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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 A 3 L.F.N. 2004 as repealed by Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.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.




1.     Purpose.

2.     Application.



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.


22.    Arrest of suspect doing damage to public 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.



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.



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.



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.



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.                                                                                                          



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.



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.



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.



104.  Information by the Attorney-General.

105.  Issuance of legal  advice  and other directives to police.

106.  Prosecution  of offences.



107.  Discontinuance of criminal  cases.

108.  Withdrawals  from prosecution in trials  and inquiries  before a court.



109.  Different methods  of instituting criminal proceedings.

110.  Mode of instituting  criminal proceedings  in  a Magistrate court.

111.  Returns by Comptroller-General of Prisons.



112.  Procedure  for receiving complaint  and first information report.



113.  Compelling  appearance of a suspect.

114.  Summons  and wan-ants.

115.  Making  of complaint and issue of process.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.

167.  Sureties.

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.

186.  Appeal.

187.  Registration of bondsperson.

188.  Bondspersons may arrest absconding defendant  or suspect.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.  



255   Application of the Evidence  Act.   

256   Power to call or recall witnesses.   

257   Certificates of certain government technical  officers.      

258   Right of reply.    

259   Public to have access to hearing.  

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

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

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

263   Visit by court to locus. 

264   Determination  of age.

265   Age in relation to offences.  

266   Presence of defendant at trial.      

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

268   General control of prosecution by the Attorney-General.   

269   Position in court of person  summoned.  



270   Plea bargain guidelines.       

271   Plea to information or charge.      

272   Proof of previous conviction.

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.     



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.



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.        



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.



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.



347.  Summary procedure  in perjury.



348.  Trials.

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.

358.  Defence.                                                                                                                                                                      

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.



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.

385.  Venue.

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.



401.  Construction of provisions relating to punishments.

402.  Death.

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.



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



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.



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



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.



452.  Procedure  for trying child offenders.



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.



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.



485.  Appeals from magistrate  courts.



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.

491.  Non-compliance.

492.  Saving as to other forms  and procedure.

493.  Repeals.

494.  Interpretation.

495.  Citation.




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




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





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


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



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


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



Arrest  generally.

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.



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.



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.



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.



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.




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.



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.     



Venue generally

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

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

(b)    the consequence of the offence has ensued;

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

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


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


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


Offence at sea of outside of Nigeria

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.



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.



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.



 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.



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.



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.




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.



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.



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.




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.



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