Administration of Justice Commission Act – CAP. A 3 L.F.N. 2004 as repealed by Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
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.
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART 1 -PRELIMINARY
PART 2 -ARREST, BAIL AND PREVENTIVE JUSTICE
3. Arrest generally.
4. Mode of arrest.
5. No unnecessary restraint.
6. Notification of cause of arrest and rights of suspect.
7. Arrest in lieu prohibited.
8. Humane treatment of arrested suspect.
9. Search of arrested suspect.
10. Inventory of property of arrested suspect.
11. Examination of arrested suspect.
12. Search of place entered by suspect sought to be arrested.
13. Power to break out of a house or place for purpose of liberation.
14. Arrested suspect to be taken immediately to police station.
15. Recording of arrests.
16. Central Criminal Records Registry.
17. Recording of statement of suspects.
18. Arrest by police officer without warrant.
19. Refusal to give name and residence.
20. Arrest by private persons.
21. Arrest by owner of property.
23. Handing over of an arrested suspect by private person.
24. Offence committed in presence of Judge or Magistrate.
25. Arrest by Magistrate.
26. Arrest for offence committed in presence of Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace.
27. When public is bound to assist in arrest.
28. Pursuit of suspect into other jurisdictions.
29. Quarterly report of arrests to the Attorney-General.
30. Release on bail of a suspect arrested without warrant.
31. Power to release on bail before charge is accepted.
32. Remedy of suspect detained in custody.
33. Police to report to supervising Magistrates.
4. Chief Magistrate to visit police stations every month.
PART 3 - WARRA.NTS
35. General authority to issue warrant.
36. Form and requisites of warrant of arrest.
37. Warrant to be issued on complaint only if on oath.
38. Warrant may be issued on any day.
39. Warrant, to whom directed and duration.
40. Warrant of arrest may in exceptional cases be directed to other persons.
41. Public summons for person absconding.
42. Publication of public summons.
43. Execution of warrant and procedure.
44. Power to arrest on warrant but without-the warrant.
45. Court may direct particulars of security to be taken on execution of warrant.
46. Procedure on arrest of suspect outside division or district of court issuing warrant.
47. Warrant issued by the Federal High Court.
48. Re-arrest of suspect escaping.
49. Provisions of sections 12 and 13 to apply to arrests under section 48.
PART 4- PREVENTION OF OFFENCES AND SECURITY FOR GOOD BEHAVIOUR
50. Police to prevent offences and injury to public property.
51. Information of design to commit offence.
52. Arrest by police to prevent offences.
53. Prevention by other public officers of offences and injury to public property.
54. Power of Magistrate to require execution of recognizance for keeping peace
55. Security for good behaviour for suspected persons.
56. Security for good behaviour for habitual offenders.
57. Order to be made.
58. Procedure in respect of suspect present in court.
59. Summons or warrant in case of suspect not present.
60. Copy of order under section 59 to accompany summons or warrant.
61. Power to dispense with personal attendance.
62. Inquiry as to truth of information.
63. Order to give security.
64. Discharge of suspect informed against.
PART 5 - PROCEEDING IN ALL CASES SUBSEQUENT TO ORDER TO FURNISH SECURITY
65. Commencement of period for which security is required.
66. Conditions of recognizance.
67. Power to reject sureties.
68. Procedure on failure of suspect to give security.
69. Power to release suspect imprisoned for failure to give security.
70. Power of High Court to cancel recognizance.
71. Discharge of sureties.
PART 6- PUBLIC NUISANCE
72. Conditional order for removal of nuisance.
73. Service of order.
74. Suspect to whom order is addressed to obey or appear before court.
75. Consequences of failure to obey order or to appear.
76. Procedure where suspect appears.
77. Consequences of disobedience to order made absolute.
78. Order pending inquiry.
79. Prohibition of repetition or continuance of nuisance.
PART 7 - ATTACHMENT WHERE A PERSON DISOBEYS SUMMONS OR WARRANT
80. Attachment of property of suspect absconding.
81. Order to attach property.
82. Restoration of attached property.
83. Issue of warrant in lieu of or in addition to summons.
84. Power to take bond for appearance.
85. Provisions of this Part generally applicable to summons and warrant.
PART 8 - PROVISIONS RELATING TO CRIMINAL TRIALS AND INQUIRIES IN GENERAL
86. Application of Part 8.
87. General authority to bring suspect before a court.
88. Right of making complaint.
89. Form of complaint.
90 Form of documents in criminal proceedings.
91. Rule as to statement of exception.
92. Limitation of period for making a private complaint.
PART 9 - PLACE OF TRIAL OR INQUIRY
93. Venue generally.
94. Offence at sea or outside of Nigeria.
95. Offence committed on a journey.
96. Offence commenced and completed in different States.
97. Chief Judge to decide question as to court of inquiry or place of trial.
98. Chief Judge may transfer a case.
99. When cases may be remitted to another court.
100. Removal under warrant.
101. Transfer of case where cause of complaint has arisen out of jurisdiction of court.
102. Court may assume jurisdiction under certain conditions.
103. Assumption of jurisdiction after commencement of proceedings.
PART 10 -POWERS OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL
104. Information by the Attorney-General.
105. Issuance of legal advice and other directives to police.
106. Prosecution of offences.
PART II - CONTROL OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS BY THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL
107. Discontinuance of criminal cases.
108. Withdrawals from prosecution in trials and inquiries before a court.
PART 12 - INSTITUTION OF PROCEEDINGS
109. Different methods of instituting criminal proceedings.
110. Mode of instituting criminal proceedings in a Magistrate court.
111. Returns by Comptroller-General of Prisons.
PART 13 - FIRST INFORMATION REPORT
112. Procedure for receiving complaint and first information report.
PART 14-ENFORCING APPEARANCE OF SUSPECT
113. Compelling appearance of a suspect.
114. Summons and wan-ants.
115. Making of complaint and issue of process.
PART 15 - ISSUE, FORM AND SERVICE OF SUMMONS
116. Issue and service
117. Issue of summons and contents.
118. Hearing by consent before return date of summons.
119. Summons with immediate return date in special circumstances.
120. Discretion in ex parte application.
121. Summons to be in duplicate.
122. Service of summons.
123. Normal methods of effecting service,
124. Service where person summoned cannot be found.
125. Service on public officers.
126. Service outside jurisdiction of court.
127. Proof of service when serving officer not present .
128. Receipt of service of summons.
129. Person refusing to sign receip1 may be arrested.
130. Proof of service.
131. Summons disobeyed, warrant may be issued.
132. Issue of warrant for suspect in the first instance.
133. Application of sections 35 to 4 7 to such warrant.
134. Warrant may be issued before or after return date of summons.
135. Power to dispense with personal attendance of defendant in certain cases.
PART 16-MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS REGARDING PROCESS
136. Irregularity in summons, warrant, service, or arrest.
137. Irregularities which vitiate proceedings.
138. Variance between charge and complaint.
139. Process valid notwithstanding death or vacation of office of person issuing.
PART 17 - SAVING OF VALIDITY OF PROCESS
140. Validity of process: warrant of commitment and warrant of distress.
141. General addressee of process for issue and execution.
142. Certain provisions applicable to all summonses and warrants in criminal matters.
PART 18- SEARCH \VARRANTS
143. Application for search warrant
144. Cases in which search warrants may be issued.
145. Discharge of suspected person.
146. Search warrant to be signed by Magistrate or Justice of the Peace.
147. Search warrant to whom directed.
148. Time when search warrant may be issued and executed.
149. Person in charge of closed place to allow access.
150. Occupant of place searched may attend.
151. Execution of search warrant outside jurisdiction.
152. Magistrate may direct search in his presence.
153. Detention of articles recovered.
154. Perishable articles may be disposed of by court.
155. Search for and disposal of gunpowder.
156. Disposal of counterfeit currency and certain other thing.
157. Transmission to court of other State.
PART 19 - BAIL AND RECOGNIZANCE: GENERALLY
158. General entitlement to bail.
159. Power of court to order person in custody to be brought before it.
160. Recognizance by parent or guardian of a child.
161. Bail where a suspect is charged with capital offence.
162. Bail where a defendant is charged with offence exceeding three years imprisonment. l
163. Bail where a defendant is charged with offence not exceeding three years imprisonment.
164. Bail in respect of matters in other offences.
165. Conditions for bail.
166. Recognizance in respect of a child.
168. Judge may vary bail fixed by Magistrate or police.
169. Reconsideration of bail.
170. Before whom recognizance may be executed.
171. Release on execution of recognizance.
172. Mode of entering into recognizance.
173. Continuous bail.
174. Defendant bound by recognizance to appear before a court or police may be committed to prison.
175. Reconsideration of amount of bail on application by law officer or police.
176. Variation of a recognizance if surety unsuitable.
177. Discharge of sureties.
178. Order of fresh security upon original order.
179. Forfeiture of recognizance.
180. Mitigation of forfeiture.
181. Where defendant fails to find surety.
182. Forfeiture on conviction.
183. Where recognizance forfeited warrant may be issued.
184. Arrest on failure to appear.
185. Payment on recognizance.
187. Registration of bondsperson.
188. Bondspersons may arrest absconding defendant or suspect.
PART 20--PROPERTY AND PERSONS
189. Methods of stating multiple ownership of property.
190. Description of persons in criminal process.
191. Remedies of married woman against her husband and others in respect of her person or property.
192. Husband and wife competent as witnesses.
PART21 - THE CHARGE
193. Forms of charges in Second Schedule to be used and adapted.
194. Offence to be stated in charge.
195. Legal presumption of charge.
196. Particulars in charge.
197. Charge of criminal breach of trust.
198. Charge of criminal falsification of accounts.
199. Charge may contain the manner in which the offence was committed.
200. Sense of words used in charge.
201. Description of property and joint owners.
202. Description of bank or currency notes.
203. Provision as to statutory offences.
204. Description of persons.
205. Description of document.
206. General rule as to description.
207. Statement of intent.
208. Defendants who may be charged jointly.
209. Separate charges for distinct offences.
210. Attempt same as substantive offences.
211. Trial for more than one offence.
212. Offences falling within two definitions.
213. Acts constituting one offence but constituting a different offence when combined.
214. Where it is doubtful which offence has been committed.
215. Incidental offences in the same transaction.
PART 22 - ALTERATION OR AMENDMENT OF CHARGES
216. Alteration and amendment of charge by permission of court.
217. Procedure on alteration of charge.
218. When court may proceed with trial immediately after altering, adding to or framing charge.
219. Recall of witnesses when charge is revised.
220. Effect of error.
221. Objection to a charge.
222. Effect of material error.
PART 23 - CONVICTION WHEN CHARGED WITH ONE OF SEVERAL OFFENCES OR OF ANOTHER OFFENCE
223. Where defendant charged with one offence may be convicted of another.
224. Full offence charged, attempt proved.
225. Attempt charged, full offence proved.
226. Liability as to further prosecution.
227. On charge of an offence conviction as accessory after the fact to that or connected offence may follow.
228. Defendant tried for lesser offence but a higher offence is proved.
229. Conviction of kindred offences relating to property.
230. Defendant charged with burglary may be convicted of kindred offence.
231. On charge of rape conviction under defilement, incest, unnatural or indecent assault may follow.
232. Procedure for trial on charge for certain offences.
233. On charge of defilement conviction of indecent assault may follow.
234. Where murder or infanticide is charged and concealment of birth is proved
235. Where murder is charged and infanticide is proved.
236. Where offence proved is not included in offence charged.
237. Withdrawal of remaining charges on conviction or, one of several charges.
PART 24 - PREVIOUS ACQUITTALS OR CONVICTION
238. Defendant convicted or acquitted not to be tried again for same or kindred offence.
239. A defendant may be tried again on separate charge in certain cases
240. Consequences supervening or not known at previous trial.
PART 25 - WITNESSES: COMPELLING ATTENDANCE AND TAKING OF OATH OR MAKING OF AFFIRMATION
241. Issue of summons for witness.
242. Service of summons and other processes on witnesses
243. Warrant for witness after summons.
244. Issue of warrant for witness.
245. Mode of dealing with witness arrested under warrant.
246. Penalty on witnesses refusing to attend.
247. Non-attendance of witness on adjourned hearing.
248. Persons in court may be required to give evidence though summoned.
249. Manner of taking oath or affirmation.
250. Witness refusing to be sworn, or produce documents.
PART 26 - WITNESSES: EXPENSES
251. 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.
PART 27 -EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
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.
PART 28- PLEA BARGAIN AND PLEA GENERALLY
270 Plea bargain guidelines.
271 Plea to information or charge.
272 Proof of previous conviction.
273. Effect of plea of not guilty.
274. Effect of plea of guilty.
275. Amending charge where defendant pleads guilty to offence not charged.
276. Failure to plead due to malice or otherwise.
277. Pleas: autrefois acquit or convict, pardon.
PART 29 - PERSONS OF UNSOUND MIND
278. Procedure when defendant is suspected to be of unsound min
279. Report from medical officer.
280. Certificate of medical officer. -.
281. Release of defendant of unsound mind pending investigation or trial.
282. Resumption of proceedings or trial.
283. Resumption of proceedings after release under section 281.
284. Where defendant appears to have been of unsound mind.
285. Safe custody of defendant discharged.
286. Order of the Attorney-General in pursuance to section 285.
287. Observation of prisoners of unsound mind. .
288. Procedure when defendant of unsound mind is reported to be able to make his defence.
289. Procedure where defendant of unsound mind is reported fit for discharge.
290. Transfer from one place of custody to another.
291. Delivery of defendant of unsound mind to care of relative.
292. Removal to another State.
PART 30- DETENTION TIME LIMITS
293. Applications for remand or other interlocutory proceedings.
294. A court may remand in prison custody.
295. Court may grant bail in remand proceedings.
296. Time and protocol for remand orders.
297. When court may exercise power of remand.
298. Court may bring up person remanded or make any order during remand.
299. Place of remand.
PART 31 - PRESENTATION OF CASE BY PROSECUTION AND DEFENCEAND CONCLUSION OF TRIAL
300. Presentation of case for prosecution.
301. Defendant's case.
302. No case submission at the instance of the court.
303. No case submission by the defence and replies.
304. Defence and prosecutor's right of reply,
305. Reference to the Court of Appeal.
306. Stay of proceedings.
307. Consideration of case by court and announcement of finding.
308. Judgment to be in writing.
309. Defendant to be discharged where found not guilty.
310. Procedure on finding of guilty.
311. Sentence and sentencing hearing.
312. Recommendation for mercy.
313. Conviction on other charges pending.
314. Compensation to victim in judgment.
315. Delivery of judgment when Judge or Magistrate is unavoidably absent.
316. Warrant of commitment.
317. Authority for carrying out sentence other than of death.
318. Error or omission not to affect legality of act.
PART 32- COSTS, COMPENSATION, DAMAGES AND RESTITUTION
319. Power of court to order payment of expenses or compensation
320. Payment to be taken into consideration in subsequent civil suit.
321. Power of court to order restitution.
322. Cost against private prosecutor.
323. Compensation in cases of false and vexatious accusation .
324. Injured person may refuse to accept compensation, but payment of compensation is bar to further liability.
325. Monies paid as compensation, recoverable as fines .
326. Warrant for levy of fine.
327. Powers of court when convict is sentenced to only fine.
328. Wrongful conversion or detention of property and award of damages.
PART 33 - CUSTODY, DISPOSAL RESTORATION OF PROPERTY
329. Meaning of "property".
330. Order for custody and disposal of property pending trial
331. Order for disposal of property after trial.
332. Custody or sale of property .
PART 34 - SEIZURE, FORFEITURE, CONFISCATION AND DESTRUCTION OF INSTRUMENTALITY OF CRIME
333. Seizure of things intended to be used in commission of crime.
334. Destruction of seditious, prohibited or obscene publications and of obscene objects.
335. Search warrant may be used to search for things subject to section 333 or 334.
336. Restoration of possession of immovable property.
337. Procedure on seizure of property taken during arrest or investigation or stolen
338. Procedure where owner of property seized is unknown.
339. Power to sell perishable property.
340. Payment to innocent person of money found on defendant .
341. Restitution and disposition of property found on defendant.
342. Restitution of stolen property .
343. Destruction of articles relating to counterfeiting where charge is laid.
344 Destruction of articles relating to counterfeiting where no charge is laid.
345. Detention and destruction of counterfeit currency, etc.
346. Mode of dealing with forfeiture not pecuniary.
PART 35 - SUMMARY PROCEDURE IN PERJURY
347. Summary procedure in perjury.
PART 36 - TRIALS AND SUMMARY TRIALS GENERALLY
349. Non-appearance and non-representation of legal practitioner.
350. When summary trials shall be held.
351. Non-appearance of complainant.
352. Non-appearance of defendant.
353. Non-appearance of both parties.
354. Appearance of both parties.
355. Withdrawal of complaint.
356. Manner of hearing.
357. Discharge of defendant when no case to answer.
359. Process for compelling production of evidence at instance of defendant.
360. Saving as to section 358 (a).
361. Evidence in reply.
362. Power to take deposition in certain cases.
363. When statement may be used in evidence.
364. Notes of evidence to be recorded electronically or in writing.
365. Local inspection.
366. Cross complaints.
367. Joinder of complaints.
368. Giving of decision upon conclusion of hearing.
369. Power to bind parties to be of good behavior.
370. Effect of judgment of dismissal on merits, not on merits and without prejudice.
371. Summary trial of child by Magistrate.
372. Power to remand.
373. Law officer may require case to be adjourned or dealt with specially.
374. Adjournment for law officer's decision.
375. Security for peace in cases tried summarily.
376. Case files, legal advice, and related proceedings.
PART 37 - TRIALS BY WAY OF INFORMATION
377. Form of information
378. Contents of information.
379. Contents of information, proof of evidence, etc.
380. Application of rules relating to charges.
381. Filing of information,
382. Assignment of information and issuance of notice of trial.
383. Information by private person.
384. Conditions for private prosecutors.
386. Change of venue.
387. Effect-of change of venue.
388. Form of notice of trial.
389. Copy of information and notice of trial to be delivered to Sheriff.
390. Time and mode of summoning parties on information.
391. Service of notice of trial on witnesses.
392. Registered courier companies may serve processes.
393. Return of service.
394. Warrant where defendant does not appear.
395. Law officer or legal practitioner for State and defence in capital cases.
396. Time for raising certain objections, day-to-day trial and adjournments.
397. Attendance of witness bound by recognizance to attend.
398. Warrant for arrest of witness not attending on recognizance.
399. Warrant for arrest of witness disobeying summons,
400. Fine for non-attendance of witness.
PART 38 - PROVISIONS RELATING TO SENTENCE OF DEATH
401. Construction of provisions relating to punishments.
403. How death sentence is to be carried out.
404. Sentencing in the case of pregnancy.
405. Sentencing in the case of a child offender.
406. Authority for detention of convict.
407. Judge's certificate of death sentence to be sufficient and full authority for execution of convict, unless be is pardoned or reprieved.
408. Steps to be taken by the Registrar.
409. Convict may send request to committee on prerogative of mercy.
410. State at which President is to consider report.
411. Where a pardon or reprieve is granted.
412. Copy of order to be sent to Judge.
413. Where pardon or reprieve is not granted.
414. Copy of order to be sent to prison official.
PART 39 - PROCEDURE WHERE WOMAN CONVICTED OF CAPITAL OFFENCE IS ALLEGED TO BE PREGNANT
415. Procedure where woman convicted of capital offence is alleged to be pregnant or who becomes pregnant.
PART 40 - SENTENCING GENERALLY OTHER THAN CAPITAL SENTENCE
416. Court to determine term of imprisonment.
417. Power to order detention for one day in precincts of the court.
418. Consecutive sentence of imprisonment.
419. Date from which sentence commences.
420. Default in payment of fine.
421. Execution of sentence on escaped convict
422. Fine in default of imprisonment
423. General provision on review of sums of amount.
424. General power of awarding imprisonment in default of payment of penalty.
425. Scale of imprisonment for non-payment of money ordered to be paid.
426. Limitation of imprisonment in default of payment of fine.
427. Payment and allocation of fines and fees.
428. Power to commit defendant in certain cases.
429. Allowance of further time and payment by instalments.
430. Payment of penalty to person executing warrant.
431. Commencement of imprisonment pursuant to a warrant.
432. Varying or discharging order for sureties.
433. Right of person imprisoned in default to be released on paying sum and effect of part payment.
234. Fines may be ordered to be recoverable by distress.
435. Warrant of distress.
436 Procedure on the execution of distress warrant.
437. Part payment to reduce period of imprisonment in proportion.
PART 41 - DETENTION IN A SAFE CUSTODY OR SUITABLE PLACE OTHER THAN PRJSON OR MENTAL HEALTH ASYLUM
438. Conditions attached to detention in a safe custody or suitable place other than prison or mental asylum
PART 42- DEPORTATION
439. Meaning of "deport"
440. Court may recommend deportation for offences punishable by imprisonment without option.
441. Deportation in default of security for the peace.
442. Deportation in case of dangerous conduct.
443. Procedure prior to court recommending deportation under sections 441 and 442.
444. Procedure for recommendation of deportation under sections 441, 442 and 443.
445. Detention of person concerned.
446. Order of deportation.
447. Minister of Interior may withhold Order and remit case to court.
448. Citizens of Nigeria not be deported.
449. Provisions as to. sentence of deportation.
450. Deportation order may be limited.
451 Execution of deportation order.
PART 43 - CHILD OFFENDERS
452. Procedure for trying child offenders.
PART 44 -PROBATION AND NON-CUSTODIAL ALTERNATIVES
453. Meaning of probation order.
454. Conditional release of defendant and payment of compensation for loss or injury and of costs.
455. Probation orders and conditions of recognizance.
456. Relieving probation officer of his duties.
457. Duties of probation officers.
458. Variation of terms and conditions of probation.
459. Provisions in case of convict failing to observe conditions of release.
460. Suspended sentence and community service.
461. Arrangements for community service.
462. Performance of community service order.
463. Default of convict in complying with community service order.
464. Commission of further offence.
465. Amendment, review and discharge of community service orders.
466. Discharge of community service orders.
467. Confinement in rehabilitation and correctional centre.
468 Court may direct release of prisoner before completion of sentence.
PART 46 - THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE MONITORING COMMITTEE
469. Establishment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee.
470. Functions of the Committee.
471. Secretariat of the Committee.
472. Fund of the Committee.
473. Annual estimates and accounts.
474. Annual report.
475. Power to obtain information.
476. Proceedings and quorum of the Committee.
PART 47 - TRIAL OF CORPORATION
477. Interpretation under this Part.
478. Plea by corporation.
479. Information against a corporation.
480. Joinder of counts in same information.
481. Power of representative.
482. Matters to be read, said or explained to representative.
483. Non-appearance of representative.
484. Saving under this Part and joint charge against corporation and individual.
PART 48 -APPEAL FROM MAGISTRATE COURTS TO HIGH COURTS
485. Appeals from magistrate courts.
PART 49 - FEES AND MISCELLAJ\.TEOUS PROVISIONS
486. Payment of fees.
487. Suspension of payment of fees.
488. State not required to pay fees.
489. Use of forms in Schedules.
490. Power to make rules of Court.
492. Saving as to other forms and procedure.
ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 2015
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:
PART 1- PRELIMINARY
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.
PART 2 -ARREST, BAIL AND PREVENTIVE JUSTICE
3. 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.
4. 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
5. 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
6. (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
7. A person shall not be arrested in place of a suspect.
Humane treatment of arrested suspect
8. (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
9. (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
11. 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
13. 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
16. (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
20. 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
21. 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
22. A private person may arrest any suspect found damaging public property.
Handing over of an arrested suspect by private person
23. (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
24. 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
26. 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
27. 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
28. 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.
PART 3 - WARRANTS
General Authority to issues Warrant
35. 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
36. (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
37. 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
38. 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
41. 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
42. (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
43. (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
44. 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
47. (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
48. 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
49. 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.
PART 4 - PREVENTION OF OFFENCES AND SECURITY FOR GOOD BEHAVIOUR
Police to Prevent Offences and Injury to Public Property
50. (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
51. 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
52. 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
53. (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
54. (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
55. 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
56. 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
57. 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
58. 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
60. 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
61. 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
64. 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.
PART 5 - PROCEEDING IN ALL CASES SUBSEQUENT TO ORDER TO FURNISH SECURITY
Commencement of period for which security is required
65. (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
66. 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
67. 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
68. 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
69. 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
70. 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.
PART 6 - PUBLIC NUISANCE
Conditional order for removal of nuisance
72. 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
73. (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
74. 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
75. 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
77. 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
79. 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.
PART 7- ATTACHMENT WHERE A PERSON DISOBEYS SUMMONS OR WARRANT
Attachment of Property of suspect absconding
80. 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
83. (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
84. 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
85. 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.
PART 8 - PROVISIONS RELATING TO CRIMINAL TRIALS AND INQUIRIES IN GENERAL
Application of Part 8
86. 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
87. 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
88. (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
90. 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
91. 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
92. 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.
PART 9 - PLACE OF TRIAL OR INQUIRY
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
94. 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
95. 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
96. 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
97. 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
99. 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
101. 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
103. 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.
PART 10 - POWERS OF THE ATTOMTEY-GENERAL
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
106. 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.
PART 11 - CONTROL OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS BY THE ATTORNEY---GENERAL
Discontinuance of Criminal cases
107. (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.
PART 12 - INSTITUTION OF PROCEEDINGS
Different methods of instituting criminal proceedings
109. 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
110. (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.
PART 13 - FIRST INFORMATION REPORT
Procedure for receiving complaint and first information report
112. (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.
PART 14 - ENFORCING APPEARANCE OF SUSPECT
Compelling appearance of a suspect
113. 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
114. 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.
PART 15 - ISSUE, FORM AND SERVICE OF SUMMONS
Issue and service
116. A summons may be issued or served on any day, including a Sunday or public holiday.
Issue of summons and its contents
117. 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
118. 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
119. 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
120. 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
121. 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
122. 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
123. 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
124. 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
125. (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
126. 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
127. 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
128. (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
129. 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
130. 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
131. 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
132. 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
133. 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
134. 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
135. (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.
PART 16 - MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS REGARDING PROCESS
Irregularities in summons, warrant, service or arrest
136. 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
137. 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
138. 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
139. 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.
PART 17 -SAVING OF VALIDITY OF PROCESS
Validity of process warrant of commitment and warrant of distress.
140. (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
142. 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.
PART 18 - SEARCH WARRANTS
Application for search warrant
143. 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
145. 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
147. 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
148. 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
149. (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
150. 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
151. 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
152. 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
153. (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
154. 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
155. 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
156. 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
157. 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.
PART 19-BAIL AND RECOGNIZANCES: GENERALLY
General entitlement to bail
158. 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
160. (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