IRREGULARITIES IN THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE OF NORTHERN STATES OF NIGERIA:- A CRITICAL APPRAISAL.
This thesis gives an account of the Law and Irregularities in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Northern States of Nigeria. Most of the irregularities were found to have been committed by the courts of inferior records, most especially the Area Courts and Magistrates’ Courts. The study was undertaken with a view to highlighting the irregularities that vitiate the proceedings of the courts and those that are inconsequential. It is hoped that this study will be of use to all those involved in the trial in the inferior courts in Nigeria. It may also benefit those members of the general public who are interested in knowing as to whether every irregularity or error in proceedings, that justifies the reversal of a judgment or not. Chapter 1 deals with the general introduction, meaning of criminal procedure, objective of research and the definition and effect of irregularity in a criminal proceeding. Chapter 2 examines classification of irregularities namely, mere and fundamental irregularities in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Northern States of Nigeria and fundamental irregularities under the 1979 constitution. Chapter 3 examines irregularities in Arrest and Search, namely,. Definition of Arrest, Constitutional Provision for Arrest, Ground of Arrest, Manner of Arrest, Arrest with or without Warrant, Person who can Effect vii Arrest, Effect of Irregularities in Arrest, Remedies Available to illegally arrested person. It also discusses extensively irregularities in search and seizure, namely, search with warrant wrongly obtained, search without warrant, search under a valid warrant but in an unlawful manner, search of person upon Arrest, Search of Premises, Rules Relating to Search and Effect of Irregularities in Search. Chapter 4 analyses irregularities in trial, namely production of the accused person and evidence before the court. It also evaluates irregularities in a charge, namely, definition of a charge, formal charge, Informal Charge and effect of Irregularities in the charge. Chapter 5 considers irregularities in Judgement and sentence, namely, Nature of Judgement, Judgement and Failure of Justice test, effect of irregularities in Judgement. It also discuss the irregularity in sentencing, namely, definition of sentencing, limitation on sentencing powers and some procedural factors considered in sentencing. Chapter 6 draws certain summary and conclusions from the study and offers some suggestions as guide to courts and law enforcement agents against committing further irregularities in criminal trials.