passing judgment,   order  the defendant or convict to pay  a sum of money:

(a)    as compensation to  any person  injured  by the  offence,  irrespective  of any  other  fine  or  other  punishment that  may  be  imposed  or  that  is imposed  on the  defendant  or convict,  where  substantial  compensation is in the opinion  of the court recoverable by civil  suit;

(b)    in compensating a bona fide purchaser for value  without notice of  the defect  of the title in any property  in respect  of which  the offence was committed  and has been compelled  to give it up; and

(c)    in  defraying   expenses  incurred   on  medical   treatment  of  a  victim injured by the convict in connection with the offence.


(2)    Where the fine  referred  to  in  subsection (1)  of this  section  is  imposed  in  a case which is subject to appeal,  no payment additional to the fine  shall be made-before• the period  allowed  for  presenting the  appeal  has  elapsed  or,  where  an  appeal  is presented, before the decision on the appeal.


(3)    Order for cost or compensation may  be made under this  section irrespective  of the fact that no fine has been imposed  on the defendant in the judgment.


Payment to be taken into consideration in subsequent civil suit

  1. (1) At the time of awarding compensation  in any subsequent  civil suit relating to the same matter, the court shall take  into  consideration any sum paid  or recovered as compensation under this  section.


(2)    The pendency of criminal proceedings shall not be a bar to a civil action in respect of the same subject matter.


Power of court to order restitution

  1. A court after conviction may adjourn proceedings to consider  and determine sentence appropriate for each convict:


(a)    in addition to  or in lieu  of any  other penalty  authorised  by  law,  order the convict to make  restitution or pay  compensation to  any  victim  of the. crime  for which  the  offender  was  convicted,  or  to  the  victim’s estate’;” or


(b)    order for the restitution  or compensation for the loss  or destruction of the Victim’s property  and in so doing the court may direct the  convict

(i)    to return the  property to the owner or to a person  designated by the owner,

(ii)   where    the    return     of   the    property     is    impossible     or impracticable,  to  pay  an  amount  equal  to  the  value  of the property,  or

(iii)    where the property to be returned  is inadequate or insufficient, to pay an amount  equal  to the property  calculated on the basis of what is fair and just.


Cost against private prosecutor

322(1)  The court may, in a proceeding instituted by a private prosecutor or on a summons or complaint of a private person, on  acquittal of the defendant, order the  private prosecutor  or  person  to pay  to the defendant  such  reasonable costs  as the  court may deem fit.


(2)    In  this  section,  “private  prosecutor”  does  not  include  a person  prosecuting  on behalf of the  State,  a public   officer prosecuting   in  his  official  capacity  and  a police officer.


Compensation in cases of false and vexatious accusation

323(1)  Where a person causes the arrest,  or arrest and charge of a defendant  or defendants and  it  appears  to  the  court  that  there  was  no  sufficient  ground  for  causing  the arrest,  or that  the  accusation   is  false,  vexatious  or  frivolous,  it  may  for reason recorded,  order the  person to  pay  reasonable compensation to  the  defendant  or defendants  arrested and charged.


(2)    The court may, in default  of payment of such compensation or any part  of it,  award a term of imprisonment  against  the  person  against whom  the  order  was  made,  for any term  not exceeding the term prescribed in respect of a like sum in the scale  of imprisonment  set  out  in  this   Act   or  the   court  may  sentence   the   person  to Community Service in accordance  with section  462 of this Act.


(3)    Subject  to the provisions of the  Constitution relating to appeals,  a person against whom   an  order  for  payment   of compensation is  made  under  this  section  may appeal  against the order  as if he  had  been  convicted  after trial by  the  court  that issued the order.


Injured person may refuse to accept compensation, but payment of compensation is bar to further liability

  1. (1) A person to  whom  compensation  is  awarded  may  refuse to   accept  the compensation.


(2)    Where  the person  receives  the  compensation or where the  convict,  having been ordered to pay compensation,  suffers  imprisonment for non-payment, the  receipt of the  compensation,  or the undergoing of the  imprisonment,  as the  case  may  be, shall  act as a bar to any further action for the same injury.


(3)    Before making  an order  for compensation under  this Act,  the  court  shall  explain the full effect of this section to the person  to whom  compensation  is payable.


Monies paid as compensation recoverable as fines

  1. Any  compensation ordered to  be paid  under  this  Act or any other Act, relating to any criminal  proceeding,  may be enforced as if it were  a fine.


Warrant for levy of fine

326.(1) Where   a  convict  is  ordered  to  pay   a  fine,   or  a  defendant  is  ordered  to  pay compensation to another person  under  section  319  of this Act,  or a person is subject to recovery of penalty for forfeiture  of a bond  under this Act, the Court passing the sentence or making the order may,  notwithstanding that,  in default  of the  payment of the fine or compensation or penalty,  the convict or defendant may be imprisoned, issue   a  warrant  for  the  levy  of the   amount   by  any  means  permitted  by  law, including:

(a)    the   seizure  and   sale  of  any   movable  property   belonging  to   the defendant or convict;

(b)    the attachment-of any debt due to the defendant  or convict;  and

(c)    subject to the provisions  of the Land  Use Act,  the attachment and  sale of  any   immovable   property   of  the   convict   situated   within   the jurisdiction of the court.


(2)    A  warrant  for  seizure  and  sale  of the  movable property  of a person   under  this section  shall  be  addressed   to  the   court   within  whose  jurisdiction  it  is  to  be executed.


(3)    Where  execution  of a warrant  is to be enforced  by attachment  of debts  or sale of immovable   property,   the   warrant    shall   be   sent  for  execution   to   any   court competent to execute  orders  for the payment of money in civil suits  and the court shall  follow  the procedure for  the  time  being  in force for the  execution of such orders.


Powers of court when convict is sentenced to only fine

  1. (1) Where a convict has been ordered by the Court to pay a fine with or without a sentence of imprisonment in default of payment of the fine, the Court authorised by section 326 of this Act to issue a warrant may,  exercise any of the following powers:

(a)    allow time for payment of the fine;

(b)    direct that the fine be paid by installments;

(c)    postpone the issue of a warrant under section 326 of this Act;

(d)    without postponing the  issue  of a warrant under  section  326  of this Act, postpone the sale of any property seized under the warrant;  or

(e)    postpone the execution  of the sentence of imprisonment  in  default  of payment of the fine.


(2)    An order made in the exercise of the powers referred to in subsection  (1) of this section may be made subject to the convict giving such security as the court may consider fit, by means of a bond with or without sureties, in which case,  the bond may be conditioned either for the payment of the fine in accordance with the order or for the appearance of the convict as required in the bond or both.


(3)    The Court may also, in the exercise of the powers referred to in subsection  (1)  of this section,  order that the execution of the sentence of imprisonment  on a convict who has  been committed to prison in default of payment of a fine, be suspended and, that he be released but only subject to the convict giving security as specified in subsection (2) of this section.


(4)    Where the fine or any instalment of the fine is not paid in accordance with an order under this section, the authority making the order may enforce payment  of the fine or of the balance outstanding,  by any means authorised in this Act and may cause the offender to be arrested and may commit or recommit  him. to prison  under the, sentence of imprisonment in default of payment of the fine.


Wrongful conversion or detention of property and award of damages

328.(1)Where in a charge of an offence relating to property and the Court is of the opinion that  the  evidence  is  insufficient  to  support  the  charge,  but  that  it  establishes wrongful  conversion  or  detention  of property,  the  court  may  order  that  such property be restored and may also award reasonable damages to the person  entitled to the property.


(2)    The damages  awarded  under this  section,  shall be recovered  in like manner,  as prescribed in section 325  of this Act




Meaning of property

  1. In this Part, “property” in the case of property regarding which an offence  appears  to have  been  committed,  includes  not  only  the property   as  has  been  originally  in  the possession  or under the control  of a party, but also any property into or for which  that same  has  been  converted  or exchanged  and anything  acquired by the  conversion or exchange, whether immediately or otherwise.


Order for custody and disposal of property pending trial

  1. Where any property  regarding which  an offence  appears  to have  been  committed or which appears  to have been used for the •commission of an offence is produced before a court during an inquiry or a trial, the court:


(a)    may  make  such  order  as  it  thinks  fit  for the  proper custody  of that property pending  the conclusion  of the proceedings or trial; and


(b)    where  the property is  subject  to  speedy  decay,  may,  after  recording such  evidence  as it thinks  necessary,  order  it to  be  sold  or otherwise disposed of,  and the proceeds  dealt with as the court may direct.


Order for disposal of property after trial

331.(1)Where any proceeding or trial in a criminal case is concluded, the court  may make such  order as it thinks  fit, for the disposal  by destruction,  confiscation or delivery to a person  appearing  to be entitled to the possession or otherwise, of any movable property or document produced before it  or in its custody  or regarding which  an offence  appears   to   have   been   committed    or  which   has   been   used   for   the commission of an offence.


(2)    Notwithstanding that the trial, proceeding or an appeal  is pending in respect of the case, the  court may, in any case, make an order under  the provisions of subsection (1)  of this  section for the delivery  of any  property,  to  a person appearing to  be entitled to the possession of the property,  on his executing a bond,  with  or without sureties,  to the  satisfaction  of the  court,  undertaking to restore the property to the court.


(3)    An order  made  under  this  section  may be appealed  against  as if it is a decision in the final judgment of the court giving the direction.


Custody or sale of property

  1. (1)Where the court orders  the forfeiture  or confiscation of any property but  does  not make  an order  for its destruction  or for its  delivery  to  any  person,  the  court  may direct  that  the  property  shall  be  kept  or  sold  and  that  the  property,  if sold,  the proceeds  of the  sale  be  held  as  it  directs  until  some  person   establishes to the court’s satisfaction,  a right to the property.


(2)    Where  no person  establishes a right  within  six months  from  the  date  of forfeiture or  confiscation  of the  property,   the  proceeds   of the  sale  shall  be  paid   into the Consolidated Revenue Fund  of the Federation, Consolidated Revenue  Fund  of the State or any other appropriate account, as the case may be.


(3)    Where  an order is made  under this section  in a case which  an appeal  lies, the  order shall riot,  except when the property is livestock or is subject to  speedy  and  natural decay,  be carried  out until the period  allowed  for presenting the  appeal  has passed or when the appeal  is entered,  until the disposal  of the appeal.




Seizure of things intended to be used in commission of crime

  1. The court may:


(a)    order the  seizure  of any  instrument,  material  or thing  which  there  is reason  to believe  is provided or prepared,  or being  prepared,  with  a view to the commission of an offence triable by the court;  and


(b)    direct  the  instrument,  material   or thing  to  be  forfeited,   confiscated, held  or  otherwise  dealt  with  in the  same manner   as  property  under section 336 of this Act.


Destruction of seditious, prohibited or obscene publications and of obscene objects

334.(1)  Upon a conviction  for an offence  relating  to  obscene  publication,  the  court may order the confiscation  and  destruction of all the copies  of the publication  or thing, including those that remain in the possession or power of the convict.


(2)    Upon arrest for an offence relating to adulterated  or unfit food,  drink  or  drug,  the court may  order  the  confiscation  and  destruction   of the  food,   drink  or  drug, including such  other  adulterated or unfit  items  in the possession or power  of the defendant.


Search warrant may be used to search for things subject to section 333 or 334

  1. Where a court is satisfied, by information on oath, that there  is reasonable ground for believing that there  is in the  Federal  Capital Territory,  Abuja in any  building,  ship, carriage,  receptacle  or place,  anything   in  respect  of which  an  order may  be  made under section 333  or 334 of this Act, the court may issue a search warrant to search  for the thing and where the thing is found, it shall be brought before a court  and dealt  with as that court may deem proper.


Restoration of possession of immovable property

336.(1) Where a defendant  is convicted  of an offence carried out by criminal  force, and  it appears to  the  court  that  by  that  force  a victim  has  been  dispossessed  of any immovable property,  the court may,  where it deems fit,  order the possession of the property to be restored to the victim.


(2)    Ari order  under  this  section  shall  not  prejudice  any right  or interest to or  in  the immovable  property   which  a  victim,  including  the   convict,   may  1he   able   to establish in a civil suit.


Procedure on seizure of property taken during arrest or investigation or stolen

  1. (1)The seizure by the police of property taken  during  arrest  or investigation  under this Act,  or alleged  or suspected to have  been  stolen  or found  in  circumstances which create  a suspicion  of the  commission of an offence,  shall,  within a period not exceeding  48 hours  of the  taking  of the property  or thing,  be  reported  to  a court, and the court shall  make  an order in respect  of the disposal  of the property or its  delivery  to the person  entitled  to its  possession  or  such  other orders  as  it may deem fit in the circumstances.


(2)    Where the person  entitled  to the  possession of property  referred  to in  subsection (1)  of this  section  is  unknown,  the  court  may  detain  it  and  shall  issue  a public notice specifying the  articles  of which  the  property  consists  and requiring   any person who may have a claim to it,  to appear before the court and establish  his claim within six months from the date of the notice.


Procedure where owner of property seized is unknown

  1. (1)Where no person within the period referred to in section 337 of this Act establishes his claim to property referred to in that section and where the person in whose possession the property was found is unable to  show that it was lawfully acquired by him,  the property shall be  at  the  disposal  of the court  and may  be  sold  in accordance  with  the  order  of the  court  and  proceed  forfeited  to  the  Federal Government of Nigeria.


(2)    At  any time  within  six  years  from  the  date  of the property  coming  into  the possession of the police,  the court may  direct the property or the proceeds  of the sale of the property to be delivered to any person proving his title to it, on payment by him, of any expenses  incurred by the court in the matter.


Power to sell perishable property

  1. Where the person entitled to the possession of property referred to in section 337 of this Act is unknown or absent and the property  is subject to speedy decay or, for the benefit of the owner, the court may, at any time, direct it to be sold and the provisions of sections 337 and 33 8 of this Act shall, as nearly as may be practicable,  apply to the net proceeds of the sale.


Payment to innocent person of money found on defendant

  1. Where a defendant is convicted of an offence relating to property and it is proved that a person has bought the stolen property from him without knowing or having reason to believe that the property was stolen, and that money has, on the arrest of the convict been taken out of his possession, the court may:

(a)    on the application of the purchaser;  and


(b)    on the restitution  of the  stolen  property  to the person  entitled to the possession,


order that out of the money a sum not  exceeding the price paid  by the purchaser, shall be delivered to him.


Restitution and disposition of property found on defendant

  1. Where, on the arrest of a defendant charged with an offence,  any property,  other than that used in the commission of the offence,  is taken from him, the-court before which he is charged may order that the property  or any part of it be:


(a)    restored to the person who appears to the court to be entitled to it, and, where he is the person  charged,  that  it be restored either to him  or to such other person as he may direct; or


(b)    applied to the payment  of any  costs  or  compensation  directed  to  be paid by the defendant charged,


Restitution of stolen property

342.(1)Where a defendant  is convicted  of an offence relating to property,  the  court convicting him may order that  the  property  or  any part  of it be restored to the person  who  appears  to  it  to  be  the  owner  of  it,  either  on  payment  or  without payment by the owner, to the person in whose possession the property or  any part of it then is, of any sum named in the order.


(2)    This section does not apply to:

(a)   a valuable security  which  has been paid or discharged  in good  faith by a person liable to pay or discharge the instrument; or

(b)    a negotiable instrument  which  has  been  received  in  good  faith  by transfer or delivery by a person  for a just  and valuable consideration without notice or without  any reasonable  cause to suspect that  it had been stolen.


Destruction of articles relating to counterfeiting where charge is laid

  1. Where a defendant is charged with an offence relating to counterfeit currency  and in that defendant’s possession,  actual or constructive,  was found a counterfeit currency or thing intended to  be used for the purpose  of making  counterfeit currency,  then, whether the charge proceeds to  conviction  or not, the currency or thing  shall  not be returned to the defendant  charged or to the person from whom it was taken  but  shall be destroyed in such a manner as the court may order.


Destruction of articles relating to counterfeiting where no charge is laid

344.(1)Where a person comes into  possession  of a currency,  which he believes   to  be counterfeit  or which,  in  his  opinion,  is  to  be used  for the purpose  of making counterfeit   currency, he may hand  the  currency  or thing to  any  officer  of the Central Bank of Nigeria designated  by the  Bank to receive  it,  or to  any  police officer not below the rank of an Inspector,  and the officer of the Central  Bank of Nigeria, or police officer if satisfied that the currency:

(a)    is not  counterfeit,  or  is not  intended  to  be  used  for the  purpose   of making counterfeit currency  shall return  the currency  or  thing,  as the case may be, to the person purporting  to be the owner of it,  if known, and

(b)    is  counterfeit  or is intended  to .   be used  for the  purpose  of making counterfeit  currencies  and  if no  charge  is  to be preferred  against  a person in connection with the currency or thing,


may destroy, or cause to be destroyed the currency or thing in such manner  and by such persons as may be approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria.


(2)    Notice  of an action to be taken  under subsection  (1)  (a) of this  section  shall  have been given  to the person who appears to be the  owner  of a currency,  matter  or thing, where the person is  known and can easily be found, that the coin  or  thing will be destroyed at the end of a specified  number of days unless the owner  shows that the currency is  not counterfeit  or that the thing is  not intended to be used  for the purpose of making counterfeit currency.


(3)    A reasonable  time  shall  be  allowed  for  the  person  to  provide  proof that  the currency is  not counterfeit  or that  the thing  is not intended to be used  for  the purpose of making counterfeit currency and the person who alleges that he is the owner of or otherwise entitled to the currency  or thing shall have no claim  against the   officer  of  the   Central   Bank  of  Nigeria,  police  officer  or  the   Federal Government  in respect of the coin or thing so destroyed.


Detention and destruction of counterfeit currency, etc.

345.(1)Subject  to  the provisions   of this  section, sections  343  and  344  of this  Act  shall apply in relation  to notes purporting  to be legal tender  in Nigeria as those sections apply in relation  to currency.


(2)    Any currency,  matter  or thing shall not  be destroyed by virtue  of the provisions  of this Part except:

(a)    a court  orders  its destruction,  in  connection  with a conviction for  an offence;

(b)    it  appears  to a magistrate  court having jurisdiction  in the place where the  currency,  matter  or  thing  is  for  the  time  being   situated;  on  an application made  in accordance with  rules  of court,  that the  existence of the  currency, matter  or thing  involves  a breach  of the  law and  the court makes  an order for its forfeiture and destruction accordingly; or

(c)    in the absence  of a conviction  for an offence in respect  of the currency, matter  or thing  and any pending prosecution for the  offence, and of an order  or  pending   application  for  an  order   for  its  forfeiture,  the currency, matter or thing:

(i)     has been voluntarily  surrendered by the person  having possession of it, to the proper  official  of the Central  Bank  of Nigeria  or a superior police  officer,  or

(ii)    is  discovered   in a lodgement  made  with  the  Central  Bank  by  a commercial bank.


Mode of dealing with forfeiture not pecuniary

  1. Subject  to  the  express  provisions   of  any  law,  an  article,  not pecuniary, forfeited  in respect  of a summary  conviction  offence  or the  seizure,  forfeiture or  disposition of which may be enforced by the court may be sold or disposed  of in such manner  as the court may direct,  and the proceeds  of the sale  shall be applied  in the like manner as if  the proceeds  were  a penalty imposed  under  the  law on which  the  proceedings for the forfeiture is founded.




Summary procedure in perjury

347.(1) Where it appears  to a court that a person  has  committed   perjury  in any proceeding before it, the court,  subject to the provisions of subsection  (2)  of this section  and in addition,  in the case of a Magistrate,  to subsection (3)  of this section, may:

(a)    commit him for trial on information of perjury and bind  any person  by recognizance to give evidence  at his trial; or

(b)    try him  summarily for contempt of court  and where  he is found  guilty, commit him to prison for a period not exceeding 6 months  or fine him in  such  sum  in  accordance  with  the  scale  of  fine  in  the  Fourth Schedule to this Act.



(2)    Where a court  decides  to try a person summarily,  under  subsection   (1)  of  this section, for contempt of court, the court shall:

(a)    specify the perjury alleged and shall  direct the attention  of the person to be charged to the inconsistencies on which the charge is based; and

(b)    require him to give his explanation to the inconsistencies  and record the explanation.


(3)    Where a court orders  a person to be imprisoned or to pay a fine under  subsection (1) of this section, it shall:

(a)    not issue  a warrant of commitment or make an order for imprisonment for non-payment  of the  fine but shall  either  remand  the  person   or release him  on a recognizance with or without  sureties,  to  come  up before the court when called upon; and

(b)    immediately  forward to  the Chief Judge or such Judge  as the  Chief Judge may direct, a certified copy of the proceedings.


(4)    The  Chief  Judge  or  Judge  to  whom  a  certified  copy  of  the  proceedings  is forwarded pursuant to subsection (3) of this section:

(a)   may,  without  hearing  argument  and  in  the  absence  of the  person concerned,  set aside or  confirm the order or reduce  the  sentence   of imprisonment or the amount of the fine; and

(b)    shall inform the court immediately of his decision.


(5)    Where the Chief Judge or Judge does not wholly set aside the  court’s  order,  the court  shall  immediately  issue its warrant of commitment  or make  the  necessary order for payment  of the fine in accordance with the terms  of the Chief Judge or Judge’s order.


(6)    An imprisonment  or a fine ordered  or imposed under this section  is a bar to  any other proceeding for the same offence except where the order of the court has been wholly set aside.





  1. (1) Trials shall be held in the High Court on information filed:

(a)    by the Attorney-General of the Federation or a law officer in his  office;

(b)    by the Attorney General of the State or a law officer in his office;

(c)    by a Legal Officer of any prosecuting agency; (d) by a private prosecutor; or

(e)    summarily, in accordance with the provisions of this Act.


(2)    Trials  shall  be  held  in the  Magistrate   Court  or  any  other  court   or  tribunal exercising  criminal  jurisdiction   in  accordance  with  the  provisions   of  this  Act relating to summary trials.


Non-appearance and non-representation of legal practitioner

  1. (1) Where  a  defendant   charged  before   the  court  is  not  represented   by  a  legal practitioner, the court shall:

(a)    inform him of his rights to a legal practitioner of his choice; and

(b)   enquire  from   him,  whether  he  wishes  to  engage  his   own   legal practitioner,  or a legal practitioner  engaged for him by way  of legal aid.


(2)    Where the legal practitioner who had appeared on behalf of the defendant  ceases to appear  in court in two consecutive  sessions of the Court,  the Court  shall  enquire from the defendant if he wishes to engage on his own another legal practitioner or a legal practitioner engaged for him by way of legal aid ..


(3)    Where the defendant wishes to engage another legal  practitioner of his choice, the court shall allow him reasonable time but not exceeding 30 days to do so.


(4)    Where the defendant  fails,  or is unable to secure  a legal practitioner  arranged  by him after a reasonable time, the Court may direct that a legal practitioner arranged by way of legal aid to represent the defendant.


(5)    The Court may assign to  any legal  practitioner ‘Whose  place  of practice  is within the  jurisdiction   of  the   court,   any   case   of  a  defendant   who   has   no   legal representation,   and  the  legal   practitioner   shall  undertake   the  defence   of  the defendant with all due diligence, in which  case, the legal practitioner shall not pay any filing fee or service fee in respect of the case so assigned.


(6)    Where the defendant chooses to represent himself, the court shall:

(a)    inform  him of all his rights  under  the Constitution   of  the  Federal Republic of Nigeria,  1999 and under this Act; and

(b)    indicate the fact of having so informed the defendant on the record, but a defendant charged  with  a capital  offence  or an offence punishable with  life imprisonment   shall  not be allowed to represent  and defend himself.


(7)    A legal practitioner,  other than a law officer, engaged in any matter shall be bound to conduct the case on behalf of the prosecution  or defendant  until  final  judgment, unless allowed for any special reason  to cease from acting by the  court  of its own motion or upon application by the legal practitioner.


(8)    Where a legal practitioner intends  to disengage  from a matter,  he  shall notify the court, not Jess than 3  days before  the date fixed for hearing  and  such  notice   shall be served on the court and all parties.


When summary trials shall be held

350.(1) Trial shall be held summarily:

(a)    in the High Court in respect of perjury;

(b)    in respect of an offence  which by an Act of the National  Assembly is triable summarily;  and

(c)    in respect  of  a trial for an  offence  punishable  with  less  than  3  years imprisonment in the Magistrate Court or tribunal.


(2)    In a trial  in the Magistrate  Court  or Tribunal,  the prosecution  shall,  provide the defendant all materials that the prosecution intends  to rely on at the trial, before or at the commencement  of the trial.


Non-appearance of complainant

  1. (1) When the  case  is called,  the  defendant  appears  voluntarily   in obedience to  the summons  or  is  brought  before  the  court  under  a warrant,  and  the  complainant having, to the  satisfaction of the  court,  had  due  notice of the  time  and  place  of hearing,  does not appear  in person   or  in  the manner  authorised by  a written law, the court may dismiss the complaint.


(2)    Where  the  court  receives   a  reasonable  excuse  for  the  non-appearance  of the complainant  or his representative or for  other  sufficient  reason,   it  shall  adjourn the hearing of the complaint  to some  future day  on  such terms  as the  Court  may deem just.


Non-appearance of defendant

  1. (1) Where a case is called in which  summons  has been issued  and the  defendant does not appear, or pleads guilty under  the provisions  of section  135  of this Act,  and  no sufficient excuse is offered for his absence,  then the court where  it is:

(a)    satisfied  that the summons,  if any, has been  duly  served,’ may  issue  a warrant, called bench  warrant  for his arrest; or

(b)    not  satisfied  that  the   summons   has  been  duly  served   or  where   a warrant  had  been  issued,  in  the  first  instance,   for  the  arrest   of the defendant,


shall  adjourn  the  hearing  of  the  case  to  some  future  day,  in  order  that  proper service may be effected or, until the defendant  is arrested,  as the case may  be.


(2)    Where the defendant is afterward  arrested  on a bench wan-ant, he shall  be brought before the court immediately  which  may then commit him by warrant to prison  or to such other place of safe custody  as it deems fit, and order him to be brought before the court at a certain time and place.


(3)    The complainant shall, by direction of the court, be served due notice  of the time and place ordered under subsection (2) of this section.


(4)    Where the Court, in exercise of its discretion, has granted bail to the defendant  and the defendant,  in disregard for the  court  orders, fails to surrender to the  order  of court or fails to attend court without  reasonable explanation, the court shall continue with the trial in his absence and convict him unless the court sees reasons otherwise;  provided that proceedings  in the absence of the defendant  shall  take place after two adjournments or as the court may deem fit.


(5)    The  Court  shall  impose  a  sentence  only  when  the  defendant  is  arrested   or surrenders to the custody of the court.


Non-appearance of both parties

353(1)Where the case is called and neither the prosecutor  nor the defendant  appears,  or the  defendant appears and the prosecutor does not  appear, the court  shall  make such order as the justice of the case requires.


(2)    The court may, in the order,  include  such  direction as to the payment  of costs as the court considers fit, and the payment of the costs may be as if it were a fine.


Appearance of both parties

  1. When the case is called and both the complainant and the defendant appear, the court shall proceed to hear and determine the case.


Withdrawal of complaint

  1. Where a complainant, at any time before  a final  order is made in a case,  satisfies the court that there are sufficient  grounds for permitting  him to withdraw  his  complaint, the  court may permit him to withdraw  the  complaint  and shall thereupon  acquit the defendant.


Manner of hearing

356.(1) At the commencement of the hearing, the court shall  state, or cause to be stated to the  defendant,  the substance  of the  complaint,  and  shall  ask h4TI whether  he is guilty or not guilty.


(2)    Where the defendant pleads  guilty  and  the  court is  satisfied that  he  intends  to admit the offence  and shows no cause  or no sufficient  cause why sentence  should not be passed, the court shall proceed to sentence.


(3)    Where the defendant pleads not guilty, the court shall direct all witnesses to leave the court and upon the direction, the provisions of section 212 of the Evidence Act,  shall apply, but failure to comply with  the provisions of this subsection  shall not invalidate the proceedings  but would  affect the weight of evidence  given by that witness who fails to leave the court on the direction being given.


(4)    Notwithstanding the provision  of subsections  (1 ), (2) and (3 ), in  capital offences the court shall proceed with the trial irrespective of the plea by the defendant.


(5)    The court shall then proceed:

(a)    to hear the prosecutor  and such witnesses as he may call and such  other evidence as he may adduce  in support  of the charge;

(b)    also to hear the defendant  and such witnesses  as he may  call and  such other evidence as he may adduce in his defence; and

(c)   also,  where  the  court   deems   fit,  to  hear   such  witnesses      as   the prosecutor may call in reply  if the defendant  has called any witness or given any evidence.


(6)    The prosecutor  and the defendant  may put questions  to  each witness  called  by the other side and where the defendant  gives evidence  he may be cross-examined.


(7)    Where the defendant  is not represented  by  a legal practitioner,  the  court  shall,  at  the close of the examination  of each witness  for the prosecution,  ask the defendant whether  he  wishes  to  put  any  question  to  that  witness,   and  shall   record  the defendant’s answer.


(8)    The defendant shall take his plea in the dock,  except the Judge directs  otherwise.


Discharge of defendant when no case to answer

  1. Where at the close of the evidence in support of the charge, it appears to the  court that a case is not  made  out  against  the  defendant sufficiently to require  him  to make   a defence, the court shall; as to that particular charge,  discharge him being  guided by the provisions of section 302 of this Act.



358.(1) At the close of the evidence  in support of the  charge, where it  appears  to the  court that a prima facie case is made out against  the defendant sufficiently  to require him to  make  a  defence,  the  court  shall  call  on  him  for  his  defence  and  where  the defendant is  not represented  by a legal  practitioner,  the court  shall  inform him  of the alternatives open to him that he may:

(a)    make a statement,  without being  sworn,  from the place where  he  then is, in which case he will not be liable to cross-examination;  or

(b)    give evidence  in  the witness    box,  after being  sworn  as a witness;’ In which case he will be liable to cross-examination;  or


(c)    call any witness or adduce  any other evidence  in his defence.


(2)    Where the defendant is represented by  a legal practitioner,  the  court  shall  call on the legal practitioner to proceed with the defence.


Process for compelling production of evidence at instance of defendant

359.(1)The  defendant  may  apply  to  the court  to  issue  a  process   for  compelling  the attendance of a witness for  the  purpose   of examination   or the  production  of a document or any other thing.


(2)    On an application  by the defendant  under  subsection  (1)  of this  section,  the  court shall  issue the process unless for reasons to be recorded by it in writing  it considers that the application is made for the purpose  of vexation or delay or of defeating the aims of justice.


Saving as to Section 358 (a)

  1. Failure to comply  with  the requirements of section  358  (a)  of this  Act  shall  not  of  itself vitiate the trial where the court:


(a)    called  on the defendant for his defence;


(b)    asked the defendant if he had any witness;  and


(c)    heard  the defendant  and his witnesses  and other evidence,  if any.


Evidence in reply

  1. Where  the  defendant adduces  in  his  defence   a new  matter,  which  the  prosecution could not foresee, the prosecution may, with the leave of the court,  adduce  evidence to rebut the new matter  or evidence.


Power to take deposition in certain cases

  1. (1)In certain exceptional   circumstances,   where   the   evidence   of   a   technical, professional or  expert  witness  would  not  ordinarily be  contentious as to require cross-examination,  the  court  may .grant  leave  for  the  evidence  to  be  taken in writing  or by  electronic  recording  device,  on oath or  affirmation of the  witness, and the deposition shall form part of the record  of the court.


(2)    Where  it appears  to  the court that  a person  who  is seriously  ill  or hurt  may  not recover,  but is  able and willing to give material  evidence  relating  to an offence and it is not  practicable to take the  evidence  in  accordance with  the provisions of this Act, the Judge  or Magistrate shall:

(a)    take  in writing  the statement  on oath or affirmation of the person  and subscribe  the  statement   and   certify  that   it  contains   accurately  the whole of the statement made by the person;  and

(b)    add  a  statement  of his  reason  for taking  the statement,  the  date  and place  when  and where the  statement was  taken,  and shall  preserve the statement and file it for record.


(3)    The court shall  cause  reasonable notice of the application to take the deposition-in accordance with subsections  (1) and  (2) of this  section  and of the time  and place where  it  is to  be  taken to be  served  on the  prosecutor and  defendant and  if the defendant, is in custody  and his presence is required  for the deposition, he shall  be brought  by the  person  in whose  custody  he is,  to the place  where  the statement is to be taken,  under an order in writing  of the court.


When statement may be used in evidence

363.(1) A  statement  taken   under  section   362   of  this  Act  may   afterwards  be  used   in evidence  on the  trial  of a defendant accused  of an offence  to which  the  statement relates in accordance with the provisions of sections 46 of the Evidence Act.


(2)    The signature  and  attestation  of the Judge  or Magistrate shall  be sufficient prima facie  proof of the  content  of the statement, and that the statement was taken  in all respects   according  to  law  and  the   attestation  and  signature   shall  be  admitted without further proof unless the court sees reason to doubt the genuineness.


Notes of evidence to be recorded electronically or in writing

364.(1) Without prejudice  to  section  348  (2)  of this Act,  court  proceedings  may   be recorded electronically and verbatim such that at the end of each day’s proceeding a  transcript   of  such  recording shall be  printed to   enable   certification   or authentication by the Judge or Magistrate who conducted the proceedings.


(2)    Where court proceedings  are not recorded as stated in sub-section  (1 ), the  court shall in every case take notes in writing of the oral  evidence it considers  material, in a book to be kept for that purpose and the book shall be signed by the court  at the conclusion of each day’s proceedings.


(3)    The transcript   of  the  recordings  of the  court  shall  be  signed   or  otherwise authenticated by  the  presiding  Judge at an adjournment  of. the  case  or  at  the conclusion in  a manner  authorised  from time  to  time  by the  Chief Judge   in accordance with  such condition as may be imposed by rules  of court,  and  the signed transcript shall be taken as part of the record of the proceedings.


(4)    A person is not entitled, as of right,  to inspection of or to a copy of the record so kept except  as may be expressly provided for by the rules of the court  or  by  any other law.


(5)    The record so kept or a copy of it purporting to be signed and certified  as a true copy by the court shall, at all times, without further proof, be admitted  as evidence of the proceedings as statement made by the witnesses.


Local inspection

  1. A court trying a case summarily shall make or cause to be made such local inspection as the circumstances of the case may require.


Cross complaints

  1. Where a complaint is made by one or more parties against another party or parties and  there is a cross-complaint  by the defendant or defendants in the first named  case,  the court may,  where  it  deems  fit,  hear  and  determine  the  complaints   in  the   same proceeding.


Joinder of complaints

  1. Where two or more complaints are made by one or more parties against another party or parties-and the complaints refer to the same matter, the court may, where it ‘deems fit, hear and determine the complaints in the same proceedings.


Giving of decision upon conclusion of hearing

  1. On the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall either at the same or at an adjourned sitting give its  decision  on the case either by• dismissing  or convicting  the  defendant and may make such other orders as may seem just.


Power to bind parties to be of good behaviour

  1. (1) In a summary trial, the court may, whether the complaint is dismissed  or not,  by order  bind  over  either the complainant  or defendant,  or both,  with  or  without a surety or sureties, to be of good behaviour.


(2)    A person who breaches  an order made, pursuant to subsection  (1) of this  section, may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three months in addition to any other punishment to which the person is liable.


(3)    Before a binding  order pursuant  to  subsection  (1)  of this  section  or an order for imprisonment  or  any  other  punishment  under  subsection   (2) of this   section  is made, the person  to  be affected by the  order  shall be  given  an opportunity to  be heard.


Effect of judgment of dismissal on merits, not on merits and without prejudice

370.(1)Where  a charge  is  dismissed  on merits,  the  dismissal  has  the  same  effect  as  an acquittal.


(2)    Where  a charge  is  dismissed  but not  on merits,  or stated to be dismissal without prejudice, the dismissal does not have the same effect as an acquittal.


Summary trial of child by Magistrate

  1. Where a child is proceeded against before a court for an offence, the court shall have regard to the provisions of the Child Rights Act.


Power to remand

  1. Without prejudice  to any other power which  a Magistrate  may possess,  he may,  for the purposes  of ascertaining whether  it is expedient to deal with  a case summarily,  either before or during  the  hearing   of the  case,  adjourn  the  case  and remand the  person charged for a period not exceeding  48 hours or release him on bail.


Law officer may require case to be adjourned or dealt with specially

373.(1) A law officer, in a case where a charge  of an indictable  offence is being  proceeded with summarily by  a Magistrate,   may,  at any  time  before  judgment,  request the Magistrate to deal  with the case as one for trial on information.


(2)    On receipt  of the  request,  the Magistrate shall  adjourn  the proceeding until  such  a time  as  information  or  charge   is  filed   in  the  High   court,  provided  that   the information  shall  be filed within a period  of 3 0  days of the date the order  granting the request.


(3)    The Magistrate shall  make the case returnable for a period  not exceeding  32  days from the date of the  grant of the request.


(4)    Where  at the  end  of the  period   of 30  days  provided   in  subsection  (2)  of this section,  the information or charge  against  the defendant  has  not been  filed  at the High  Court,  the  Magistrate  shall  proceed   on  the  return   date  to try  the charge summarily   where   he   has  jurisdiction,  or  may   make   an   order releasing   the defendant   on  bail   pending his arraignment   on  the   informaticn.ror   charge   as requested by the law officer.


Adjournment for law officer’s decision

374.(1)  Where a charge  for an offence  is being  tried  summarily  by  a Magistrate,  he shall, at the request  of a person  in  charge  of the prosecution made  at any  time  before judgment,   adjourn   the  hearing   of the  charge  for  consultation with  a law  officer with  a view  to  obtaining  a request  to proceed  in  accordance with section  373  of this Act.


(2)    The request  of the  law officer so  consulted shall be filed within  14  days of the date the  Magistrate  grants   the  request  of the  person   prosecuting,  failing   which   the Magistrate  shall proceed to try and conclude  the case summarily.


(3)    Where the Magistrate grants an adjournment at a request under subsection  (1)  of this section, the adjournment shall not be for a period exceeding  15 days,  and the Magistrate may grant the defendant bail.


Security for peace in cases tried summarily

375.(1)  A defendant  convicted  of an  offence  tried  summarily  may,  instead  of,  or  in addition  to  any  prescribed   punishment,  be   ordered  to   enter   into   his   own recognizance, with or without  sureties, in such  amount as the court thinks  fit that he shall keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a reasonable period  fixed by the court.


(2)   The convict  may be ordered to be imprisoned until the recognizance is entered into, but the imprisonment shall not:

(a)    extend for a term longer than 1   year; and

(b)    together with the fixed term of imprisonment,  if any, extend for a term longer  than the longest  term  for which he might  be sentenced  to  be imprisoned without fine for the offence which he was convicted.


Case files, legal advice and related proceedings

376(1)  Where an offence for which  the  magistrate  court has  no jurisdiction  to  try  is preferred against a defendant, the police shall at the end of investigation submit the original case file to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.


(2)    The Attorney-General  of the Federation  shall,  within  14  days of receipt of the police case, file, issue and serve his legal advice indicating whether  or not there  is a prima facie case against the defendant for which he can be prosecuted.


(3)   Where the Attorney-General  of the Federation is of the opinion,  as contained  in the legal advice, that the suspect has no prima facie case to answer, he shall serve a copy of the legal advice on the:

(a)    police or the head of the police legal  unit through   whom  the police case file was sent to the Attorney-General  of the Federation;

(b)    court before whom the suspect was remanded in prison, where he is in remand custody.-or before whom the suspect was granted bail, where he is on bail; and

(c)    suspect in respect of whom legal advice is preferred through the prison authority, where the .suspect  is  remanded in  custody, or through  his legal representative, if any.


(4)    Where the offence  is one  for which  a magistrate court has jurisdiction  to try, the prosecutor shall file the charge at the magistrate court, accompanied with:

(a)    the list of witnesses;

(b)    the list of exhibits;

(c)    statements of the witnesses and of the defendant; and

(d)    any report, document or material that the prosecution intends to rely on at the trial of the offence, but the prosecution may, with leave of the court, file and serve any additional document.


(5)    The police or the officer in charge of the prison in which the suspect is remanded in  custody shall on receipt of the  legal  advice, release  the suspect  immediately from detention where there is no case to answer.


(6)    The court referred to in subsection (4) (b) of this section,  shall, on receipt of the legal advice, dismiss the charge against the suspect and accordingly  discharge  the suspect.


(7)    The Attorney-General  of the Federation  shall send  a Law Officer in his  office to the court  where the order of remand  was  made  and ensure the discharge  of the remand order and of the suspect.


(8)    Where the Attorney-General of the Federation  is of the opinion, as contained  in the  legal  advice, that the suspect has  a prima  facie case to answer, he shall  file  and serve the charge or information in accordance with the provisions of this Act.


(9)    A  form as prescribed  in the First  Schedule to this Act, indicating  a desire  to be represented by legal  practitioner  of his choice or by a legal  practitioner  from the Legal Aid Council or any other organisation  providing free legal representation to defendants  shall  be attached to each legal  advice for the purpose  of endorsement by the person in respect of whom legal  advice is preferred  and against  whom the information is filed.


(10) Where  the defendant indicates in the form referred  to in subsection (8) of this section that, he wishes to be represented  by a legal practitioner of the Legal Aid Council or  any  other organisation  providing  free  legal  representation,  he  shall forward the form to the Chief Registrar  of the court before  whom the charge  or information for his  trial  has been  filed  and the  Chief Registrar  shall,  within  14 days of receipt  of the form,  ensure  that a legal  practitioner  of the Legal  Aid Council as stipulated  under this  subsection  or  any other organization  providing free legal  representation  for the  defendant,  and by notice in writing inform  the defendant of the particulars of the legal representation  arranged for him.



(11) The Chief Register  shall, upon  getting  the  form, forward  same to the  Director-General  of the  Legal  Aid  Council  or to  the  nearest  Legal  Aid  Council  office where the court is located.




First Schedule – form of information

  1. An information shall be in the form set out  in  Form No.11 in the First Schedule to this  Act with such modifications as may be necessary  to adapt it to the circumstances of each case.


Contents of information

378.(1)  An information shall contain:

(a)    a description of the offence charged in the information or, where more than one offence is so charged, of each offence so charged, and each offence  charged shall  be  set  out in  a  separate  paragraph  known   as count;

(b)    a count of an information shall commence with a statement of offence charged.

(c)    the  statement  of offence  which  shall,  briefly  describe  the  offence charged  in  ordinary  language,  avoiding  where  possible  the  use  of technical  terms  and  all  the  essential  elements  of the  offence,  and, where the offence charged  is one  created  by  a law,  shall  contain  a reference to that law;

(d)    the particulars of offence, which shall be set out in ordinary language;

(e)    the law and section of the law against which the offence  is  alleged  to have been committed; and

(f)     where the law that creates the  offence  does not give it any  specific name,  such  definition  of  the  offence  may  be  made  to   give   the defendant notice of the offence with which he is charged.


(2)    A  charge  is  presumed  to  have  fulfilled   every  condition  required   by  law  to constitute an offence but,  where a law  limits  the particulars  of an offence  which are required to be given in an information, nothing in this subsection shall require any more particulars to be given than those so required.


(3)    Where an information contains more than one count, the counts shall be numbered consecutively.


(4)    The forms set out in the Third Schedule to this Act or forms conforming to them  as nearly as possible may be used in the cases to which they are applicable.


(5)    In other cases, forms to the like effect  or conforming to them as nearly  as may be used, where applicable.


(6)    A statement of offence  and the particulars  of the offence may be varied  according to the circumstances of each case.


Contents of information

  1. (1) An information shall  be filed in the registry  of the High Court before  which  the prosecution seeks to prosecute the offence, and shall include:

(a)    the proof of evidence, consisting of:

(i)     the list of witnesses,

(ii)    the list of exhibits to be tendered,

(iii)    summary of statements of the witnesses,

(iv)   copies  of statement of the defendant,

(v)    any   other  document,   report,   or material that  the  prosecution intends  to use in support of its case at the trial,

(vi)   particulars  of bail or any recognizance, bond or cash deposit,  if defendant is on bail,

(vii)   particulars  of place of custody, where  the defendant  is   in custody,

(viii) particulars  of any plea bargain  arranged  with the defendant;

(ix)  particulars of any previous  interlocutory proceedings,  including remand proceedings,  in respect  of the charge,  and

(x)    any other relevant document as may be directed by the court;  and


(b)    a copy  of the form for information  on legal  representation as provided under  section 376(9) of this Act.


(2)    The  prosecution  may at  any  time   before  judgment, file  and  serve  notice  of additional evidence.


(3)    The-information  and all accompanying processes shall  be served on the  defendant or his legal representative, if any.


Application of rules relating to charges

  1. The provisions relating to charges in this Act shall apply to the counts of an information.


Filing of information

  1. An information may be filed by:

(a)    the Attorney-General of the Federation or officers  in his office;

(b)    a public officer acting in his official capacity;

(c)    a private  legal  practitioner authorised by the Attorney-General  of the Federation;  or

(d)    a private person, provided  the information is endorsed by. a  law officer that  he  has  seen  such  information and declined to  prosecute   at  the public instance and the private person enters  into  a bond to prosecute diligently and to a logical conclusion.


Assignment of information and issuance of notice of trial

  1. (1)Where an information  has  been  filed  in  the  court,   the  Chief Judge  shall  take appropriate steps to ensure that the information filed is assigned  to a court  for trial within  15 working days of its filing.


(2)    On assigning  the  information, the court  to which  the  information is assigned shall within 10  working days of the assignment issue notice  of trial to the witnesses and defendants  and  a production warrant properly endorsed by the Judge in respect of.. the  defendant   charged,  where  he  is  in  custody, for  the  purpose   of  ensuring his appearance on  the  date  of arraignment,  and  the  Chief  Registrar   shall  ensure the prompt  service  of the  notice  and  information not more than  3  days from  the  date they are issued.


(3)    Where the defendant named in the information is in custody, the notice of trial  and the information  shall  be  delivered  to him through  the  officer  in  charge  of the prison in which he is detained, and the warrant for his production  shall be served on the officer of the prison.


(4)    Where the defendant is not in custody, the notice of trial  and the information shall be served on him personally.


(5)    Where it is  impossible or impracticable to effect personal  service  of the notice of trial and information on the defendant, they may be served on him, with leave  of court, through his legal practitioner, if any, or on his surety or sureties,  or on an adult in his household  or in such other manner as the court shall deem fit and the service shall be deemed to be duly served on the defendant.


(6)    Nothing in this section shall prevent the defendant from being tried by reason only that the notice of trial  and the information  were served on him less than  3  days before the date of trial, where he consents to being so tried.


Information by private person

383(1)The registrar shall receive an information from a private legal practitioner  where:

(a)    the information is endorsed by the Attorney-General  of the Federation or  a  law  officer  acting  on  his  behalf  stating  that  he  has  seen  the information  and has declined to prosecute the  offence  set out  in the information; and

(b)    the private legal practitioner shall enter into a recognizance  in:

(i)     such  sum  as may be fixed by the court,  with a surety, to prosecute the information to conclusion from the time the defendant shall be required to appear,

(ii)    pay such costs as may be ordered by the court, or

(iii)    deposit in the registry of the court, such sum of money as the court may fix.


(2)    Where an application for consent to prosecute is made to the Attorney-General  of the Federation by a private legal practitioner and the Attorney-General declines  to grant such consent,  he shall  give his reasons  for doing so  in writing within  15 working days from the date of the receipt of the application.



Conditions for private prosecutors

  1. Where a private legal practitioner has complied with the provisions  of section  3 8 3  of this Act, the information  shall  be signed by  such  private legal  practitioner  who  shall be entitled to prosecute the information.



  1. The place of trial shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of this Act.


Change of venue

  1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 385  of this Act:

(a)    where a cause is commenced in any other division than that in which  it ought  to have  been commenced,  it may,  notwithstanding,  be tried  in that  division  in which  it  was  commenced,  but where the  defendant objects,  the  court may,  where  it  considers the objection reasonable, transfer the case to the proper  division in which it ought to have  been commenced; and

(b)    the prosecutor  or the defendant  may, whenever be considers  that  the ends of justice  so require  in  any  case, apply to the  court  either  to transfer the bearing from  one division to another or from one part  of the division to another part of the same division.

(c)    no appeal shall lie from any order of transfer made under this section.


Effect of change of venue

  1. Where a case is transferred  from one place in a division to another place  in the same division or to another division, the case shall be tried and determined at the place  or in the division to which  it has been  transferred;  and all recognizance,  subpoenas,  and proceedings in or relating to the case are deemed to be returnable at the latter place  or division and ail witnesses  who are or summoned to attend the trial shall  be informed accordingly and shall attend at such latter place or division.


Form of notice of trial

  1. The registrar or any other person directed by the court, shall endorse  on, or annex to, every information delivered to the sheriff or proper officer, for service, a notice of trial and such notice shall specify the particular  sessions at which the party is to be tried on the Information and shall be in the following form or as near to it as may be:


Copy of information and notice of trial to be delivered to Sheriff

  1. The registrar  or other  proper  officer  shall  deliver,  or  cause to  be  delivered,   to  the Sheriff or  proper  officer  serving  the  information,  a  copy,  with  the  notice   of trial endorsed on or annexed to it, and where there are more parties  charged than  one, then as many copies as there are parties,  together  with a similar notice for service  on each witness bound to attend the trial.


Time and mode of summoning parties on information

  1. The Sheriff or other proper officer shall,  on receipt of the information  and notice  of trial, serve the person  named  in the  notice  at least 7 working  days  before the  date specified on the notice.


Service of notice of trial on witnesses

  1. Notice of trial at the same time shall be served on all the witnesses, and the service of  the notice on the witnesses  shall be in the like manner as service on a defendant  who is not in custody.


Registered courier companies may serve processes

  1. The Chief Judge may  engage  the  services  of a reputable  courier  company  for  the purpose of undertaking  service of criminal  processes,  and such company  shall  serve processes in accordance  with this Act.


Return of service

  1. The officer of such courier company serving the copy of information  and notices shall immediately  make  to the  registrar  or  other  proper  officer  a return  of the  mode-of  – service with the necessary  endorsement  of service on the person named for service  on the notice or information.


Warrant where defendant does not appear

  1. Where a defendant against whom an information has been duly preferred,  and on whom the information  and notice of trial have been duly served,  does not appear  to plead to the information, whether he is under recognizance to appear or not, the court may issue a warrant for his arrest.


Law officer or legal practitioner for State and defence in capital cases

  1. Where a defendant is accused  of a  capital  offence  or  offence  punishable   by  life imprisonment, the State shall be represented  by a law officer,  or a legal practitioner, and where the defendant is not defended by a legal practitioner, the court shall assign a legal practitioner for his defence.


Time for raising certain objections day-to-day trial and adjournments

  1. (1) The defendant  to  be  tried  on  an  information  or  charge  shall  be  arraigned   in accordance with the provisions  of this Act relating to the taking of pleas  and the procedure on it.


(2)    After the plea has been taken, the defendant may raise any objection to the validity of the charge or the information at any time before judgement  provided  that  such objection  shall only be considered  along with the substantive  issues  and  a ruling thereon made at the time of delivery of judgement.


(3)    Upon arraignment,  the trial of the  defendant shall proceed  from day-to-day  until the conclusion of the trial.


(4)    Where day-to-day trial is impracticable after arraignment, no party shall be entitled to more than five adjournments from arraignment to final judgment provided  that the interval between each adjournment shall not exceed 14 working days.


(5)    Where it is impracticable to conclude a criminal proceeding  after the parties have exhausted their five adjournments each, the interval between  one adjournments to another shall not exceed seven days inclusive of weekends


(6)    In all  circumstances, the court may award reasonable costs in order to discourage frivolous adjournments.


(7)    Notwithstanding the provision  of any other  law to the contrary,  a Judge  of the High Court who has been elevated to the Court of Appeal shall have  dispensation to continue to  sit as a High Court Judge only for the purpose.  of concluding  any part-heard criminal matter pending before him at the time of his elevation and shall conclude the same within a reasonable time:

Provided that this subsection shall not prevent him from assuming duty as a Justice  of the Court of Appeal.


Attendance of witness bound by recognizance to attend

  1. A person who is  summoned  as  a witness,  whether  for the  prosecution   or  for  the defence,  shall   be bound to attend the court on the day fixed for the trial  of the  case and  on  subsequent  dates  until the  conclusion  of  the  case  or  until  he  has  been discharged by the court from further attendance.


Warrant for arrest of witness not attending on recognizance

  1. Where a person who  has  been  summoned  to  attend as  a witness,  whether  for the prosecution or for the defence,  does not attend the court on the day fixed for the trial of the case or on any further  adjourned  date, and he offers  no reasonable  excuse  for his absence, despite the fact that he was  duly served with the notice of the  trial, the court may issue a bench warrant that the person  be arrested and be brought before the court, at a time to be mentioned in the warrant, in order to give evidence on behalf of the prosecution or of the defence, as the case may be.


Warrant for arrest of witness disobeying summons

  1. Where a person named on a summons or writ of subpoena willfully refused to accept service of the summons  or  writ of subpoena,  the court shall issue  a warrant  for the person to be arrested and be brought before the court at a time to be mentioned in the warrant in accordance with the summons or writ of subpoena.


Fine for non-attendance of witness

  1. A person who fails to attend as witness  in either of the cases mentioned  in sections 397  and 398  of this Act is liable, on the  summary  order  of the  court,  to  a fine in a reasonable sum to be fixed by the court, but not less than N5,000.00 and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term corresponding  to the fixed sum, but the period  of imprisonment shall not exceed a period of one month.




Construction of provisions relating to punishments

  1. (1) Subject to the provisions of a law relating to a specific offence or. class of offence and to the jurisdiction  conferred  on any  court or on a person  presiding  over the court,  the provisions in this part shall apply to sentences of death,  imprisonment, fine, and non-custodial sentences.


(2)    In determining a sentence, the court  shall  have the following  objectives  in mind, and may decide in  each  case the  objectives  that  are more  appropriate   or even possible:

(a)    prevention,  that is, the objective  of persuading  the convict to give up committing offence in the future, because the consequences of crime is unpleasant;

(b)    restraint, that is, the objective  of keeping the convict from committing more offence by isolating him from society;

(c)    rehabilitation,  that  is,  the  objective  of providing  the  convict  with treatment or training that will make him into a reformed citizen;

(d)    deterrence,  that  is,  the  objective  of warning  others  not to  commit offence by making an example  of the convict;

(e)   education  of  the  public, that  is, the  objective  of making  a  clear distinction between good and bad conduct by punishing bad conduct;

(f)     retribution,  that is, the objective  of giving the convict the punishment he deserves, and giving the society or the victim revenge; and

(g)    restitution,  that is,  the objective of compensating  the victim or family of the victim of the offence.



  1. (1) Punishment of death is inflicted by hanging the convict by the neck till he is dead or by lethal injection.


(2)    Sentence of death shall be pronounced by the court in the following form:

“The  sentence  of the court  upon  you  is that  you  be hanged  by  the  neck until you are dead or by lethal injection.”


How death sentence is to be carried out

  1. Where sentence of death has been passed, the  sentence shall  only be  carried   out  in accordance with the provisions  of this Part.


Sentencing in the case of pregnancy

  1. Where a woman found guilty of a capital offence  is pregnant,  the sentence   of death shall be passed  on her but its  execution  shall be suspended  until the baby  is delivered and weaned.


Sentencing in the case of a child offender

  1. Where a convict who, in the opinion of the court,  had not attained the age of 18  years at the time the offence was committed  is found  guilty of a capital  offence, sentence of death shall not be pronounced  or recorded  but in lieu of it,  the court shall  sentence the child to life imprisonment  or to such  other term  as the court may  deem appropriate in consideration  of the principles in section 401 of this Act.


Authority for detention of convict

  1. A certificate  under  the  hand  of the  registrar,  or  other  officer  of the  court,   that   a sentence has been passed,  and naming  the  convict  against  whom  it has  been  passed, shall be sufficient authority for the detention  of the convict.


Judge’s certificate of death sentence to be sufficient and full authority for execution of convict unless he is pardoned or reprieved

  1. A Judge who pronounces a sentence  of death  shall  issue,  under  his hand  and the  seal of the court,  a certificate to the effect that sentence  of death has been pronounced upon the  convict named  in the  certificate,  and  the  certificate  shall  be  sufficient  and  full authority in law for the detention  of the  convict  in  safe custody  until the  sentence  of death pronounced  upon him can be carried  into effect  and for carrying  the sentence  of death into effect in accordance with and subject to the provisions  of this Part.


Steps to be taken by the Registrar

  1. The Registrar of the Court by which the convict is sentenced to death shall,  as soon  as practicable after the sentence has been pronounced:

(a)    hand  two  copies  of  the  certificate   issued   by  the  .Judge   under   the provisions  of section  407  of this Act  to the  Commissioner of Police, one  copy  of which  shall  be retained   by  the  Commissioner  of  Police and the other handed to the superintendent or other officer in charge of the prison in which the convict  is to be confined;

(b)    transmit to the Sheriff one copy of the certificate;  and

(c)    file one copy of the certificate  with the record of the proceedings in the case.


Convict may send request to committee on prerogative of mercy

  1. (1) Where a convict:

(a)    has been sentenced  to death and has exercised  his legal rights of appeal against  the  conviction  and  sentence,  and  the  conviction and  sentence have not been quashed or the sentence, has not been reduced,  or has failed  to   exercise  his legal  rights of  appeal  or  having   filed   an application for leave to appeal, or an appellant has failed to perfect  or prosecute the application or appeal within the time prescribed by law; or


(b)    desires to have his case considered by the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, he shall forward his request through his legal practitioner or officer   in  charge  of  the  Prison   in  which  he  is   confined  to  the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.


(2)    The Committee  on Prerogative of Mercy shall consider the request and make their report to the Council of State which shall advice the President.


State at which President is to consider report

410.(1)  The President  shall,  after considering  the report made under  section 409  of this Act, if any,  and after obtaining the advice of the Council of State, decide whether or not to  recommend  that the sentence should be commuted to imprisonment for life,  or that the  sentence should be commuted  to  any specific period,  or that the convict should be otherwise pardoned or reprieved.


(2)    Where, for the purposes  of subsection (1) of this section, the Council of State is required to advise the President in relation to any person  sentenced to death, the Attorney-General  of the Federation shall cause a record of the case to be prepared and submitted to the Council of State, and the Council of State shall, in giving its advice, have regard to the matters set out in that record.


Where a pardon or reprieve is granted

411(1)  Where the President  decides that the  sentence  should be  commuted  or that  the convict should  be otherwise pardoned  or reprieved,  he shall  issue  an order,  one copy of which  shall be sent to the superintendent or other officer in charge  of the prison in which the convict is confined, and another copy of which shall be sent to the Sheriff, directing that the execution shall not be carried out.


(2)    The recommendation may be that the convict shall be imprisoned  or be released, subject in either case to such conditions, if any, as may be specified.


(3)    The Sheriff and the superintendent -or other officer in charge of the prison in which the convict is confined  shall comply with,  and give  effect  to every order  issued under the provisions  of subsections (1) and (2) of this section.


Copy of order to be sent to Judge

412   The Attorney-General of the Federation shall communicate the decision referred  to in section 411  (1) and (2) of this Act to the Judge who presided  over the trial or to his successor  in office  sending  to such Judge a copy of his  order and such Judge  shall cause the order to be entered in the record of the court.


Where pardon or reprieve is not granted                                     –

413(1) Where the President  decides that the sentence should not be commuted or that the convict should not be pardoned  or  reprieved,  the order  of the President  shall be duly signed by him and sealed as in one of the forms set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act or as near to it as circumstances permit.

(2) The order of the President:


(a)    shall  state  the place  and time, where  and when  the  execution  is to  be and give directions  as to the place of burial of the body; or

(b)    may  direct that the  execution  shall take place  at such  time  and  such place  and  the  body  of the  convict  executed  shall  be  buried   at  such place as shall be appointed  by some officer specified  in the order.


(3)    When the place  or time of execution  or the place  of burial  is  appointed by  some person and is not  stated in the  order of the President, the  specified  officer shall endorse on the order over his signature the place and time  of execution and place of burial.


Copy of order to be sent to prison official

  1. A copy of the order issued by the President shall be forwarded to the official  in charge of the prison in which  the person  sentenced  is confined,  and the  official  in  charge of the prison shall give effect to the order of execution.




Procedure where woman convicted of capital is alleged to be pregnant or who becomes pregnant

  1. (1) Where a woman convicted of an offence punishable  with death alleges  that  she  is pregnant, the court  shall, before  sentence  is passed  on her, determine the  question whether or not she is pregnant.


(2)    The question  whether  the  woman  is pregnant  or not  shall  be  determined  by  the court on such  evidence  as may  be presented  to the court  by the  woman or on  her behalf or by the prosecutor.


(3)    Where in proceedings under this section the court finds that the woman in question is not pregnant,  the court shall pronounce  sentence  of death upon  her.


(4)            Where  in  the  proceedings  under   this  section,  the  court   finds  the  woman  in question  to  be  pregnant,  the  court  shall  sentence  her  to  death   subject  to  the provision of section  404 of this Act.



Court to determine term of imprisonment

416     (1)  On  conviction,  a court may  sentence  the  convict  to  a term  of  imprisonment  as prescribed by the law.


(2)    In  exercising  its  discretion  of sentencing or review  of sentence,  the court shall take into  consideration  the  following  factors,  in  addition  to  the  provisions  of  section 401 of this Act

(a)    each case shall be treated  on its own merit;

(b)    the  objectives of sentencing,  including  the principles of reformation, shall be borne  in mind  in sentencing a convict;

(c)    an appeal court may,  in a proper  case, reduce  the sentence imposed by the  trial  court,  especially  where  it  is  excessive   or based   on  wrong principles,  or an appeal  court  may  increase  the  sentence  imposed by the trial  court especially where it is inadequate;

(d)    a trial court shall not pass the maximum  sentence  on a first offender;

(e)    the period  spent in prison  custody  awaiting or undergoing trial  shall  be considered  and computed in sentencing a convict;

(f)     trial court shall conduct  an inquiry into the convict’s antecedents before sentencing;

(g)    it may be desirable to adjourn for sentencing  in order to have  time  to consider any evidence  adduced  at the sentencing  hearing in accordance with section 311 of this Act;

(h)    where  there is  doubt   as  to  whether  the  defendant  or  convict  has attained the age of 18, the court should resolve the doubt in his favour;

(i)     a defendant  may  not be given  consecutive sentences  for two  or more offences committed in the same transaction;

(j)     an appeal  court may  not increase  the sentence  of a lower  court  beyond the maximum number   of years  the  lower  court  has  power  to  impose; and

(k)    sentencing  to   a  term   of  imprisonment  shall   apply   only  to  those offenders who should  be isolated  from society and with whom  other forms of punishment have failed  or is likely to fail.


Power to order detention for one day in precincts of court

  1. (1) Where the court has power  to pass  a sentence  of imprisonment, it may,  in lieu  of passing  sentence   of imprisonment,  order  the  convict  to  be  detained   within the precincts of the court  or at  a police  station till such hour not later than  eight  in the evening 011  the day on which he is convicted,  as the court may direct.


(2)    The court shall, before  making an order  of detention  under  this section,  take  into consideration  the  distance between the place  of detention and the  convict’s abode, where his abode  is known to or ascertained by the court,  the court shall not make  an order  of detention   under  this  section  as will  deprive  the  convict   of a reasonable opportunity of returning to his  abode  on the day on which  the  order  of detention  is made.


Consecutive sentence of imprisonment

418.(1)  Where a sentence  of imprisonment is passed  on  a convict by a court,  it may  order that the sentence shall commence at the expiration of any term of imprisonment to which that convict  has been previously sentenced  by a competent court in Nigeria.


(2)    Where  two  or  more  sentences  passed   by  a magistrate  court  are  ordered   to  run consecutively,  the aggregate  term  of imprisonment shall not exceed  4 years  of the limit of jurisdiction  of the adjudicating Magistrate.


Date from which sentence commences

  1. A sentence of imprisonment takes effect from and includes the whole of the  day of the date on which it was pronounced.


Default in payment of fine

  1. (1) In the case  of a conviction  in  the  High  Court,  where   no  amount  of fine is stipulated, the amount of the  fine shall be at the discretion  of the  court, and any term of imprisonment imposed  in default  of payment  of the fine  shall  not exceed 2 years.


(2)    In the case of a conviction in a magistrate court:

(a)    the amount  of the fine  shall be at the discretion  of the  court but  shall not  exceed   the  maximum fine   authorised   to  be   imposed  by   the Magistrate  or  under the  law  by  virtue  of which  he  was  appointed  a Magistrate; and

Fourth Schedule

(b)    a term of imprisonment imposed  in default of payment of the fine  shall not exceed the maximum fixed in relation  to the amount  of the  fine  by the scale specified in the Fourth  Schedule  of this Act.


(3)    In no case shall any term of imprisonment imposed  in default  of payment of a fine which  has  been  imposed   by  virtue of  the power  in  that behalf contained  in subsection (1) of  this section, exceed  the   maximum  term  authorised  as a punishment for the offence by the law.


(4)    The provisions  of this  section  do  not  apply  in a  case  where   a  law  provides  a minimum period of imprisonment to be imposed  for the commission of an offence.


Execution of sentence on escaped convict

  1. Vi/here sentence  of imprisonment is passed  on an escaped  convict,  the  sentence  shall take effect after he has served imprisonment for a further period  equal  to that  which  at the time of his escape remained  unexpired  of his former sentence.


Fine in default of imprisonment

  1. A defendant convicted of an offence punishable by:

(a)    imprisonment as well as fine, and sentenced  to pay  a fine, whether with or without imprisonment, or

(b)    imprisonment or fine, and sentenced to pay a fine,

may be ordered to serve  imprisonment, in default  of payment  of the fine,  for a certain term, which imprisonment shall be in addition  to any other imprisonment to which he may have been sentenced.


General provision on review of sums of amount

  1. (1) The Chief Judge  of the  Federal  High  Court  or of the  High  Court of the  Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the  President   of the National   Industrial  Court  shall jointly  review,   from   time   to   time,   the   provisions   for   the   amount  of  fines, compensation or other sums of money prescribed under this Act.


(2)    Such  provisions  as may be reviewed  and  effective  date shall be published in  the Gazette.


General power of awarding imprisonment in default of payment of penalty

  1. Where by  any  law,  the  court  is  empowered  to  impose   a  penalty  for  a  summary conviction offence,  it may, in the absence  of express  provisions  to the contrary in the same or any other law,  order a defendant  who is convicted  of such offence,  in default of payment   of the  sum  of money   adjudged  to  be  paid. under  the   order,   either immediately or at the time specified in the order, as the case may be, to be imprisoned, in accordance with the scale set out in the Fourth  Schedule to this Act.


Scale of imprisonment for non-payment of money ordered to be paid

  1. Subject, in every case, to the provisions  of the law on which the order is founded, the period of imprisonment,  which is imposed  by the court in respect  of the non-payment of a sum  of money  ordered to be paid  by  an  order,  shall  be  such period  as,  in the opinion  of the  court,  will  satisfy  the  justice  of the  case  but  shall  not  exceed   the maximum fixed in the scale set out in the Fourth  Schedule to this Act.


Limitation of imprisonment in default of payment of fine

  1. A commitment for non-payment of a fine  shall  not  be for  a longer period  than  two years,  except  where  the law under which  the conviction has taken place  prescribes or allows  a longer period.


Payment and allocation of fines and fees

  1. (1) A court, in fixing the amount of a fine to  be imposed  on a convict,  shall  take  into consideration,  amongst other things, the means  of the convict.


(2)    Where  a fine is imposed, the payment  of the  court  fees  and other legal expenses payable   in  the   case,  up  to  and  including  conviction,   shall  not  be  taken   into consideration in fixing the amount of the fine or be imposed  in addition to the fine, but the  amount of the  fine or of such  part  as may  be paid  or recovered,  shall  be applied as follows:

(a)    in the first instance,  in the payment to the informant or complainant of any  court  or other fees  paid  by  him  and  ordered  by  the  court  to  be repaid  to him;

(b)    in the  second  instance,  the payment of any  outstanding court  fee  not already paid by the informant or  complainant which  may  be payable under rules of court;  and

(c)    the balance,  if any, remaining after the payments  have been made  shall be paid into general revenue  of the Federation.


Power to commit defendant in certain cases

  1. In a case where  an  order  is made  against  a defendant  for the  payment   of a sum  of money  and the  defendant  is in  default  of payment and  liable  to  be  imprisoned,  the court may:

(a)    issue a warrant  of commitment;

(b)    allow time for the payment  of the said sum; and

(c)    direct that the defendant  liable to pay the said sum shall be at liberty  to give, to the satisfaction of the court, security,  either  with or without a surety or sureties, for the payment  of the said sum or any instalment.


Allowance of further time and payment by instalments

  1. – (1) Where time has been allowed for the payment of a sum adjudged to be paid  upon conviction or order,  further time  may,  on  an  application by  or on behalf of the convict liable to pay the sum, be allowed  by a court having jurisdiction to issue  a warrant of commitment  in respect  of the non-payment of that  sum, the  court  may, subject  as aforesaid, direct payment by instalments of the  sum so adjudged to be paid.


(2)    Where a sum of money is directed  to be paid  by installments and default  is made in the payment  of any one installment,  the  same proceedings may  be taken  as if default has  been  made  in,  the  payment   of all  the  installments  then  remaining unpaid.


(3)    Where before the expiration of the time  allowed,  the convict  surrenders himself to the court having jurisdiction  to  issue  a warrant   of  commitment in respect of the non-payment   of  the  sum  and.  states   that   he  prefers   immediate  committal  to awaiting the expiration  of the time  allowed, the  court  may, if it thinks  fit, issue  a warrant committing  him to prison.


(4)   A warrant  of commitment  issued  under  the  provisions  of this  section may  be executed on any day, including a Sunday  or a public  holiday.


Payment of penalty to person executing warrant

  1. In all cases where a convict, against whom  a warrant of commitment for non-payment of a sum of money  adjudged to be paid  by an order  is issued,  pays  or  tenders to the person  having the execution  of the warrant  the sum  or sums mentioned in the warrant together  with the amount of the expenses  of the warrant  up to the time  of the payment or tender, the person  having the execution of the warrant  shall not execute the warrant.


Commencement of imprisonment pursuant to a warrant

  1. Where a convict  is brought  to a prison  to  be  imprisoned by  virtue  of a warrant of commitment, there  shall be endorsed  on the warrant the day on which the  convict was arrested  by virtue  of it and the  imprisonment  shall  be  computed from  that  day  and inclusive.


Varying or discharging order for sureties

  1. Where a person has  been  committ6a to  prison  by  the  court for  default-in  finding  a surety  or sureties,  the  court may, on application made  to it by the person  or by  some person  acting on his behalf, inquire into the case of the person,  and if on new evidence produced   to  the  court  or proof of a  change   of circumstances  the  court  deems   fit, having regard to all the circumstances  of the case that it is just to do so, the court may:

(a)    reduce  the  amount for which  it was  ordered  that  the  surety  or sureties

(b)    dispense  with the surety or sureties;  or

(c)    otherwise  deal with the case as the court may think just.


Right of person imprisoned in default to be released on paying sum and effect of part payment

  1. (1) Where a person  has been committed  to prison  by the court for non-payment of a sum of money  adjudged to be paid by an order, the person may pay or cause  to be paid to  the  officer  in charge  of the prison  the  sum mentioned  in the  warrant of commitment together  with the amount  of the  costs,  charges  and expenses, if any, and the  officer  in charge  of the  prison  shall  receive  the  sums  and discharge the person, unless he is in custody for some other matter.


(2)    In a case where under subsection (1)  of this section  a sum has been received in part satisfaction  of a sum due from a prisoner in consequence  of the conviction  of the court, the sum shall be applied:

(a)    firstly, towards the payment in full  or in part of any cost or damages or compensation which  the  court  may  have  ordered to  be  paid  to  the complainant;  and

(b)    secondly,  towards the payment of the  fine,  if any,  imposed   on  the prisoner.


(3)    Subject to the provisions  of subsection -(2) of this section, where an amount  is paid towards  a fine:

(a)    the  imprisonment shall  be  reduced   by  a number  of days bearing as nearly  as possible  the same proportion to the total  number  of days  for which  the person  is  committed  as the  sum  so paid  towards  the  fine bears to the amount of the fine for which the person is liable;  and

(b)    the  superintendent or  other  officer in  charge  of a prison  in  which   a person  who has made  the  part  payment is confined  shall,  as soon as practicable thereafter, take the person  before  a court which shall:

(i)     certify  the amount by which the term of imprisonment originally awarded  is reduced by such payment  in part satisfaction, and

(ii)    make such order as the circumstances require:


(4)  Where,  in the  opinion  of the superintendent or other  officer, the delay occasioned by taking the person before a court is such that the person will be detained  beyond the  date  on  which  he  should,  by  reason  of the  part  payment,  be  released,  the superintendent  or  other  officer may  release  the person  on the  day which  appears to the  superintendent or other officer  to  be the  correct  day, endorse  the  warrant accordingly and  shall,  as soon as practicable thereafter, inform the  court  of the action  taken   and  the  court• shall  make  such  order  or  record  as  the  court  may consider to be required  in the circumstances.


(5)    In-reckoning:

(a)    the  number  of days by which a  term of  imprisonment  would  be reduced  under this section, the first  day of imprisonment shall not be taken  into  account;  and

(b)    the sum which will secure the reduction  of a term of imprisonment, fractions of a naira shall be omitted.


Fines may be ordered to be recoverable by distress

  1. Where, under the authority of a law, the court imposes a fine or a pecuniary penalty, whether  or  not  that   fine or  penalty   is  accompanied   by   a  power  to impose imprisonment, and no special provision other than recovery by distress is made for the recovery of the fine or penalty, the court may:

(a)    order the fine or penalty to be recoverable by distress; and

(b)    in default  of the distress satisfying the amount  of the fine or penalty, order that the convict be imprisoned, in accordance  with the scale set out  in the Fourth Schedule  to this Act.

Warrant of distress

  1. Where the court orders a sum to be .recoverable by distress,  it shall issue  a warrant which shall be in writing and signed by the court authorising the person  charged  with the execution of the warrant to take any money as well as any goods  of the person against whom distress is levied,  and any money so taken shall be treated as if it were the proceeds of sale of goods taken under the warrant.


Procedure on the execution of distress warrant

  1. In the execution of a distress warrant the following provisions shall have effect:

(a)    a warrant of distress shall be executed by or under the direction of the Sheriff;

(b)   where  the  person  charged  with  the  execution   of  the   warrant   is prevented from executing the warrant by the fastening of doors or otherwise,  the Magistrate may,  by writing under  his hand endorsed  on the warrant,  authorize him to use such force  as may  be necessary  to enable him execute the warrant;

(c)    the wearing apparel  and bedding of the person  and of his family,  and to the value ofN20,000.00, the tools and implements  of his trade, shall not be taken;

(d)    except as provided in paragraph (e) of this subsection  and so far as the person  on whose movable property the  distress  is levied consents  in writing to an earlier sale, the goods distrained on shall be sold at public auction  not  less  than  5  days  and not  more  than   14  days  after  the making  of the distress, but where consent  in writing  is  so given,  the sale may be in accordance with the consent;

(e)    subject to paragraph  (d)  of this section,  the  goods distrained  shall  be sold within the time fixed by the warrant, unless the sum or charges, if any, of taking  and keeping the goods distrained,  for which the warrant was issued are sooner paid;

(f)     where a person charged with the execution of a warrant of distress:

(i)     wilfully retains from the proceeds  any property sold to  satisfy  the distress, or

(ii)    otherwise  exacts  any greater  costs  or  charges  than those  to which he is, for the time  being,  entitled by law  or makes  any  improper charge,

he is liable, on summary  conviction before a Magistrate, to a penalty not exceeding N20,000.00, but nothing  in this paragraph  shall  affect the liability of the person to be prosecuted  and punished  for extortion,  or for the return  of the sum of money or value of the item extorted, by the person;


(g)    a written account  of the  costs  and charges  incurred   in respect of the execution of a warrant  of distress  shall,  as  soon  as  practicable,  be delivered  by the person  charged  with  the  execution of the  warrant to the court,  and the convict on whose movable  property the distress  was levied  may,- at  any time  within  one  month  after  the  making   of the distress,  inspect  the account,  without  payment of any fee  or reward,  at  any time during office hours and to take a copy of the account;


(h)    a person  charged  with  the execution  of a warrant  of distress  shall  sell the distress  or cause the distress to be sold,  and may  deduct  out  of the amount  realized  by the sale all costs  and charges  actually  incurred in effecting  the   sale,  and  shall  pay  to  the   court   or  to   some  person specified  by the court, the remainder  of the amount,  in order that:

(i)     the amount may be applied  in payment  of the sum for which  the warrant  was issued, and of the proper  costs and charges  of the execution  of the warrant, and

(ii)    the  surplus,  if any,  may  be  rendered to the  person  on whose movable  property the distress was levied.


Part payment to reduce period of imprisonment in proportion

  1. Where  a part  only  of the  amount ordered to be recovered by distress is so recovered, the period of imprisonment ordered to be suffered in default  of recovery of the amount imposed  shall be reduced  accordingly and shall bear  the  same  proportion to  the  full period as the amount  recovered  bears to the total  amount  ordered  to be recovered, and the warrant  of commitment  under  the  provisions  of  section  428  of  this  Act,  shall apply.



Conditions attached to detention in a safe custody or suitable place other than prison or mental asylum

438(1) Where  a person is  ordered to be detained  in a safe  custody  or suitable place  other  than prison or mental health asylum, he is, notwithstanding anything in this Act or  in any other law,  liable to be detained in a prison  or asylum  or such other place  as    custody  or suitable provided  under  this Act or any law as the Attorney-General of the Federation may    place  other than direct and whilst  so detained  shall be deemed  to be in legal  custody.


(2)    A person detained  in a safe custody  or suitable place  other  than prison or mental health  asylum  may  at  any  time  be  discharged  by  the  Attorney-General  of the Federation on licence.


(3)    The Attorney-General of the Federation may at any time  revoke  or vary  a licence and where a licence  has been revoked,  the person to whom  the licence  relates shall proceed to such place  as the Attorney-General of the Federation may  direct and if he fails to do so may be arrested  without warrant and taken  to the place.




Meaning of deport

  1. In this Part,  “deport” with its grammatical variations  and  cognate  expressions,  means the legal expulsion  or removal  from  Nigeria  of a person not being a  citizen, to  his country.


Court may recommend deportation for offences punishable by imprisonment without option


Court may recommend deportation for offences punishable by imprisonment without option

  1. Where a defendant  is convicted  of an offence  punishable by  imprisonment  without the option of a fine, the  court may,  in addition to, or instead  of any  other punishment, make a recommendation to the Minister of Interior that the convict  be deported, where it appears to the court to be in the interest of peace,  order and good governance.


Deportation in default of security for the peace

  1. Where, on a swam information, it appears to a court that there  is reason to believe that a person in Nigeria who is not a citizen  of Nigeria is about to commit  a breach of the peace,  or  that his  conduct  is  likely  to produce  or  excite  a breach of  the  peace,   the court,  after due inquiry  at which  the defendant concerned  shall  be present,  may  order him  to give security  in  two  or more  sureties  for peace  and  good  behaviour,  and  in default, may recommend to the Minister of Interior that the defendant be deported.


Deportation in case of dangerous conduct

  1. Where it is shown by evidence on oath to the satisfaction of a court that  a defendant in Nigeria who is not a citizen:

(a)    is conducting or has conducted  himself so as to be dangerous to  peace and good order,

(b)    is  endeavouring or  has  endeavoured   to  excite  enmity   between  any section of the people of the Federal Republic  of Nigeria,  or

(c)    is intriguing or has intrigued  against constituted power  and authority in Nigeria, the court may recommend to the Minister  of Interior that he be deported.


Procedure prior to court recommending deportation under sections 441 and 442

443.(1)  Where a defendant  required  to  give  security  under  sections  441  and  442  of this Act,  default  in  so  doing  and  the  court  contemplates  on  recommending  to  the Minister  of Interior,  the  deportation  of a defendant  to  whom  section  442  of this Act relates, before  making  any  such recommendation, the  court  shall require  the defendant   concerned   to  attend   before   the  court   and   being   informed  of  the allegations  made  against  him,  be  given  an  opportunity  to  show  cause  why  he     should not be deported.


(2)    After considering the representation,  if any, of the person concerned  and the facts on which the proceedings. are founded,  the court shall  decide  whether  or not to recommend to the Minister of Interior that the person concerned be deported.


Procedure for recommendation of deportation under sections 441, 442, and 443

  1. Where the court decides to. recommend to the Minister of Interior the deportation of any defendant under sections 441, 442 and 443 of this Act,  the court shall forward  to the Minister of Interior the recommendation  together with  a report setting  out  the reasons why the  court considers  it necessary  to make  the  recommendation  and  a certified true copy of any of the proceedings relating to it.


Detention of person concerned

  1. Where a recommendation for deportation has been made in respect of a defendant to whom sections 441  to 443 of this  Act relates,  such defendant  may  be  detained in custody pending the decision of the Minister of Interior and during such time shall be deemed to be in lawful custody .


Order of deportation

  1. Subject to sections 440, 444, 445,  the  Minister  of Interior shall,  in  the  interest  of peace,  order and good governance make  an order of deportation  and issue  a written order directing that the defendant be deported to his country.


Minister of Interior may withhold Order and remit case to court

  1. Where the Minister of Interior. decides that no order of deportation shall be made,  he shall  inform  the  Court,  and the  Court  shall  then  proceed  to  make  such  order  of imprisonment or other punishment as may be authorised by law.


Citizens of Nigeria not to be deported

  1. Nothing in the provisions of this Part shall authorise a person or authority  to deport a citizen of Nigeria to a place outside Nigeria.


Provisions as to sentence of deportation

  1. Where a defendant ordered to be deported is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, the sentence of imprisonment shall be served before the order  of deportation  is  carried into effect.


Deportation Order may be limited

  1. An order of deportation may be expressed to be in force for a limited time or for an unlimited time  or  may  require  the   defendant   to  report  himself  to  the  nearest Immigration office or police station at intervals of not less than 30 days.


Execution of Deportation Order

451(1) An order of deportation shall be sufficient  authority ‘tb all persons  to whom  it is directed  or delivered  for execution  to receive  and detain the  defendant  named  in the order and to take him to the place named in the order.


(2)    Where a defendant leaves or attempts to leave the district or place to which he has been confined prior to deportation while the order of deportation  is still in force, without the written consent of the Minister of Interior which consent shall be given subject to any term as to security for good behaviour or otherwise  as the Minister of Interior  shall  deem  fit,  or  wilfully  neglects  or refuses  to  report  himself as ordered,  such  person  is  liable  to  imprisonment  for  6  months  and  to  be  again deported on a fresh warrant under the original order or under a new order.



Procedure for trying child offenders

  1. (1) Where a child is alleged to have committed an offence, the provisions of the Child Rights Act shall apply.


(2)    Notwithstanding  subsection (1)  of this  section,  the provisions of this Act relating to bail shall apply to bail proceedings  of a child offender.




Meaning of Probation Order

  1. In this Part,  “probation  order”  means  an order containing a condition  specified  in section 455 of this Act.


Conditional release of defendant and payment of compensation for loss of injury and of costs

  1. (1) Where a defendant is charged before  a court with an offence  punishable  by law and the court thinks that the charge is proved but is of opinion that having regard to:

(a)    the  character,  antecedents,   age,  health,  or  mental  condition  of the defendant charged,

(b)    the trivial nature of the offence, or

(c)    the extenuating circumstances under which the offence was committed,


it  is  inexpedient to inflict a punishment  or  any order than a nominal  punishment  or that  it is  expedient to release  the  defendant  on probation,  the  court  may,  without proceeding to conviction, make an order specified in subsection (2) of this section.


(2)    The court may make an order under subsection (1) of this section:

(a)    dismissing the charge; or

(b)    discharging the defendant  conditionally on his entering into a recognizance, with or without sureties, to be of good behaviour and to appear at any time during  such period not exceeding 3  years  as may be specified in the order.

(3)    The court may in addition to an order under subsection (2) of this section, order:

(a)    the defendant to pay such  damages for injury  or compensation for any loss  suffered by a person  by reason of the conduct or omission of the defendant, and to pay such costs of the proceedings  as the court thinks reasonable; and

(b)    the parent. or guardian of the defendant to pay the damages and costs specified  in paragraph (a) of this  subsection,  where the defendant has not  attained the age of  18  years  and it  appears to the court that the parent or guardian of the defendant has conduced to the commission of the offence.


(4)    Where an order is made under this section, the order:

(a)    for  the  purpose  of reinvesting  or  restoring   stolen  property   and  of enabling  the court to make  orders as to the restitution  or delivery of property  to the owner, and


(b)    as  to  the  payment   of  money   upon,   or  m  connection   with,   such restitution or delivery,

shall have the like effect as a conviction.



Probation Orders and conditions of recognizance

  1. (1) A recognizance ordered to be entered into under this Part shall, where the  court  so orders,  contain a condition  that  the  defendant  be  under  the  supervision  of such person  or persons   of the same  sex,  called  a probation officer,  as may,  with  the consent of the probation officer,  be named  in the order during the period specified in the order.


(2)    A  recognizance  under  this  Part  may   contain   such  additional  conditions  with respect to residence,  abstention  from  intoxicating substance   and any other  matter as  the  court   may,. having. regard   to  the  particular  circumstances  of  the   case, consider   necessary  for  preventing  a  repetition  of  the   same   offence   or  the commission  of other offences.


(3)    The  court  by  which  :a  probation. order is  made  shall  furnish  to the  defendant  a notice in writing stating in simple terms the conditions he is required to observe.


Relieving probation officer of his duties

  1. A probation officer  may at any time be relieved  of his duties or in case of the  death  of the probation   officer named,  another  person   may  by  consent  be  substituted by  the court  before   which   the   defendant   is  bound   by  his   recognizance  to   appear  for conviction or sentence.


Duties of probation officers

  1. (1) A probation officer shall, subject to the directions of the court:

(a)    where   the  person  on  probation  is  not   actually  with  the  probation officer, visit  or receive reports  on the person  under  supervision at such reasonable  intervals  as  may he  specified   in  the  probation  order: or

(b)    see that he observes the conditions of  his recognizance;

(c)    report  to the court as to his behaviour;  and

(d)    advise,  assist,  and befriend  him  and  when  necessary  to endeavour  to find him suitable employment.


(2)    The  Chief Judge  of the Federal  High  Court,  or of the High Court of the  Federal Capital  Territory,   Abuja  or  the  President  of the  National   Industrial  court shall make regulations with  respect  to the  appointment of probation  officers,  including designation  of persons  of good  character as probation officers  from which  list  a court within the district or division  where the probation officer  resides  may  make its appointment under section 455 of this Act.


Variation of terms and conditions of probation

  1. The court before  which  a defendant  is bound  by  a recognizance under  this  Part  to appear for conviction  and sentence or for sentence may:


(a)    at any time  where it appears  to it on the  application of the  probation officer  that it  is   expedient  that  the  terms or conditions of  the recognizance should  be  varied,  summon the  defendant bound  by  the recognizance to appear before  it and if he fails to show  cause  why  the variation  should not be made:

(i)     vary  the  terms  of the recognizance by  extending or reducing the duration,  which  shall  not  exceed 3 years  from  the  date  of the original  order, or

(ii)    alter the conditions or insert additional  conditions, or


(b)    on  application being  made  by  the  probation  officer,  and  on  being satisfied  that  the conduct  of the defendant  bound  by the recognizance has  been   such   as  to   make  it  unnecessary for  him to be under supervision, discharge the recognizance.


Provisions in case of convict failing to observe conditions of release

  1. (1) Where the court before which a defendant  is bound by his recognizance under  this Part to appear  for  conviction  or sentence  is satisfied  by  information  on  oath that the defendant  has  failed to  observe  any of the  conditions  of his recognizance,  it may issue a warrant  for his arrest  or may, where  it thinks  fit, instead  of issuing  a warrant in the first instance,  issue  a summons  to the defendant and his  sureties,  if any,  requiring  him  or them to  appear  in court at such time  as may be specified in the summons.


(2)   The defendant where  arrested  shall,  if not brought  before the  court before which he is bound by his  recognizance to appear  for conviction or sentence,  be brought before another court.


(3)    The  court  before   which  a  defendant  on  arrest  is  brought  or  before which   he appears  in pursuance of the summons may, where  it  is not the  court before  which he is bound  by his recognizance to appear for conviction  or  sentence remand him to custody or on bail until he can be brought before the last-mentioned court.


(4)    A defendant so remanded in custody may be committed during  remand  to a prison to which the court  having  power  to convict or sentence  him  has power  to commit prisoners.


(5)    A court  before  which   a  defendant  is  bound  by  his  recognizance to  appear   for conviction  and sentence  on being satisfied  that he has failed  to observe  a condition of his recognizance may,  without  further  proof of his  guilt, convict  and  sentence him for the original  offence.


Suspended sentence and community service

460(1)  Notwithstanding the  provision   of any  other  law creating  an  offence,  where the court sees reason, the  court may order that the sentence  it imposed  on the  convict be, with or without conditions,  suspended,  in which case, the  convict  shall  not  be required to serve the sentence in accordance  with the conditions of the suspension.


(2)    The  court  may,  with   or  without  conditions,  sentence  the  convict   to  perform specified  service  in his community or such community  or place  as the  court  may direct.


(3)    A convict shall not be sentenced  to  suspended  sentence  or to community service for an offence involving  the use of arms, offensive weapon,  sexual  offences  or for an offence which the punishment exceeds imprisonment for a term of 3 years.


(4)    The court,  in exercising  its power  under  subsection  (1)  or (2) of this  section shall have regard to the need to:

(a)    reduce  congestion in prisons;

(b)    rehabilitate  prisoners by making  them  to undertake  productive work; and

(c)    prevent   convicts   who   commit   simple   offences   from   mixing   with hardened  criminals.


Arrangements for community service

  1. (1) There Chief Judge shall  establish  in every Judicial Division  a Community Service Centre to  be headed  by  a Registrar  who  shall  be responsible for  overseeing the execution of Community Service Orders in that Division.


(2)    The Registrar shall be assisted by suitable personnel  who shall supervise the implementation of Community  Service  Orders  that  may  be  handed  down  by  the courts.


(3)    The functions  of the Community Service Centre include:

(a)   documenting   and   keeping    detailed    information   about    convicts sentenced  to  Community Service including the:

(i)     name of the convict,

(ii)    sentence and the date of the sentence,

(iii)    nature,  duration and location of the Community  Service,

(iv)   residential  address of the convict,

(v)    height, photograph, full fingerprint impressions,  and

(vi)   other means  of identification as may be appropriate;


(b)    providing  assistance to the court in arriving  at appropriate  Community Service  Order in each case;  –


(c)    monitoring the operation  of community  service in all its aspects;


(d)    counselling offenders with  a view to bringing about their reformation;


(e)    recommending  to the  court  a review  of the  sentence  of offenders  on community  service who have shown remorse;


(f)     proposing   to  the  Chief  Judge  measures   for  effective   operation   of Community  Service Orders;


(g)    ensuring  that  supervising   officers  perform  their  duties  in  accordance with the law; and


(h)    performing  such other  functions  as may be necessary for  the  smooth administration of Community Service Orders.


(4)    Where the court has made  an order  committing  the convict  to render  community service, the community  service shall be in the nature of:

(a)    environmental  sanitation,  including cutting grasses,  washing  drainages, cleaning the environment and washing public places;

(b)    assisting    in the production of  agricultural  produce,  construction,  or mining; and

(c)    any other type of service which  in the opinion of the court  would have a beneficial and reformative effect on the character  of the convict.


(5)   The community  service  sentence  shall  be performed  as close  as possible  to the place  where  the  convict  ordinarily   resides  to  ensure  that  the   community  can monitor his movement.


(6)   Before   passing  a  community  service   order,   the   court   shall    consider   the circumstances,  character,  antecedents of the convict and other factors that  may  be brought to its attention  by the Registrar of the Community  Service  Centre.


(7)    A convict sentenced to community service  shall not at the same time  be  sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the same  offence, but may, in default of performing his  community  service diligently  and to the satisfaction  of the court,  be  sentenced to  a term  of  imprisonment  for  the  remaining  part  of  his  community  service  to which he is in default  or neglect.


(8)    Upon  sentence  to  community  service,  a convict  shall  be  required to  produce  a guarantor  who  shall  undertake  to  produce   the  convict  if the  he  absconds  from community service.


(9)    The guarantor  shall be a relation  of the convict  or any other responsible person  of adequate means  or substance  who  shall produce  the convict  when  required by the court, failing which  the guarantor  shall be liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or more as the circumstances of each case may require.


Performance of community service order

  1. (1) The community  service order  shall  be performed  for a period  of not more than  6 months and the convict shall not work for more than 5 hours  a day.


(2)    The convict shall be under the  supervision  of a supervising  officer  or officers or Non-Governmental  Organizations    as  may  be  designated   by  the   Community Service Centre.


(3)    The  community  service  order  shall   contain   such  directives   as the  court   may consider necessary  for the supervision of the convict.


(4)    The Registrar  of the  court making  the  community  service  order  shall  forward to the Registrar  of the  Community  Service  Centre  a copy of the  order together with any other document  and information relating to the case.


Default of convict in complying with community service order

  1. (1) Where  at  any  time  during  the community  service  period,  the  Registrar  of  the Community  Service  Centre  informs the  court  of  the  default   of  the  convict  in complying with the directives of the community service  order, the court may  issue a summons requiring  the convict to appear  before it.


(2)    Where the convict  fails,  refuses   or  neglects to appear in obedience to the summons, the court may issue a warrant  of arrest.


(3)    Where  it is proved  to the  satisfaction of the  court  that  the  convict  has  failed to comply  with  any  of the requirements  of the  community   service  order,  the  court may:

(a)    vary the order to suit the circumstances of the case; or

(b)    impose  on him  a fine not exceeding Nl00,000.00  or  cancel the  order and  sentence the  convict  to  any  punishment which  could  have  been imposed in respect  of the offence, but the period  of community  service already performed  may count in the reduction of the sentence.


(4)    A supervising  officer shall not employ the convict  for his or her personal  benefit.


(5)    Where a supervising officer employs the convict for his or her personal  benefit, the officer is liable to a fine ofNI00,000.00  or more,  or such  other punishment  as the court considers fit.


Commission of further offence

  1. Where a convict has been ordered to undergo  community service  on conviction  by an original  court  but  has  committed  another  offence  during  the  period   of community service, the following rules shall apply:


(a)    the  subsequent court may add  to the sentence  or  impose   a term  of imprisonment which might have been passed by the  original court and cancel the order of community  service;


(b)    the  subsequent court may take  into  account  the period of community service served in reduction  of the term of imprisonment;


(c)    where the original  court is a High  Court  and the  subsequent  court  is a subordinate  court,  the  subordinate  court  shall  send  the  copy  of the proceedings  to the High  Court and,  on receipt  of the proceedings from the subordinate  court, the High  Court  shall proceed under  paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section;  and


(d)    where the original court is a subordinate court and the subsequent court is a High  Court dealing with the matter  at first instance  or on  appeal, the  High  Court  shall  proceed   under  paragraphs  (a)  and  (b)  of this section.


Amendment, review and discharge of community service orders

  1. (1) A convict undergoing  community service who intends  to change his or her place of residence  shall inform the supervising  officer  of his intention to do so.


(2)    On receipt  of the information, the supervising officer shall furnish the Registrar of the Community  Service Centre with the information giving the details  of the case.


(3)    On application by the Registrar  of the  Community Service  Centre, the court  shall make appropriate amendment in the community service  order and inform  the court having jurisdiction for the area where the convict intends to reside.


(4)    The court  shall  give the convict a copy  of the  amended  community service  order which the convict shall present to the subsequent Community Service  Centre.


Discharge of community service order

  1. (1) Where  a convict  has been ordered to undergo  community service  for a period  of more  than 4 months,  the supervising  officer  shall,  from time  to time,  give a report to the Registrar  on the convict’s performance and general  conduct.


(2)    The supervising court based on the report  made  by the  Registrar, may  reduce  the period  of the  community  service  specified  in the  community service  order  by not more than one-third  where the convict  is of good conduct.


(3)    The Registrar shall make a report to the  supervising court  on the termination of a community service order.


(4)    The supervising  officer  who is to be responsible for the  supervision  of a c6rivict shall be the officer designated by the  Registrar of the  Community Service  Centre and if that  supervising officer  dies  or  is  unable for any reason to carry out  his duties, another  supervising  officer  shall be appointed  by  the  Registrar  of  the Community Service  Centre.


(5)    Where the convict  is a female, the supervising officer shall be a female.


Confinement in rehabilitation and Correctional Centre

  1. (1) A  defendant  convicted  of an offence  triable   summarily  may  be  sentenced  and ordered   to   serve   the   sentence   at   a   Rehabilitation   and   Correctional   Centre established  by the Federal  Government  in lieu of imprisonment.

(2)    A court in  making  an order of confinement at a Rehabilitation and  Correctional Centre shall have regard to:

(a)    the age of the convict;

(b)    the fact that the convict ‘is a first offender;  and

(c)    any other relevant  circumstance necessitating  an order of confinement at a Rehabilitation and Correctional Centre.


(3)    A  court  may  make  an  order   directing   that   a  child   standing   criminal   trial  be remanded  at Rehabilitation  and Correctional Centre.



Court may direct release of prisoner before completion of sentence

  1. Where the Comptroller-General of Prisons makes  a report  to the court recommending that a prisoner:


(a)    sentenced  and serving his sentence in prison is of good behaviour,  and


(b)    has served at least one-third of his prison  term, where he is sentenced to imprisonment   for  a term of at least 15 years or where he is sentenced to life imprisonment,


the  court  may,  after hearing  the  prosecution and  the prisoner or his  legal representative, order  that  the remaining term of his  imprisonment be  suspended, with  or without  conditions,  as the court considers  fit,  and the prisoner   shall  be released  from prison  on the order.


(2)   A  prisoner   released   under   subsection   (1)   of  this   section   shall   undergo   a rehabilitation programme  in a government facility  or any other appropriate facility to enable him to be properly reintegrated to the society.


(3)    The  Comptroller-General  of Prisons shall  make  adequate   arrangement, including budgetary  provision, for the facility.



Establishment of the Administration of criminal Justice Monitoring Committee

  1. (1) There  is established  the Administration of Criminal  Justice Monitoring Committee (in this Act referred to as “the Committee”).

(2)    The Committee shall consist of:

(a)    the Chief Judge of the FCT who shall be the  Chairman;

(b)    Attorney-General of the Federation or his representative not below  the rank of a Director in the Ministry;

(c)    a Judge of the Federal High Court;

(d)    the  Inspector-General  of Police  or his  representative  not below  the rank of Commissioner of Police;

(e)    the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria  Prisons  Service or his representative not below the rank of Comptroller of Prisons;

(f)     the Executive  Secretary of the National  Human Rights Commission  or representative not below the rank of Director;

(g)    the Chairman of any of the local branch of the Nigeria Bar Association in the FCT to serve for two years only;

(h)   the   Director-General   of  the   Legal   Aid   Council   of  Nigeria or representative not below the rank of Director;  and

(i)     a representative  of the  Civil  Society  working  on human  rights  and access to justice or women rights to be appointed  by the Committee to serve for a period of two years only.


(3)    A member not being a public officer may resign his appointment by a  letter to the Chairman.


(4)    Members of the  Committee shall be paid  such  allowances  as are  applicable  to Federal Boards, Commissions and Agencies.


Functions of the Committee

  1. (1) The Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of ensuring effective  and efficient application of this Act by the relevant agencies.


(2)    Without prejudice to the generality of subsection  (1)  of this section, the Committee shall ensure that:

(a)    criminal matters are speedily dealt with;

(b)    congestion of criminal  cases in courts is drastically  reduced; (c) congestion in prisons is reduced to the barest minimum;

(d)    persons  awaiting trial  are, as far as possible,  not  detained  in prison custody;

(e)    the relationship between the organs charged with the responsibility  for all aspects  of the administration  of justice  is  cordial  and there  exists maximum  co-operation amongst the organs  in  the   administration  of justice in Nigeria;

(g)    submit quarterly report  to the  Chief Justice of Nigeria to keep  him abreast of developments  towards  improved  criminal justice  delivery and for necessary action; and

(h)    carry out such other  activities  as are necessary  for the  effective  and efficient administration of criminal justice.


Secretariat of the Committee

  1. (1) The Committee shall establish and maintain a secretariat with such number of staff as it considers necessary for the efficient running of its affairs.


(2)    The Secretariat  shall  be headed  by  a Secretary  who shall be  appointed  by the Attorney-General of the Federation on the recommendation of the Committee.


(3)    The Secretary  shall  be a legal  practitioner  of not  less than  10  years  post  call experience and shall possess  sound knowledge  of the practical functioning  of the criminal justice system and adequate  experience in justice system administration.


(4)    The Secretary shall be responsible  for the execution of the policy of the Committee and the day-to-day running of the affairs of the Committee.


(5)    The  Secretary  shall  hold  office   for  a  term  of 4  years  and  may,  subject  to satisfactory  performance of his  functions,  be re-appointed for another  term  of 4 years and no more.


(6)    Subject   to  this  section,  the  Secretary  shall  bold  office  on  such  terms   as  to emoluments and otherwise as may be specified in his letter of appointment.


Fund of the Committee

  1. (1) There is established for the Committee  a fund into which shall be paid:

(a)    budgetary allocation to it  through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation;

(b)    such monies as may, from time to time, be provided to the Committee by any public, private or international organisation by way of a grant, support or assistance on such terms as are consistent with its functions; and

(c)    such monies as may be received  by the Committee in relation  to the exercise of its functions under this Act.


(2)    The  Secretary  of the Committee shall be the accounting officer for the purpose  of controlling and disbursing monies from the Fund established under this section.


Annual estimates and accounts

  1. (1) The Secretary shall  submit to the Attorney-General  of the Federation not later than 30th September  in each financial  year,  an estimate  of its expenditure  and income during the next financial year.


(2)    The Committee shall keep proper  accounts and records  in respect of each financial year and shall  cause its accounts to be audited not later than 2 months from the end of each financial year.


Annual report

  1. The Committee shall prepare  and publish  an annual report  of its  activities.


Power to obtain information

  1. (1) For the purpose  of carrying  out the functions  conferred on the  Committee  under this Act, it:

(a)    shall have a right of access  to all the records  of any of the organs  in the administration of justice sector to which this Act applies;  and

(b)    may,  by notice in writing served  on any person  in charge  of any  such organs  require  that  person  to furnish  information on  such  matters  as may be specified  in the notice.


(2)    A person required  to furnish  information under subsection  (1) of this  section  shall comply with the notice within  a stipulated time.


Proceedings and quorum of the Committee

  1. (1) The Committee may make  standing  orders regulating its proceedings.


(2)    The quorum  at a meeting  of the  Committee  shall  consist   of the  Chairman or  his representative and two other members  of the Committee.


(3)    Subject to  the  provisions  of the  applicable standing  order,  the  Committee  shall meet at least once a quarter.


(4)    At a meeting  of the Committee, the Chairman,  or in his absence,  his representative shall preside  at that meeting.


(5)    The validity  of proceedings of the Committee  is not affected  by:

(a)    a vacancy  in the membership of the  Committee;  or

(b)    a defect in the appointment of a member  of the Committee.


(6)   A  member  of the    Committee  who  has  a personal   interest in any  arrangement entered  into  or proposed to  be  considered   by  the  Committee  shall  disclose his interest  to  the  Committee  and  shall  not  vote  on  any   question  relating  to  the arrangement.



Interpretation under this Part

477.(1)In  this  Part  “corporhliori11    means  anybody  corporate,  incorporated in  Nigeria  or elsewhere.


(2)            In  this  Part  “representative”  in  relation   to  a  corporation  means   a person  duly appointed  by the  corporation to  represent it  for the  purpose of  doing  any  act  or thing which  the representative of a corporation  is by this  Part  authorised to  do, but a person  so appointed shall  not,  by virtue  only  of being  so appointed, be  qualified to act on behalf of the corporation before any court for any other purpose.


(3)    A representative for the purposes  of this Part need not be appointed under the seal of  the  corporation,  and  a  statement  in writing  purporting  to  be  signed  by  a managing director of the corporation,  or by any person (by whatever name called) having, or being one of the persons having, the management  of the affairs  of the corporation,  to  the  effect  that  the  person  named  in  the  statement   has  been appointed as the representative  of the corporation for the purposes  of this  Part, shall be admissible without further proof as prima facie evidence that the person has been so appointed.


Plea by corporation

  1. Where a corporation is called upon to plead to any charge or information  including  a new charge or  information  framed  under  the provisions  of this  Act  or  charge  or information added to or altered  under  the provisions  of this  Act,   it may  enter  in writing by its representative a plea  of guilty or not guilty or any plea  which  may be entered under this Act and if either the corporation does not appear by a representative or, though it does so appear, fails to enter as aforesaid any plea, the court shall order a plea of not guilty to be entered  and the trial shall  proceed as though the  corporation had duly entered a plea of not guilty.


Information against a corporation

  1. An information may be preferred against  a corporation  after the preparation  of the proofs of evidence relating to the charge.


Joinder of counts in same information

  1. An information under section 4 79 may include, either in substitution for or in addition to counts  charging  the  offence  for  which  proofs  of evidence  have  been  prepared, counts which may be lawfully joined in the same information and are founded  on facts or evidence disclosed in the proofs of evidence.


Power of representative

  1. A representative may, on behalf of a corporation:

(a)    state,  whether the  corporation  is ready  to  be tried  on  a   charge  or information or altered charge or,  information to which the corporation has been called on to plead;

(b)    consent to  the hearing  and  determination of a complaint  before  the return date of a summons;

(c)    express assent to the trial of the corporation on information. notwithstanding that  a copy of the information  and notice  of trial  has not been served on (the corporation 3  days or more before the date on which the corporation is to be tried.


Matters to be read, said or explained to representative

  1. Where a representative appears,  any requirement  of this Act that anything  shall  be done in the presence  of the defendant,  or  shall  be read or said  or explained  to the defendant,  shall  be construed as a requirement  that, that thing  shall  be done  in the presence of the representative or read or said or explained to the representative.


Non-appearance of representative

  1. Where a  representative  does not  appear,  any such  requirement  as is  referred  to  in section 478 of this Act, shall not apply.


Saving under this part and joint charge against corporation and individual

  1. (1) Subject to the preceding  provisions  of this part,  the provisions of this Act  relating to the inquiry into and trial of offences shall apply to a corporation as they apply  to an adult.


(2)    A corporation may be charged jointly and tried with an individual for any offence.




Appeals from magistrate courts

  1. (1) Appeals from a magistrate  court to the High Court of the Federal  Capital Territory in criminal  matters  shall  be in accordance with the High  Court  Act  of the Federal Capital Territory or any rule made under any such Act.


(2)    Where  a  defendant   has  been  acquitted   or  an  order  of  dismissal  made   by   a magistrate  court the prosecutor may  appeal  to the Higb  Court  from  such  acquittal or dismissal  on the ground  that  it  is erroneous  in law  or that  the proceedings  or any part thereof were in excess of the jurisdiction  of the magistrate court.


(3)    An appeal, in  accordance  with the provisions of this Part,  shall  be commenced  by the appellant by giving notice to the registrar  of the court  from which  the  appeal  is brought and such notice  of appeal shall be signed by the appellant’.


(4)    The notice  of appeal  shall be given in every  case before  the  expiration  of the  30th day after the day on which the court has made the decision appealed against.


(5)    An appellant  shall file many copies  of his notice of appeal  as there  are parties to be served,  in addition to the copies for the court.



( 6)   An appellant,  in an appeal  brought  in accordance with the provisions  of this  Part, shall,  within  30  days  of the  pronouncing  of the  decision   appealed   against,  file with  the  registrar  of the  court  from  which  the  appeal  is brought a brief setting forth the grounds  of his appeal which  shall be signed by the  appellant or the legal practitioner representing him.


(7)    An appellant,  shall file as many  copies  of his brief of grounds  of appeal,  as there are parties to be served, in addition to the copies for the court.


(8)   In his brief of grounds  of appeal the appellant shall set forth  in  separate  ground of appeal each  error, omission,  irregularity   or other  matter    on which  he relies  or of which he  complains  with  particulars  sufficient  to give  the respondent due  notice thereof.


(9)    Without  prejudice  to the  generality  of  subsection  (8)  (i), the  brief  of  ground   of appeal may set forth all or any of the following grounds:

(a)    that the lower court has no jurisdiction  in the case;

(b)    that the lower court has exceeded  its jurisdiction  in the case;

(c)    that the decision has been obtained by fraud;

(d)    that the case has already been heard or tried and decided by or forms the subject of a hearing or trial pending before a competent court;

(e)    that admissible  evidence  has been rejected,  or inadmissible  evidence has been admitted by the lower court and that in the latter case there is no sufficient admissible evidence to sustain the decision after rejecting such inadmissible evidence;

(f)     that the decision is unreasonable or cannot be supported having  regard to the evidence;

(g)    that the decision is erroneous in point of law;

(h)    that  some other  specific  illegality,  not  mentioned  and  substantially affecting the merits of the case, has been committed  in the  course  of the proceedings in the case; or

(i)     that  the  sentence passed  on  conviction  is  excessive  or  in-adequate, unless the sentence is one fixed by law.



(10)  Where the  appellant  relies   upon  the  grounds  of  appeal  mentioned   in subsection (9) (d), the name  of the court shall be stated and, if it is alleged “that “a decision has been made, date of such decision.


(11) Where the appellant relies upon the ground of appeal mentioned in subsection (9) (g), the nature of the error’ shall be stated and, where he relies  upon  the ground of appeal mentioned in subsection (9) (h), the illegality complained  of shall be clearly specified.


(12)  A sentence  by a magistrate court shall take effect notwithstanding an  appeal unless:

(a)    a warrant has been issued under section 326  of this Act when no sale of property shall take place  until the sentence has been confirmed  or the appeal decided; or

(b)    an order for release  on bail pending any further  proceeding has  been made by a competent court when the time during which the convicted person had been so released shall be excluded in computing the period, of any sentence which he has ultimately to undergo.


(13) A High Court exercising appellate jurisdiction  shall not, in the exercise  of such jurisdiction,  interfere with  the  finding  or sentence  or other  order  of the  lower court  on the ground  only that evidence  has been wrongly admitted  or that  there has been a technical  irregularity in procedure, unless it is satisfied that a failure  of justice has been occasioned by such admission or irregularity.



Payment of fees

  1. Subject to the provisions of this  Act,  such fees  as may  be prescribed under  this  Act shall be paid in any proceeding  before a court.


Suspension of payment of fees

  1. A court may, in any proceeding in which good cause appears  to the court for so doing, suspend payment  of any fee payable  until the  conclusion  of the proceedings  and the court may  then direct  the  fees  to be paid  as  costs  by  a party  to the  proceedings  by whom the court has power to order costs to be paid or remit the payment  of the fees.


State not required to pay fees

  1. The provisions of this Act relating to fees and to the giving  of security  shall  not apply to the State or to a public  officer acting in his official  capacity.


Use of forms in Schedules

  1. Subject to  the  express  provisions,  if  any,  of the  Rules   of  Court,  the  forms   and precedents  contained   in  the  Schedules   to  this  Act  may,   in  accordance  with   any instructions  contained  in the forms, and with  such variations as the  circumstances of the particular case may require, be used in the cases to which they apply.


Power to make Rules of Court

  1. The Chief Judge of the Federal  High  Court  or  of the Federal  Capital  Territory  or the President  of the National  Industrial  Court may  make  rules  in respect  of any  or all of the following matters:

(a)    fees,  costs  or  compensations  to  be  paid  under  this  Act  and  periodic review of the same;

(b)    forms to be used for the process  and procedure of the courts;

(c)    accounts  to be rendered  of monies  received  by  any person  under  this Act;

(d)    the  method   of  issue  of  process   under  this  Act,  and  the  manner  of receipt of and accounting  for fees in respect  of such process;

(e)    prescribing anything or any person  required  to be prescribed under  the provisions  of this Act;

(f)     regulation   and  management of non-custodial  punishments  provided under this Act; and

(g)    generally  carrying into effect the purposes  of this Act.



  1. Where no other sanction  is provided  for in this Act, failure  on the part  of a person to discharge  his responsibility under this Act without reasonable cause  shall be treated as misconduct by the appropriate  authority.


Saving as to other forms and procedure

  1. (1) Nothing  in this  Act  shall  affect  the  use  or  validity  of any  form  in  respect of a procedure   or an  offence  specified  under  the  provisions  of a written  law  or the validity  of any other procedure  provided  by any other written  law.


(2)    Nothing   in  this  Act   shall   affect the  validity   of  any   charge,   information  or proceeding  initiated   or   commenced   under   any   other   law   in   so  far  as  the proceeding was initiated  or commenced  before this Act came into force.


(3)    Where  there   are  no  express  provisions  in  this  Act,  the  Court  may  apply  any procedure  that will meet the justice  of the case.



  1. The  Criminal  Procedure  Act  CAP.  C41  Laws  of  the  Federation  of Nigeria,  2004,  Criminal  Procedure  (Northern   States)  Act  Cap.  C42  Laws   of  the  Federation  of Nigeria, 2004,  and the  Administration of Justice  Commission Act  Cap.  A3  Laws  of the Federation  of Nigeria, 2004 are repealed.



  1. (1) In this Act:

“adult” means  a person  who has attained the age of 18 years  or above;

“asylum” includes a lunatic  asylum, a mental or other hospital, a prison and any other suitable place  of safe custody of person  of unsound mind for medical  observation;

“charge”  means   the  statement  of  offence  or  statement   of  offences  with  which   a defendant is charged  in  a trial  whether by way  of summary  trial  or trial  by way  of information before  a court;

“Chief Judge”  means  a Chief Judge  of a High Court and the President of the National Industrial Court;  where  applicable;

“child” means  a person  who has not attained the age of 18  years;

“Committee”  means   the  Administration  of Criminal  Justice   Monitoring  Committee established  under  section 469  (1) of this Act;

“complainant”  includes   any informant  or prosecutor  in any  case relating  to  summary trial

“complaint”  means  the  allegation that  any named  person  has  committed an  offence made before  a  court  or police officer  for the purpose  of moving him to issue process under this  Act;

“court”  includes  Federal  Courts,  the Magistrates’  Court and Federal  Capital  Territory Area Courts provided by legal practitioners;

“currency” means  coins, notes and other legal tender;

“defendant” means   any  person   against  whom  a complaint,  charge  or information  is made;

“district” means  a district into which the Federal  Capital Territory or a State is divided for the purposes  of any Act or law under which a Magistrate’s  court is established;

“division” means a judicial division of the High Court;

“Federation”  means the Federal  Republic of Nigeria;

“Federal law” means  any Act  enacted  by the  National Assembly   having  effect with respect to the Federation  or any part  thereof and any Act  enacted prior to  l ” October, 1960, which under the Constitution of the Federal  Republic  of Nigeria has  effect  with respect to the Federation or any part thereof;

“felony”  means an offence  on conviction for which  a person  can, without  proof of his having   been  previously   convicted  of  an   offence,   be  sentenced    to   death   or   to imprisonment for three years or more,  or which  is declared by Jaw to be a felony;

“fine”    includes   any   pecuniary   penalty    or   pecuniary   forfeiture    or    pecuniary compensation payable under this Act;

“functions”  includes powers  and duties;

“future  enactment” means  any enactment passed  after the commencement of this  Act;

“guardian” in relation  to  a child  or young  person  means  the  parent   or other person having  lawful custody of such child  or young  person,  and includes  any person who,  in the  opinion of the court having  cognizance of any case  in which  such  child  or young person  is concerned,  has, .for  the  time  being,  the  custody, control  over,  or charge   of such child or young person;

“High  Court” means the Federal  High  Court  or the High  Court  of the  Federal  Capital Territory;

“indictable offence” means an offence which  on conviction may be punished by:

(a)    a term of imprisonment exceeding two years;  or

(b)    of a fine exceeding  N40,000.00 not being  an offence  declared  by the  law  creating it to be punishable  on summary  conviction;

“indictment” means the filing of an information against  a person  in the High Court;

“infant”  means a person who has not attained  the age of seven’ years;

“Judge” includes  a Judge  of a High  Court  or a Judge  of the National  Industrial  Court and Area Court presided  by legal practitioners;

“Justice of the Peace” means  a person  appointed to be a Justice  of the Peace  under  any enactment  inclusive of the Federal  Capital Territory;

“law  officer”  means the Attorney-General  of the Federation and the  Solicitor-General of the  Federation  and includes. the  Director  of Public  Prosecutions  and  such  other qualified officers, by whatever names  designated,  to whom  any of the powers  of a law officer  are  delegated  to  by law  and  a private  legal  practitioner  authorised  by  the Attorney-General of the  Federation to  appear  for  and  on  behalf of the  Attorney-General  of the Federation;

“legal  guardian”  in relation  to  an  infant,  child,  young  person,  or juvenile offender, means  a person  appointed,  according to law, to be his guardian by deed  or will,  or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction;

“Magistrate” means a Magistrate  appointed in accordance with the law of a State  or of the Federal Capital Territory;

“Magistrates’  Court” means Magistrates’  Court established under the law of a State or of the Federal  Capital Territory;

“medical  officer”  means a medical  doctor  attached  to an asylum  or a medical doctor from whom a court requires an opinion;

“misdemeanour” is an offence punishable by imprisonment for not less than  6 months, but less than 3 years or which is declared by law to be a misdemeanour;

“member” means  a member of the Committee and includes  the Chairman; “offence” means  an offence against  an Act of the National Assembly;

“officer  in charge”  includes, the  officer in charge  of a police station or the  officer  in charge  of a unit in any other law enforcement agency  or other  officer  who  acts in the absence  of the officer in charge;

“open  court”  means  a room  or place  in which  a court  sits to  hear  and  determine a matter  within  its jurisdiction  and to which  room  or place  the public  may  have  access so far as the room or space can conveniently contain them;

“order” includes  any conviction  in respect  of a summary conviction  offence;

“Part-beard  criminal  matter”  means   a trial  in  which  the  prosecution has  closed  his case;

“penalty”  includes  any pecuniary  fine,  forfeiture,  costs, or  compensation  recoverable or payable under  an order;

“place  of safety” includes  a  suitable  place,  the  occupier of   which  is willing temporarily to receive an infant,  child,  or young  person;

“Plea  bargain” means  the process  in criminal  proceedings  whereby  the  defendant and the prosecution  work  out  a mutually acceptable disposition of the case; including the plea   of  the  defendant   to  a  lesser  offence  than   that   charged   in  the  complaint  or information  and  in conformity with  other  conditions imposed  by the  prosecution, return for a lighter  sentence than that  for the higher  charge  subject  to  the  Court’s approval;

“Police”  means  the  Nigeria  Police    established  by  the  Constitution  or  where  the context so admits, shall include any officer of any law enforcement  agency established by an Act of the National Assembly;

“police officer” includes any member of the Nigeria Police Force established  by the Police Act  or where  the  context  so  admits,  shall  include  any  officer  of any  law enforcement agency established by an Act of the National Assembly;

“prescribed” means as provided by rules made under the authority of this Act;

“private prosecutor” does not include a person prosecuting on behalf of the State  or  a public officer prosecuting in his official capacity;

“reasonable  time” is as defined in section  35 (5) of the Constitution  of the  Federal Republic of Nigeria,  1999 (as amended);

“registrar” includes the Chief Registrar and a registrar of a court;

“rules”  or “the rules” means rules of court relating to the practice and procedure of the  High  Court  or  of the  Magistrates’  Courts  in  the  exercise   of their   criminal jurisdiction;

“sentenced to imprisonment” shall include cases where imprisonments imposed by  a court  on any person  either  with or without the option  of a fine,  or in respect  of the non-payment of any sum  of money, or for failing  to do or  abstaining from  doing  any act  or  thing required  to be  done  or  left  undone,  and  the  expression   “sentence  of imprisonment” shall be construed accordingly;

“sheriff’ means a Sheriff within the meaning of the Sheriffs  and Civil Process  Act and includes a deputy sheriff and any person authorised by the sheriff or a deputy  sheriff to execute process of a court;

“summary  conviction offence” means an offence punishable  by  a High  Court  or  a magistrates’  court on summary conviction and includes any matter in respect  of which a High Court or a magistrate’s  court can make an order in the exercise of its  summary jurisdiction;

“summary  court”  means  unless  the same  is  expressly or by  necessary  implication qualified:

(a)    a Judge of the High Court when sitting in court and presiding  over a  summary trial, and

(b)    a Magistrate when  sitting in court to hear and determine any matters  within  his power and jurisdiction either under the provisions of this Act or any other written  law, and the Judge when so sitting and presiding, and the Magistrate  when so sitting,  shall be deemed to be a “court” or “summary court” within the meaning of this Act;

“summary  trial”  means  any  trial  by  a  Magistrate  or  a  trial  by   a  High  Court commenced without filing an information;

“Superintendent of Prison” has the same meaning as in the Prisons Act; “superior police officer” has the same meaning as in the Police Act;

“suspect” means a person who has been arrested on the suspicion  of committing  any offence, and who is yet to be formally charged for that offence;

“young person” means a person  who has attained the age of  14  and has not attained the age of 17 years.


(2)    Unless the context otherwise requires, all words and expressions  used in this Act and defined in the Criminal Code or the Penal Code shall have the meanings  attributed to them by those Codes.



  1. This Act may be cited as the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.





Section 153  (2),  376 (9), 377,  392 (2) (a)




(For use in the High Court)


In the High Court of ………………………………………………….

In the……………………………………………………Judicial Division

Holden at…………………………………………………

Charge No……………. 20………………..


Between ……………………………………………………. Complainant, and

………………………………………………………………………… Defendant.




(For use in Magistrates’ Court or other Courts)




In the Magistrate’s  Court of                                                                                  .

In the…………………………………………………Magisterial District

Holden at…………………………………………………

Charge No………..20…………………..

Between……………………………………… Complainant, and







(General  Title-Form No.  1)


Before the …………………High/Magistrate  Court

of the ………………………..

In the Judicial Division/Magisterial District sitting at …………………………

The ……………  day of……………….. 20 ………….

A.B., having made a complaint that C.D., hereinafter called the  defendant,     on the ……………….day  of …………………..20………….. at, ……………in  the………………………    above-mentioned,

Did ………………………………………………………………………


It  is  ordered  that  the defendant   do  forthwith   to   the satisfaction of

………………………………  enter  into a recognizance in the sum of

…………………………. with …………………………. surety ………………..

in the    sum of …………………………. [each]  to keep the peace and be of good behaviour towards the State and all persons, and especially towards the complainant, for the term of …………………………. now next ensuing:

And it is ordered that if the defendant fails to comply  with this order he shall be imprisoned in the  prison   at …………………………. for   the  space of ………………………………………………………  unless he complies with the order.


If costs are ordered, add-

And it is ordered that the defendant  pay to the said ……………. the sum of …………………..  for costs by instalments  of………………..for  every…………..days,  the  first  instalment  to  be  paid] forthwith [or on the ………………….. day of 20………….]:


And in default of payment it is ordered  that the sum due be levied by distress  and sale  of the defendant’s  goods, and in default  of sufficient  distress  that the defendant be imprisoned  in  the said  prison  for  the  space   of……………. commencing  at  the  termination   of  the   imprisonment before Ordered,  unless the said sum  [and all costs and  charges Of the (said  distress  and) commitment] be ‘sooner paid.



FORM No. 3



(General Title-Form NO.  1)

Section 89


The complaint of C.D (address and description), who upon  oath (or affirmation)  states that  A  B of  (address and description)   on   the

………….. day of ……………………………….. 20 ………. at

…………………… in the above-mentioned, did ……………………………..


taken before me this  …………………………… of.  …………………..



Judge  [ or Magistrate]



FORM No. 4

Section  117


(General Title-Form NO.  1)


To  A.B of. …………………………………………………………..

Complaint  has  been  made this day by………………………………that     you on the …………………………….. day   of  ……………….20………at                                                          in   the …………………………………………….  above-mentioned did



State concisely  the substance of the compliant

You  are  hereby   summoned  to  appear  before   the

…………………………… High/magistrate’s  court  sitting

at ……………………………… on the …………………. day  of…….. 20…..

at the hour of ………………… the …………………… noon to answer to the said complaint.

Dated this …………………………day of…….20…………


…………………………                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Judge [ or Magistrate]




Section 131


(General Title-Form NO. 1 )


To ………………………..Police Officer  or To each and all Police  Officers.

Complaint    has   been   made    on   the …………. day   of  20 …………. that AB hereinafter  called the defendant  on  the ……. day of ……. 20…..

In …………….the    above-mentioned    did

……………………….. ……………………….. ………………………..

……………………….. ……………………….. ………………………..

“State  concisely the substance of the compliant

And the defendant was thereupon  summoned  to appear before  the High/Magistrate’s  Court of the   ……………………………………….. in the Judicial Division/Magistrate District sitting at………………………..on   the ……………day   of…………………….. at   the    hour    of………………in the……………….noon, to answer to the said charge:

……………………….. ……………………….. ………………………..

An oath  has  been  made  that  the  defendant  was duly  served  with  the  summons,  but did  not  appear, and that  such complaint  is true.

You are hereby  commanded  to bring the defendant  before High/Magistrate’s Court of the …………. in the Judicial  Division/Magisterial District sitting at ……………………….. ……………………….. forthwith to answer to the said  complaint or be further dealt with according to law


Dated the …………………. day of ……………. 20 …………..



Judge  [or Magistrate]




Section 132



(General Title-Form No. 1 )


To……………………….. ………………………..,

Police  Officer …………………….

Complaint   on  oath   has  been   made   on  the………   of.. ……………….   by ……………………….. that     A.B.,    hereinafter    called     the     defendant     on the……….. day  of ………………………..

at …………………………in the ………………………..above-mentioned

did……………………….. ………………………..  ………………………..

……………………….. ……………………….. ………………………..

“State concisely the substance  of the complaint


You  are  hereby   commanded  to  bring   the   defendant   before   High/Magistrate   Court    of  the ……………………….. in     the    Judicial     Division/     Magisterial     Division     sitting    at ……………….. ……………………….. to forthwith answer the  said  complaint and  be dealt with according  to law.


Dated the day of.  ………………………. 20 ……..       .



Judge  [or Magistrate]




Section  144



In the Magistrate  Court of ………………………. Magistrate District

To ………………………. and ………………………. ……………………….

Whereas  information on  oath  and  in writing this  day has  been  made  that  there   is  reasonable ground  for believing   that  there  is  in  (state  the place  to  be  searched  and  state what  is  to be searched for in the terms of (a), (b) or (c) of 144(1)  of this Act.)

You  are  hereby   commanded  in  the  name   of the  Federal   Republic  of Nigeria,  with  proper assistance,  to enter  the  above-named (state the place  to be  searched)  and there diligently search for the  things  aforesaid   and where  the  same  or any part  thereof found  on  search,  to bring the things  found,  and also the said  (name  the occupier  of the place  to be searched)  before this  Court to be dealt with  according to law.

This warrant may be executed  at any time on any day, including a Sunday  or public holiday and may also be executed  at any hour during day or night.

Issued  at …………… this …………………. day of …………….. 20             .














































Dated the……………….. day  of……………………….20




(General  Title Form No. 1)


Form No. 8

Section 293








XYZ  – Respondent


To: The Registrar of the Court


The Court is hereby informed that there is a probable cause to order the remand  of XYZ  (state particulars of the Respondent, namely age, sex, occupation)  of (state  details  of the Respondent’s street address or where there is no precise street address,  as near and close description as possible of  the  location  of  the  Respondent’s   last   known  place   of  abode)   in  remand  custody   in

………………(state  the exact place  of custody  in which the applicant  proposes to remand  the Respondent such  as the  name  and  location  of  the  prison  or  other  detention   place)  who  is reasonably   suspected  to  have           committed   the  offence  of …………………………… contrary  to    section ………………………… …………………………   of    the………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………………………

within ………………………… …………………………

High    Division/Magisterial District on or about …………………………

(state  the date or approximate  date or the period  of commission of alleged offence) on grounds stated

below: …………………………………………………… …………………………

………………………… ………………………… …………………………

Dated this ………………… of ………………………… 20……….




  1. Place, time arid; circumstance of arrest: …………………………

………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………………………


  1. Arrested with Exhibit(s) …………………… Yes …………………. No

(Tick appropriately) (disregard (3) and (4) below if the Respondent  was not arrested with Exhibit(s)


  1. If arrested with Exhibit(s), state clearly the particulars of    the    Exhibit(s) ……………………….. ……………………….. ………………..


  1. If arrested with Exhibit(s), state clearly  how the items  are related  to or linked  with the committal of the alleged offence: ……………………….. ……………………….. ……………………….. ……………………….. …………………


  1. State particulars  of  other  evidence  or  report  linking  the Respondent  to the  committing  of  the offence such as forensic  evidence; marks  or finger prints, etc.


  1. Confessional statement …………..Yes …………. No


  1. Any previous conviction for the same or similar offence

Yes……….               No       ……….


  1. If (7) above is Yes, state the particulars of previous conviction(s)

………………… …….. ………………… …….. …………………

………………… …….. ………………… …….. …………………

Found in custody  or possession  of offensive weapon,  object  or substance: Yes…….. NO………..


  1. Identification by victim(s) or witness(es)   Yes…….. NO………..

(State the particulars  of such victim(s) or witness(es)

(i)    Name:





(ii)    Name:





(iii)   Name:





(iv)   Name:





(v)   Name:


Signature  of the Prison official  or  police  official  in charge of place  of custody of Defendant: …….. …………………


(2)    If you wish  to be represented  by a legal  practitioner  arranged by way  of legal  aid,  please provide the relevant information  below.  If you do not know any organisation  you wish  to apply to provide legal practitioner to represent  you,  kindly enter the “Legal Aid Council” as the name of organisation:


Name of the Organisation: …….. …………………


Address   of  the  Defendant   (or   Place   of   custody   is   on   remand)

……………. ………………… …….. ………………… …….. …………………


Signature of the Defendant: …….. …………………


Signature  of the Prison official  or  police  official  in charge of place  of  custody  of Defendant: …….. ………………… …….. …………………



FORM NO. 10                                                                                                      

Section 241



(General Title-Form No.  1)


To E.F…………………………………………………………………..

A.B  has been charged by………………………………………………..

for  that  he  on the ………………………. day of ……………… 20 ……..

……………….at in  the ……………………….

above-mentioned,   did” ………………………………………………………….

State concisely the substance of the complaint.

and it  appears to me by the oath  of………. …………………that  you  are  likely  to give material evidence therein on behalf of the informant  [ or complainant  or  defendant],  and will  not voluntarily appear for that purpose.


You   are  therefore  hereby   summoned   to   appear   before   the.   High/Magistrate’s    Court   of the ………………… in the   Judicial Division/Magisterial  Division sitting  at …….. ……………. on …….. ……………….. day  of. ………………… 20 …….. ………………… at  the  hour of ………………….. in the ……………………….noon, to testify what you know in such matter.

Dated the ………………… day of ………….. 20 ……………………….



Judge [or Magistrate]





Section 377

The Federal Republic of Nigeria v C.D

In the High Court of……………………………………………………….

In the Judicial Division of  ……………………………………………………….

The Federal Republic of Nigeria v. CD


The …………………………. day of ……………….. 20 …………………

At the sessions holding at  …………………………….. ……………………………..

On the ………………….. day of …………………….. 20…………., the court is informed  by the Attorney- General of the Federation  on behalf of the Federal  Republic that  C.D  Is  charged  with  the  following   offence.[or  offences].   (and  statement  of  offence [offences].



FORM NO.  12

Section 182


(General Title-Form No. 1)

Before the ………………..High/Magistrates  Court of the ………………….. in the Judicial Division/Magistrate District sitting on the …………………. day of ……………….. 20 ……………….

AB.,   hereinafter      called    the     defendant,     was    by    his    recognizance     entered     into the ………………….day  of ………………….,   bound  in the  sum  of……………………………..and  his sureties  C.D and F.F. in the sum of ………………………………… each, the condition of the recognizance being that the said defendant should   …………………………………………………………….

And it being now proved that        the defendant was on the ………. day of …………………………… convicted  of the offence of having ……………………………………………,  the same being a breach of the said condition:

It is    therefore adjudged that the said recognizance be forfeited, and    that the said …………………………….. pay to  ……………………………..  the sum of …………………………….. and the further sum of …………………………… for costs  [by instalments  of………………… for every …………………………….. days, the first instalment to  be paid]  forthwith  [or on the …………………………… of. ……………………………..


And  in  default  of payment   it is  ordered  that  the sum  due  from  the    said……………………….. under this order be levied by distress and sale of his goods, and in default of sufficient  distress  that he be imprisoned  in the prison  at …………………………….. for the peace of …………………… unless the said  sums  [and  all costs and charges of the  (said distress and) committed]  be sooner paid.



Judge [or Magistrate]



FORM No. 13

Section 241


(General Title-Form No. I)


To ……………………….Police    officers or    other  officials Complaint

………………………. ………………………. ……………………….. E.F. was   duly   summoned   to  appear before the High/Magistrate’s Court  of the …………………….. Judicial  Division/Magisterial District sitting      at ……………………. on ………………………. day  of ………………… at      the hour of ……………. in the ……………… noon,  to  testify  what he   should know concerning  a certain complaint against A.B.

And he has neither  appeared  thereto, nor offered  any just excuse  for his neglect.

And it has been proved  on oath that summons  has been duly served  on him [and that a reasonable sum has been paid  (or tendered)  to him for his costs and expenses in that behalf].

You  are hereby commanded to bring him before the High Court of the …………………………………… in  the Judicial Division/Magisterial      District sitting at ………………………. forthwith to testify what he knows  concerning the  said matter.

Dated the ………………………. day of………………………. 20            .



Judge  [or Magistrate]



FORM No. 14

Section 244


(General Title-Form No. 1)

To  ………………………. ………………………. ……………………….

A.B  has  been  charged   by……………… for  ………………………..

on the ……………………….day  of. ………………………. at. ……………………….  in ………………………………………………….

aforesaid,  did……………………….

State  concisely  the substance of the complaint

………………………. ………………………. ……………………….


And it appearing  to me by  oath  of  ………………………. that  E.F. is likely to give material  evidence  concerning the  said matter,  and that  it  is probable he will not attend to  give  evidence unless  compelled so to do:


You   are   hereby    commanded   to   bring   him  before   the   High   Court/Magistrate   of   the……………………………………….. .in the Judicial Division/Magisterial District sitting at. ……………………………………………….         forthwith  to testify  what he knows concerning the said matter.


Dated the ………………………. day of. ……………………….  20    .




Judge [or Magistrate ]



Section 250

FORM N0.15


(General Title-Form No.  1)

To …………………………………………. and   to   the   Superintendent   of ………….. Prison.   E.F …………………………. having appeared or     being brought before the High/Magistrate Court of  the …………………………. in the Judicial Division/Magisterial District sitting at. …………………………. on day, the ……………………………. day of ……………………………….,  to testify what he should  know  concerning a certain case  against A.B.,  refused  to  take  an  oath  [or having  taken  an oath]  refused  to  answer   any  [or a  certain] question put to him concerning the case and did not offer any just excuse  for his refusal.


You, the  said Police   Officer are hereby  commanded  to convey  the said  E.F  safely  to  the  said Prison,  and there  deliver  him to the Superintendent thereof,  together with this  Warrant, and you, the  Superintendent of the  said  Prison, to receive  him into  your  custody,  and  keep  him  for  the space of,  unless he in the meantime consents to be examined and to answer questions concerning the case.


Dated the  ……………………………. day of……………..20………..



Judge [ or Magistrate ]



FORM No. 16


(General Title- Form No.  1)


Section  316


Before the High/ Magistrate Court of the ……………………………………in the Judicial    Division/ Magisterial District   sitting    at …………………….. on the ……………………… Day of ……………………… 20………………


  1. B hereinafter called the defendant, is this day convicted for ……………………… that  he,  on  the ……… day of …………. 20………….

at ……………………… within   the ………………above-mentioned, did



And  it  is  ordered  that  the  defendant,   for  his  said   offence,   be  imprisoned  in  the   prison at. ………………………………………………and          kept  for    the    period of  ……………………………………………………..


If costs are ordered, add-

And it is ordered that the  defendant   pay to the said……………. sum of.. ………………………for     costs      [by   instalments of. ………….. for every ……………… days, the  first instalment  to be .paid]  forthwith  [or  on the day of ………………………]:


And in  default of payment  it is  ordered  that  sum  due be  levied by  distress  and  sale  of the defendant’s  goods, and in default of sufficient  distress that the defendant  be imprisoned  in the prison at ………………………for the space of…………………. commencing  at the termination of the imprisonment before ordered,  unless the said  sum  [and all costs and charges  of the (said  distress and) commitment be paid]



Judge [or Magistrate]



FORM NO.  17

Section 319,  322 and 326



(General Title- Form No.  1)


Before the High/Magistrates’  Court of the ………………………in the Judicial    Division/Magisterial     District sitting at ……………………………… the ……………………… day of ……………………… 20 ……………

  1. B having made a complaint that    C.D    hereinafter    called    the    defendant,  on the ……………………… day of …………………. at ……………………………….. within the …………………….. above-mentioned,  did …………………………………………….. ……………………… ……………………… ………………………


On hearing  the  said  compliant,  it is  ordered  that  the  defendant  pay  to said ………………………the sum  of. ……………………… ……………………… and  also the  sum of ……………………… for costs      [by instalments of ………………. for  every ……………. days,  the  first  instalment  to  be  paid]  forthwith  [or on the………………………day of …………………….]:

And in default  of payment  it is ordered that the said sum due be levied by distress and  sale of the  defendant’s  goods,  and in default  of sufficient  distress  that the  defendant  be   remanded in the prison       at  ………………………………………………………………………… for       the space of ………………………… unless the  said sums  and all costs and charges  of the  said  distress and commitment be paid.



Judge  [or Magistrate)



FORM  NO.  18


Section 454


(General Title- Form No.  1)


Before  the  High/Magistrate’s  Court  of the in  the  Judicial   Division/Magisterial  District sitting at   ………………………

The ……………………… day of ……………………… 20…….. Complaint    having been  made by  A.B   that   C.D  hereinafter called the defendant,        on the ……………………… day  of ……………………. at……………………… in the………………………above-mentioned,



And  the Court  being of opinion that  though the  said  charge  is proved, the  offence is  of trivial nature that it is inexpedient to impose  any punishment, hereby  dismiss the said information.


But   order   that  the   defendant   do  pay   the   complainant   ………………………. for  damages and ……………………… for     costs      [by     instalments     of ……………….for      every …………………………………. days,   the   first  instalment  to  be  paid]   forthwith   [or  on   the …………………….. day of. ………………………20………….]:

And  in  default  of payment  it  is  ordered that  the  said  sums  levied  by  distress. and  sale  of the g#fi_1jciant’s  goods,  and  in  default  of sufficient  distress  that  the  defendant  be remanded  in the prison at ………………. for the space of ………………… unless the said sums [and  all costs and charges  of the (said distress  and) commitment be paid)



Judge  [or Magistrate]



FORM No. 19


(General Title- Form No.  1)


Before   the    High/  Magistrate’s    Court    of   the……………………in    the     Judicial Division/Magisterial District   sitting    at …………………… on   the …………………… day of………………….. 20……………………

  1. B.,    having    made    a   complaint    that    C.D . hereinafter    called    the    defendant,     on the ……………………day    of……………………     at…………………………..   in the ………………………………………… above   mentioned, did ……………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………

On hearing the said compliant, it is ordered that the defendant


If imprisonment is ordered, add-


And it is adjudged that if the defendant neglect or refuse  to obey this order, he be imprisoned in the    prison    at …………………………. for     the      space of. ………………………………………… days [or unless the said order be sooner obeyed].

If costs are ordered, add-

And  it  is  ordered  that  the  defendant  pay  to  the   said  …………………… sum of…………. for costs [by instalments of …………… for every …………………… days, the first instalment to be   paid]   forthwith [or on the  ……………….. day of …………………… ]


And in  default of payment  it is ordered that the sum due be levied by distress  and  sale  of the defendant’s goods, and in  default of sufficient distress  that  the defendant be imprisoned  in  the said prison for the space of commencing at the termination of the imprisonment before ordered, unless the said sum  [and all costs and charges of the (said distress  and) commitment]  be paid.



Judge  [or Magistrate J



Section 3 70


(General Title- Form No.  1)

Before  the  High/  Magistrate’s  Court  of the ……………………in the  Judicial  Division/  Magisterial District   sitting   at ……………………                              the …………………… day  of ………………….. 2012  Complaint  having               been   made    by ………………….. that  A.B  hereinafter   called   the   defendant,   on the ………………….. day   of………………… ………………….. in the ………………….. above-mentioned, did …………………..                    .

This Court having heard and determine the said complaint do dismiss same:

*on its merits or without prejudice to its being brought again


If costs are ordered, add-

And it  is ordered  that the  complainant pay to the defendant the  sum  of                              for costs  [by instalments  of. ……………..for every…………………..days, the  first  instalment to  be  paid] forthwith [or on the………………… of…………………..] :


And in default  of payment  it is ordered that sum  due be levied  by  distress  and  sale  of the defendant’s  goods, and in default of sufficient distress that the defendant  be imprisoned in the prison at ……………….. for the space of ………………. unless the said sum [and all costs and charges  of the (said distress and) commitment be paid]



Judge [ or Magistrate]




FORM No. 21

Section 435


(General  Title- Form No.  1)

To …………………………. ………………………….

A.B.,  hereinafter  called  the  defendant,  was  on  the  day  of ………………………….. convicted before the High/Magistrate’s   Court  sitting  at for  that he on the  ………………………….day of. ………………… at. …………………………. in the above- mentioned,  did ………………………….

And it was adjudged that the defendant for the said offence should be imprisoned  [ or forfeit and pay  the  sum  of. ………………………….]   and  should  also  pay  the  sum  of [for compensation and ………………………….] for   costs   [by  instalments of …………………………… for every …………………………. days, the      first instalment  to  be paid]  forthwith-  [or on the …………………….. day of ………………………….,], and  that  in default the said  sum  [or  sums]  should  be levied by distress,  …………………………. and default  having been made in payment.

You are hereby commanded  forthwith to make distress of the goods of the defendant  ( expect the wearing apparel and bedding  of him and his family, and, the tools  and implements  of his trade) and if within  the  space  of five  clear  days next  after the making  of such  distress,  unless  he consents in writing to an earlier sale, the sum stated at the foot of this warrant, together with  the reasonable costs and charges  of the making and keeping of the said  distress, be not paid,  then to  sell  the said goods,  and pay the money arising therefrom  to the registrar of that  court,  and  if no such distress can be found, to certify the same to that court.


Dated the ………………………. day of ……………………….20……………



Judge [ or Magistrate]

N    K

Amount ordered ……………………….

Paid ……………………….

Remaining due……………………….

Cost of issuing this warrant……………………….

Total amount to be levied ……………………….



  1. B. Take notice that you will be tried  on the information  of which  this  is  a true  copy, at the session to be held  at……………………….on the                           day of. ………………….20………………..                     .


Also find attached  is the “Information  on Legal  Representation” Form  which  you  must  complete and return to the Registry  of this court  within  14 days of service on you of this notice  of trial.




Sections 193


Charge on section 115


(1)  (a) I ………………………………………………  [name of presiding officer of court] hereby  charge you ……………………… [name of the defendant] as follows –


(b)    That you on or about the……… of ……….. 20 ……… at …………………. being  a public servant in the Ministry of …………… directly accepted  from A. B. for yourself [or for another person named C.D.J a gratification other than lawful remuneration as a motive for forbearing to do an official  act and thereby  committed an offence punishable under  section  115 of the Penal Code and triable by the High Court.


(c)    And I hereby direct that you be tried by such court on the said charge.



Signature or seal of the

Presiding officer of court


To be substituted for (b) –

(2)   That you on or about the …………………….. day of …………………….. 20……… at ………………….. in the course   of  the  trial   of  AB.   before  stated   in  evidence   that                                  which statement  you either knew  or believed  to be  false  or did  not believe  to  be  true  and  thereby committed an offence punishable under section 158 of the Penal Code.

Charge on section 224

(3)  That  you on  or about the …………… day of …………….. 20 …………………….. at …………………….. committed culpable  homicide  not  punishable  with  death  by  causing the  death  of  A  B.  and thereby committed. An offence punishable under section 224 of the Penal Code.


Charge on section 227

(4)  That you  on  or  about  the ……………. day  of ……………. 20 ………… at  ……………………… abetted  the commission  of suicide by A. B. while the said A. B. was in a state of intoxication  and thereby committed  an offence punishable under section 227 of the Penal Code.



Charge  on section  217

(5)  That  you  on  or  about  the ………….. day  of ……………. 20                   at ……………….. voluntarily caused  grievous  hurt  to  A. B  by ……………………. [state  details   of grievous  hurt]  and  thereby committed an offence punishable  under  section 247 of the Penal  Code.


Charge  on section  312

(6)    That    you    between    the ……………… day    of ……………………. 20 …………………….. and the …………………. day of …………………. being entrusted with ………………… did    commit criminal breach of trust by dishonestly misappropriating a sum  of N……………. and thereby committed an offence  punishable under section 312 of the Penal  Code.


Charge  on section  324

(7)    That  you  on or about the ………. day of ……………. 20 ………… at ……………… cheated A.  B.  by falsely  pretending to  be  in the  Government  Service  and  thereby   dishonestly  induced  him  to deliver  ………………………..  [as  the  case  may  be]  and  thereby   committed  an  offence  punishable under section 324 of the Penal Code.




Charges  on section  221 and 224


(1)  (a) I……………………. ……………………. [name  of presiding officer of court] hereby charge you ………………………………………..  [name of the defendant]  as follows  –


(b)    First-That you on or about the day of ……………….., 20…………….         at ………………………………… committed culpable homicide  punishable  with death by causing the death of A B. and thereby  committed an offence  punishable under section 221 of the  Penal Code.


Secondly – That you on or about the ………. day of ………… 20 ……….. at   ……………………. committed  culpable homicide not punishable with death  by causing the death of A. B. and thereby committed an  offence punishable under  section 224 of the  Penal Code.


Alternative charges  on section. 158

(2)    That you  on  or  about the ……………… day  of ……………. 20 ………….. at …………………… in the course of the inquiry into ……………………. before …………………………………………..stated   in evidence  that and  that you on or about the ……………. day of ……………………., 20 …………..  in      the      course      of     the      trial of ……………….. before ………………. stated  in  evidence  that  ……………… one  of  which  statements  you either  knew  or  believed  to  be  false  or  did  not  believe to  be  true,  and  thereby  committed  an offence punishable under section  158 of the Penal  Code



Alternative charges on section 287, 312  or 317

(3) That you on or about the …………. day of …………………….. at………………… committed theft   by stealing  a horse  the property   of A.  B.  and  thereby  committed   an offence  punishable under section 287 of the Penal  Code.


That you  on or about  the …………….day  of …………………….. 20 ……….. at …………………… being  entrusted with the said  horse  committed   criminal breach  of trust  dishonestly misappropriating it and  thereby committed  an offence punishable under section  312  of the Penal  Code


That you on or about  the ……… day of ………. 20 …………………….. at dishonestly received the  said  horse  knowing   or having   reason  to  believe  that  it  was  stolen property  and  thereby committed an offence punishable under  section 317 of the Penal  Code.



Criminal  Code section  118

  1. That   you …………….. on the ……………… day of ……………………… at being    a   witness upon the trial of a case in the Magistrate’s  Court  of the ……………………. Magisterial District…………………….sitting  at  in which one ………………………………………………….. was  complainant and      one  ……………………………………………. was  defendant,  knowingly falsely  swore  that you  saw  one   M.N.   snatch   a  leather  wallet   from   one   Y.  Z.   in  the ………………… on  the ………………….. day  of and  thereby  committed  an offence punishable  under  section  118  of the Criminal  Code/Penal  Code


Criminal  Code  Section  120(1)

  1. That  you,  on  the…………….. day of ……………………. at ……………………. with  intent  to mislead  the  court  in  the  course  of the trial  of. ……………fabricated  evidence  by  means   other than perjury to wit: …………………………………………………. and thereby  committed an offence against  section  120(1) of the Criminal  Code.


Criminal  Code Section  249(a)(i)

  1. That you,  being  a  prostitute,   on  the …………………….day

of ………………………………. behaved in an indecent  ‘manner  by  exposing  your naked  person in  Broad   Street  and, thereby  committed  an offence punishable under  section  249(a)(i)  of the Criminal  Code.


Criminal  Code  Section  325

  1. That  you   on   the ………………… day of ………………………………… at ……………………. unlawfully  killed   C.D  and  thereby  committed  an  offence punishable  under section 325  of the Criminal  Code.


Section 326(3)

  1. That you on the ………………….. day of ……………….. at …………………….. aided  AB in killing  himself  and  thereby   committed  an  offence  punishable  under  section  326(3)  of  the Criminal  Code


Section 332(1)

  1. That  you   on   the…………………….. day   of………………………at. …………………….. unlawfully  wounded C.D with intent  to maim,  disfigure or disable or to do some grievous  harm  or  to  resist  the  lawful   arrest  of yourself and  thereby  committed  an  offence punishable under section 332(1) of the Criminal  Code


Section 338(1)

  1. That you on the …………………… day of…………………….. at unlawfully wounded C.D  and thereby  committed an offence punishable under  section 338(1)  of the  Criminal Code


Section 360

  1. That you, on the ………………… day of ………………… at ……………. unlawfully and indecently assaulted M. S and thereby committed an offence  punishable under  section 3 60 of the Criminal Code


Section 402

  1. That  you,  on  the…………………….. day  of ……………………..  at………. robbed C.D of (state the  thing  and thereby  committed an offence  punishable under  section 402  of the Criminal Code


Section 419

  1. That you, on the …………………….. day  of. …………………….. at. ……….. with intent to defraud,  obtained from  S.P  five  yards  of cloth  by  falsely  pretending that  you were a servant to J.S and that  you had  then  been  sent by the  said  J.S to  S.P for the  said  cloth, and  that you were then authorised by the said J.S to receive the cloth  on behalf of the  said  J.S  and thereby committed an offence punishable under  section 419 of the Criminal Code


  1. That you, on the…………………….. day of …………………….. 20………… at …………………….with intent to  defraud,  obtained  from  AB                 by  falsely  pretending  that  you  were  able  to double money.


Section 430(1)

  1. That you ……………………..on    the…………………….. day    of …………………….. at …………………….. had in your possession one gold watch reasonably suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully  obtained  and thereby  committed an offence punishable under  section 430(1) of the Criminal  Code


Section 443

  1. That you,    on    the …………………….. day    of ………………………….. at ……………………… wilfully  and  unlawfully  set  fire  to  a house  and  thereby  committed  an  offence punishable under section 443 of the Criminal Code


Section 467 (2)(i)

14     That  you,   on   the …………………….. day   of ……………………… at ……………………… forged an  accountable receipt  purporting to  be the receipt   of C.D.,  and  thereby  committed  an offence contrary  to section 467  (2)  (i) of the Criminal  Code



Section 230

  1. first-That you on the ……………………. day of ……………………. ……………………. at ……………………. unlawfully supplied to C>D (state thing supplied) knowing that it was intended to be unlawfully used to procure the miscarriage of a woman and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 230 of the Criminal Code/Section Penal Code.

Secondly-That you, on or about the …………………….day of ……………………. …………………….at …………………….unlawfully procured for C.D (state thing procured) knowing that it was intended to be unlawfully used to procure the miscarriage of a woman and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 230 of the Criminal Code.


Section 248

  1. First- That you, on the ……………………. day of ……………………. ……………………. at …………….sold matches made with white (yellow) phosphorus and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 248(a) of the Criminal Code.

Secondly- That you, on the …………………….day of ……………………. at …………………… had in your possession for the purpose of sale of matches made with white (yellow) phosphorus and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 248(a) of the Criminal Code.


Section 390

  1. First-That you, on the ……………………. day of ……………………. ……………………. at …………………stole (state the thing stolen) the property of C.D and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 390 of the Criminal Code

Secondly – That you, on the ……………………. day of ……………………. ……………………. at ………………. stole (state the thing stolen) which had been entrusted to you by C.D for you to retain in safe custody and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 390(8) (b) of the Criminal Code.

Thirdly – That you, on the ………………… of ………………….. ……………………………………..stole(state the thing stolen) which had been received by you for and on account of C.D and thereby committed an offence punishable under section(8) of the Criminal Code.




Section 378  (4)


Perjury,  contrary to section  118 of the Criminal Code/Section  …. Penal Code


Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………… of  …………………..20,  in   the division  of  ………………….. being a witness upon the trial  of an action  in the  High Court      in      which       one …………………..was      plaintiff,       and       one…………………………….. was  defendant,  knowingly  gave  false  testimony that  he  saw  one M.W  in  the  street  called the  Marina,  Lagos,  on  the  …………………  of……………………………, 20  …………………..              .



Uttering counterfeit coin, contrary to section 151  of the Criminal  Code/ ……….             .

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the  ………………….. day of ………………….. 20, at

…………………… market in the division of ……………………. uttered  a  counterfeit  Naira coins/notes, knowing the same to be counterfeit.




Murder, contrary to section 319 of the Criminal  Code/……..

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ……………….. day of   ………………. 20 in the division of   ……………….. murdered J.S.




Accessory after the fact to murder, contrary to section 322 of the Criminal  Code


Particulars of offence

A.B.,  well knowing that one, H.C, did on the……………………………day of, 20, in the division of………………………………  murdered   C.C., did on the day of…………….   20′  and on other  days thereafter receive, comfort, harbour, assist and maintain the said H.C.



Manslaughter, contrary to section 325 of the Criminal Code


Particulars of offence

A.B., on the…………………………… day of ………………….., 20    in the division of……………………….unlawfully killed J.S.




Wounded with intent,  contrary to section 332, subsection (1) of the Criminal  Code


Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………………. day of …………………………… 20      in    the    division    of ………………………..  wounded C.D., with intent to maim, disfigure or disable,  or to do some grievous harm, or to resist the lawful arrest of him the said A.B




Wounding, contrary to section  338, subsection  (1),  of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

AB., on the……………………………day   of ……………………………,20    in   the    division    of …………………….., unlawfully wounded C.D.



Rape, contrary to section 358  of the Criminal  Code/Penal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………… day of ……………………………, 20 ……………….. in the division of …………………………… had carnal knowledge of E.F without her consent .




Publishing defamatory matter,, contrary to section  3 7 5,  of the Criminal  Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………. day of ……………….. 20 ……… in  division of……………. published  defamatory   matter   affecting  E.F.,  in  the  form a letter [book, pamphlet, picture,  or as the case may be]

[Innuendo should be stated where necessary]




Stealing contrary  to section 390, Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ……………………. day of ………………………. 20 ………………. in the division  of …………………., stole a bag, the property of the C.D.




Receiving stolen goods, contrary to section 427 of the Criminal  Code/Penal Code


Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ……………………….day of………………………., 20………   in  the  division  of                         ,    did receive a bag, the property  of C.D., knowing the same to have  been stolen.




Stealing by clerks  contrary to  section  390 (6) of the Criminal Code


Particulars of offence

A.B.,  on the ………………… day of ………………………. 20 …………………… in the division of ………………………. stole N200.00  which  had  been  entrusted  to  him by  H.S.,  for him, the  said A.B., to retain  in safe custody.




Stealing  by  agents   and  others,  contrary  to  section   390(8)(b)  of  the  Criminal   Code/……..Penal Code


Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………….. day of………………….., 20 ………………….. in the division of ……………….,  stole N200.00 which had been received by him for and on account  of L.M.



Robbery with violence, contrary to section 402 of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B.,  on the ……………. day of ………… 20 ……….. in the division of, robbed  C.D of a watch,  and at, or immediately  before or immediately after, the time of such robbery  did use violence to the said C.D.



Demanding property by written threats, contrary to section 402 of the Criminal Code


Particulars of offence

AB., on the ………………….. day of ……………………. 20 ………. in the division of, with intent to extort money from C.D., caused the said C.D. to receive a letter containing  threats of injury or detriment to be caused to E.F.



Attempt to extort by threats contrary to section 408, of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the………………….. day of ………………….. 20 ………… in the division  of with intent to extort  money  from  C.C.,  accused  or  threatened  to  accuse  the  said  C.D  of an unnatural offence.



Obtaining goods by false pretences, contrary to section 419, of the Criminal  Code


Particulars of offence

A.B., on the …………………..  day ……………… of ……………….. 20 …………. in the division of………………….., with intent to defraud,  obtained  from  S.P.  five  yards  of  cloth  by falsely pretending that he, the said A.B., was a servant to J.S., and that he, the said AB., had then been sent by the said J.S. to S.P. for the said cloth, and that he, the said AB., was then authorised by the said J. S. to receive the said cloth on behalf of the said J.S.



Burglary, contrary to section 411, and stealing,  contrary to 3 90(4)(b) of the Criminal  Code

Particulars of offence

AB., on  the …………… of. …………………..20…… ,  in the division  of…………………..,did break and enter the dwelling-house  of C.D., with intent to commit a felony  therein,    namely  to steal therein, and did steal therein one watch, the property of S. T.



Conspiracy to defraud, contrary to section 422 of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………… day of …………, 20………..,  and on different  days between that  day and      the ……………… day of ……………..               20 ……………. in the division of ………………. conspired together with   intent  to defraud by means of an advertisement  inserted  by  them, the  said  AB.  and  C.D., in  the  H.S. newspaper,  falsely representing that A.B. and C.D were then carrying on a genuine business as jewellers at    ,    in the division of ………………….. and that they were then  able to supply certain  articles  of jewellry to whomsoever would remit to them the sum





Fraudulent false accounting, contrary to section 438 of the Criminal  Code

Particulars of offence

A.B.,  on  the …………… day  of …………….. 20……………… in the  division  of ………………….. and  on different days between that day and the day of …………. 20……… being  clerk or servant to C.D., with  intent to defraud, made,  or was privy to making a false entry  in  a cash book belonging  to the said  C.D., his employer, purporting  to show that  on the said day two  N200.00 had to L.M



Fraudulent false accounting contrary to section 438 of the Criminal Code/Penal Code

Particulars of offence

AB.,  on the ………………. day of ………………., 20 ……… in the division of  ………………., being clerk or servant to C.D., with intent to defraud, omitted or was privy  to omitting   from a cash book belonging to the said  C.D., his employer, a material particular, that  is to say, the receipt on the said day of N100.00 from H.S.



Arson, contrary to section 443, of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the …………… of………………., 20………….in the division of……………….wilfully and unlawfully set fire to a house.



A.B.,  arson,  contrary  to section  443, of the Criminal  Code. C.D., accessory  before  the  fact to same offence.


Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………. day  of ………………., 20 …………. in the  division   of ………………., wilfully  and  unlawfully   set  fire  to  a  house.   C.D.,  on  the  same  day,   in  the   division   of …………., did counsel or procure the said A.B. to commit the said offence.



Offence under section 449, subsection (1 ), of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ……………….day of. ………………., 20……………in the division  of………………., with intent to obstruct the use of the Nigerian Railway, displaced a sleeper belonging to the said railway.



Obstructing railway, contrary to section 459, of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………. day of ………………., 20 in the division of ………………., by unlawfully  displacing  a sleeper belonging  to the Nigerian  Railway, caused  an engine  or vehicle  in  use  upon the said railway to be obstructed in its passage.



Damaging trees,  contrary  to section 451 of the Criminal Code

Particulars  of offence

A.B.,  on the ………………. day of ………. 20 in the division  of ………… wilfully and unlawfully damaged a cocoa tree from growing.



Forgery, contrary to section 467(2), of the Criminal Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………. day of ………………., 20 ………………. in       the division of………………,  forged a certain will purporting to be the will of C.D.



Uttering a false document,  contrary  to section 468 of the Criminal  Code

Particulars of offence

A.B., on the ………………. day of ………………. 20 …….. in the division  of ………………, knowingly and fraudulently uttered a certain forged will purporting to be the will of C.D.



Prior  to  the  commission  of  the  said  offence,  the  said  A.B.  has  been  previously   convicted  of burglary on the ……………….day of………….20……..,            at   the Sessions    held at……………….




Section 420 (2) (b), 347 (I) (b),  413 (1),  425 and 434 (b)

Item  1


(Section 425)


Where the fine does not; The period of imprisonment shall not exceed
exceed N2,000.00 7 days
exceed N2,000.00 and does not    exceed N5,000.00 14 days;
exceed N5,000.00 and does not    exceed N20,000.00 1  month;
exceed N20,000.00 and does not    exceed N60,000.00 2 months;
exceed N60,000.00 and does not    exceed 100, 000. 00 3 months;
exceed N100,000.00 and does not   exceed N200,000.00 4 months;
exceed   N200,000.00   and   does   not   exceeds  N400,000.00 5 months;
exceed N400,000.00    but    does    not    exceed    N600,000.00 6 months
exceed   N600,000.00   and   does   not      exceed    N1,000,000.00 7 months
exceed N1,000,000.00 and does not                       exceed N2,000,000.00 8 months
exceeds N2,000,000.00 and does not                        exceed N5,000,000.00 9 months
exceed N5,000,000.00 and does not                                                                                                                                                             exceed N10,000,000.00 10 months
exceed N10,000,000.00 To the  discretion of the  Judge  from  18  months   and above



Section  413

Order for Sentence of Death to be Carried  Out










WHEREAS at the COURT …………………………………….. holding at ………………………….. on the  ……………………………………………. of 20 ……………, one …………………………………………… was duly    convicted of a capital offence and was sentenced to death:


AND  WHEREAS  information derived  from the  record  of the  case  or  elsewhere,  having been duly  taken into  consideration at a meeting  of the council  of State  designated for the  purpose in his own deliberate judgment thereafter has decided  to recommend to me that I should  exercise my powers in relation to the person so convicted:


AND WHEREAS  I have  decided  in accordance with the advice  of the  said Attorney-General of the Federation to confirm the sentence:


NOW  THEREFORE   I hereby order  that  the sentence  be  carried  out according to  the  law and that       the    said ……………… be executed at ……………………. at  a time  and by the person  appointed   by you  and that  the  body of the said ………………. be  buried  in  the  usual  place for internment for condemned criminals executed  at the place  of execution.


AND FOR SO DOING this shall be your Warrant.

GIVEN   under    my   hand   and   the    Public    Seal    of   the    Federal   Republic   of    Nigeria this …………. day of ……….. 20 ………





To the Sheriff at.










Section  411


WHEREAS    on    the ………………………….. day  of …………….. 20 ………….. one  ………………………………………………………. was   duly   convicted  of  a capital offence and was sentenced to death by the ………………………….. holding at ……………………………………………….

AND ‘WHEREAS information  derived  from  the  record  of the case  or elsewhere, having been duly  taken  into  consideration  at  a  meeting   of the  Council  of State  thereafter has  decided  to recommend to me that I should  exercise  my powers  in relation  to the person so convicted:

AND WHEREAS  I have  decided  in accordance with  the advice  of the  appropriate authority to confirm the sentence:

NOW THEREFORE  I do hereby  commute the sentence  and direct that the  said   sentence  be not carried   out,   and  that   in  lieu   thereof  the   said …………………. be imprisoned for …………………………..

GIVEN under   my   hand    and    the    Public    Seal    of   the    Federal   Republic    of   Nigeria this ………….. day of ……………20………….





To the Sheriff at ………………………………………………..

(for transmission  to the appropriate prisons  authority).


Section 36



Whereas       proof      has      this       day       been       made       before       me       that       the       name ………………………………………. subscribed  to  the  within  warrant is  in  the  handwriting of the  within mentioned ………………………….. ………………………….. …………………………..

I hereby  authorise …………………………..who brings  me this  warrant

and all other persons  to whom  this warrant  was originally  directed and also all  police officers  of the …………………………     execute     this     warrant      within …………………………..and     to within………………………….. and     to      bring    the  said………………………………………………….. if  arrested    within……………:. before         me        or        before   some        Magistrate       of the     …………………………..’    to be dealt with according  to law.

GIVEN under my hand this ………………………… 20 …………..










Section 435


Whereas     proof     has     this      day      been      made      before      me      that      the      name       of……………………………………. subscribed  to the within  warrant  is  in  the handwriting  of the within   mentioned …………………………………………………… you ………………………………………………………………………are hereby ordered forthwith to make distress  of the goods  of the defendant ( except  the wearing  apparel and bedding of him and his family,  and, to the value of…………..Naira the tools and implements  of his trade);  and if within the space  of the  5  clear  days  next  after  making  of such  distress  unless he consents  in writing  to  an earlier  sale, the  sum  stated in the  within warrant,  together  with  the reasonable  cost and charges of making  and keeping of the  said  distress,  be not paid,  then  to  sell the said goods, and pay the money  arising  therefrom to the registrar  of this  court, and  if no such distress can be found, to certify the same to this court.


Dated the…………………………, 20 ………….



Judge  [or Magistrate]





Section  184





To …………………………………………………………………………..

And …………………………………………………………………………

Whereas………………………… …………………………

Of ……………………………………… is bound  by recognizance  to appear  before  this court  on ………………………………………………….. (state when)  but has failed  so to appear:

You are hereby commanded to arrest the said ……………………………….. and bring him before me    at …………………………… without delay.



Judge (or Magistrate)




Section  317


and to the Superintendent of Prison: ……………………………

The   defendant ……………………………. was on the ……………  day of   …………………,  20 …………., sentenced as follows-


No Offence Term, Fine, Compensation, Cost, or Strokes Term in default





The defendant has made default in payment of the  above sum (or sums,  or  151  and 2nd  above named sums,  or as the case may be.]


The  imprisonment   is  to  commence  forthwith   [upon  the  expiration   of  any  other  term   of imprisonment which the defendant may be now serving]


The  terms  are  to  run  concurrent   [or  consecutive,   or  concurrent   as  to  the ……………… and ……………………,  and consecutive as to, or as the case may be.]


You are hereby commanded to take the said defendant and imprison him in accordance with the above sentence and the Law.


Dated the ………………………. day of. ……………………, 20 ……………



Judge (or Magistrate)




Section  245


In   the   Magistrate’s    Court of ………………………………. C.D. of ………………………………………… (address and occupation  or profession)  acknowledges  that  he/she  owes  to  the  Federal  Government the sum of …………………. payment thereof to be enforced  against him/her by due process of law if he/she fails to comply with the conditions  endorsed hereon.

Signature of C.D……………………………

Taken before me this……………… of…………..,  20……………….       .



Magistrate  (Judge)




The condition of this recognizance  is that whereas  AB (hereinafter  called  the  accused) was  this day charged before me (name  of Magistrate), the above-mentioned Magistrate, with (state  shortly particulars  of offence):


If therefore  the said  C.D.  appears  at the High  Court  of the  State  on a date  to be notified  to him later and there  gives evidence  upon  the trial  of any information against the  accused  and in  all respects  compiles  with  the  requirements of any notice which  he/she  may  subsequently  receive relating  to this  recognizance, then  this  recognizance shall  be void  but  otherwise  shall  remain in full force.




In  the  Magistrate’s   Court         of …………………………………………..


(address and occupation or profession)


Signature  of C.D………………………..

Taken  before me this ……………… day of. ……………………….. 20………









Whereas  AB  (hereinafter  called  the  defendant)  was  this  day  charged  before  me  (name  of Magistrate), the above-mentioned  Magistrate, with (state shortly particulars  of offence): and Whereas C.D has been informed that he/she is only conditionally bound  over to give evidence  at the trial  of AB but that, after receiving a notice that he/she will be required  to give evidence  at the said trial, he/she will then be firmly bound by the following conditions:


If therefore the said C.D. appears  at the High Court of ………………………. State  on a date to be notified to him/her later and there gives evidence upon the trial of any information against the defendant and  in  all respects compiles with the requirements of any  notice which he may subsequently receive  relating to this recognizance,  then this  recognizance shall  be void but otherwise shall remain in full force.



Notice to Witness that Defendant has not been Committed  for Trial

In the Magistrate’  court of  ………………………. were on the ………………….. day of ………………………. 20, ………………………. bound by recognizance  in the sum  of ………………………………. to  appear  on a date to be notified to you at the High Court of.                                            State and give evidence  upon the trial of AB:

This is to give you notice that the Magistrate has determined not to commit the said AB for trial and that consequently  you  will  not be required to appear  at the  High  Court  for  the  purpose above-mentioned.

Dated the……………………….day of. ………………………. ,20              .



Judge (or Magistrate)




Notice to Witness bound over that he is to be treated as having been bound over conditionally.

In the Magistrate’  court of. ………………………………………………

Whereas you, C.D of …………………………………….. were on the day of ………………………, 20 ………………………, bound  by  a recognizance   in the sum  of ……………………………….. to  appear at the High Court of ………………………….State  on a date to be notified  to you and there give, evidence upon the trial of A.B:


And  whereas  the  Magistrate  has  since   committed  the  said  A.B   for  trial   at  the  High   Court of …………………. State  and has directed  that  you  are to be treated  as  having been bound over to attend the trial  conditionally upon notice being  given to you:

This is to give you notice that you are not bound by the recognizance  entered  into  by  you  until and unless you subsequently receive  notice that you will be required  to give  evidence  at the trial of the accused A.B.


Dated the ……………. day of. …………………………., 20…………….



Judge (or Magistrate)






In the High/Magistrate’  court of..                                                                      .

Whereas    you    C.D    of ……………………………….    were    on the …………………………. day     of ………………………., 20 ………….. bound       over conditionally in the sum of  …………………………. …………………………. to appear upon  being given to you to give  evidence upon the trial  of A.B (or, whereas you  C.D were  given notice, after entering into  a recognizance to give  evidence  upon the trial  of A.B.,  that  you would  not be bound by such recognizance  until and unless  you subsequently  receive  notice  that you will  be required to  give  at the trial  of A.B):


This is  to  give  you notice  that  you  are required  to  appear  and  give  evidence at the  High  Court of …………………………. at the  trial  of A.B  on  the …………………………. (or  on  a date  to be subsequently notified)  and that unless  you do so the said recognizance will  be forthwith enforced against you.


Dated the………………………….day of………………………….,20               .




Registrar of High/Magistrate ‘s  Court






(Complete form in triplicate per individual)

To the: The Chief Judge of ………………………….and to the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The  Chief   Judge  of …………………………… ..  and  the  Attorney-General  of the

Federation  are hereby  informed  that  these  are the  records  of all persons awaiting trial  held  in   custody  within the Federal  Capital Territory/ the Federation  for  a period  beyond   180  days  from   the date of arraignment.

  1. Name of person in custody: ………………………….
         Insert passport  Photograph of Individual Awaiting Trial Person (ATP)
  1. Date of Arraignment. ………………………….
  2. Court where arraigned………………………….
  3. Particulars of the offence charged with: ………………………….


  1. Date of his Admission to custody: ………………………….


  1. Name of the Prosecuting Agency: ………………………….


  1. Any other relevant  information………………………….



Comptroller-General  of Prisons


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