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Know Your Rights Against the Police & in Court in Criminal Matters – 2016 Edition

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DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

 

Introduction

 

Chapters

  1. SECTION 36 OF THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
  1. Rights To Fair Hearing And Other Fundamental Rights
    1. The Administration Of Criminal Justice Act, 2015

 

  1. CATEGORIES OF OFFENCES
    1. Simple Offences  And Road Traffic Offences
    2. Misdemeanors
    3. Felony And Capital Offences

 

 

PART I: AT THE POLICE STATION

 

  1. POLICE INVITATION
    1. Right To Know What Offence You Are Accused Of
    2. Right To Make Your Defense And To Be Heard
    3. You Cannot Be Arrested For The Offence Of Another Person No Matter How Close He Is To You!
    4. Witnesses’ Statements To The Police
    5. Your Right To Write Your Statement Yourself In Response To Questions Asked By The IPO.
    6. Right Not To Make Statement Until You See Your Lawyer
    7. How To Write Your Statement
    8. You Must Sign Your Statement And Date It
    9. Confessional Statements
    10. Right Not To Be Tortured To Make Confessional Or Any Particular Statement
    11. Right Not To Make Statements Under Duress
    12. Constitutional Role Of The Police

 

  1. POLICE SEARCH
    1. Search Warrant
    2. Right To See And Read The Warrant
    3. Right To Search The Police Officers First Before The Search Is Conducted
    4. Incriminating Items Found In A Suspect’s House
    5. Police Confiscating Properties Not Related To The Alleged Crime
    6. Right To Retrieve Your Properties And Claim Damages.
  1. Search Of A Suspect Is Different From Search Of Premises

 

  1. POLICE BAIL AND DETENTION IN POLICE CELL
    1. You Are Entitled To Bail For All Offences
    2. Bail Is Free
    3. Reporting To The IPO After Release On Bail
    4. Right Not To Be Re-Arrested After Release On Bail
    5. Police Cases Do Not Die.
    6. Police Has The Right To Detain You
    7. Access To Your Lawyer, Doctor And Family Members While In Detention

 

  1. POLICE INTERVIEWS
    1. Your Right To State Your Version of The Matter
    2. You Are Entitled To State What You Want During The Interview
    3. You Cannot Be Forced To Make An Undertaking
    4. Your Right To Insist On Going To Court
    5. The Police Hierarchy

 

  1. UNLAWFUL/ILLEGAL DETENTION
    1. What Is Unlawful Detention?
    2. What Is Your Right If Unlawfully Detained?
    3. Police Misuse Of Power To Arrest And Detain
    4. Complainant Using Police Illegally For Personal Or Selfish Ends

 

  1. CATEGORIES OF CASES POLICE CANNOT ENTERTAIN
    1. Land Matters
    2. Landlord/Tenant Matters
    3. Civil Cases Like Loan Or Debt Recovery
    4. Divorce Or Child Custody Matters
    5. Inheritance Matters
    6. Chieftaincy Or Election Matters

 

  1. FREEDOM FROM POLICE TORTURE AND BRUTALITY
    1. Freedom From Beating, Long Detention, Threat, Harassments, Etc
    2. Police Use Of Handcuffs, Guns, Batons, Etc.
    3. You Must Honor Police Invitation
    4. Do Not Resist Police Arrest
    5. You Must Cooperate With The Police

 

 

PART II: IN THE COURT

  1. PRE-ARRAIGNMENT
    1. Your Right To Be Informed That You Are Being Charged To Court
    2. Your Right To Make Provisions For Your Defense
    3. Right To Get A Lawyer Of Your Choice
    4. A Suspect Cannot Be Chained Or Shackled Inside The Dock

 

  1. ARRAIGNMENT
    1. Types Of Court Where A Suspect Can Be Arraigned
    2. Officials Of Court
    3. Right To Be Informed By Court Of The Charges Against You
    4. Right To Understand The Charges Properly Before Being Asked To Respond
    5. Your Rights If You Have A Lawyer And If You Don’t
    6. Plea – Guilty Or Not Guilty?
    7.  If Guilty, Facts And Sentence. Allocutos.
    8. Court Bail:  If Not Guilty, Right To Bail
    9. Sureties And Bail Bonds
    10. Felony And Serious Offences Like Armed Robbery, Murder, etc. – No Pleas And Bail Except In The High Court.
    11. Role Of The Ministry Of Justice And The DPP

 

  1. ADJOURNMENTS AND APPEARANCES IN COURT.
    1. Accused Person Must Appear In Court Regularly And Promptly Until Case Is Disposed Off.
    2. Right Not Be Re-Arrested By Police On The Same Offence If Regularly Appearing In Court
    3. You Cannot Be Charged To Court Twice For The Same Offence
    4. You Cannot Be Tried For An Unknown Offence

 

  1. JUDGMENT, SENTENCE AND CONVICTION
    1. That The Accused Person Is GUILTY Of The Charge Against Him
    2. That the Accused Person is NOT GUILTY Of The Charge Against Him
    3.  That The Accused Person Is Guilty Of A Lesser Crime
    4. Effect Of Sentence And Conviction On The Records Of An Accused Person
    5. Persons Awaiting Trial Are Not Ex-Convict

 

  1. ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR – EFCC, ICPC AND THE LAW
    1. EFCC, ICPC, Others –  What Are Their Duties In Law In Corruption Cases?
    2. Before Court – Arrest, Investigations And Detention
    3. In Court – Arraignment, Trial And Judgment
    4. After Court – Effect Of Judgment

 

  1. HELP FOR POOR VICTIMS
    1. Office Of The Public Defender (OPD)
    2. The Ministry of Justice
    3. The National Human Rights Commission
    4. Legal Aid Council
    5. The Provost of Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force
    6. Human Rights Desk/Police Complaints Commission
    7. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

 

Appendix – The Police Act and List Of Offences Against Discipline By Policemen

Description

This book is one in the series under the Public Enlightenment Campaign Series (PECS) established primarily to educate the public on their basic rights.

Every citizen must have had a reason to visit the Police or relate with them at one time or the other before now. Even if not for himself, he must have done so on behalf of a family, friend, colleague or neighbor. And definitely, we would still have cause to interact with them in the future. What then are your rights when you or people around you have a case involving the Police?

This book is another eye-opener on your rights. I assure you that by the time you finish reading it, you would have become wiser and more knowledgeable about your rights a hundred fold more.

The book is a must keep and is recommended for all citizens.

 

 

 

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