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Constitutional Rights Of The Accused

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Many are not aware of their rights as accused persons. The constitutional rights of an accused is enshrined in Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. Such rights include:
The right to be informed promptly in the language that he understands and the nature of the offence.
The right to be given adequate time to prepare his defence. In Ugwu V. State Sc 220/197 it was said that the opportunity to defend an allegation is an cardinal rule of fair hearing and an accused charged with an offence has the right to present his defence. It is the fundamental of fair hearing that the accused person must be given adequate time and facility.
Right to defend himself in person or by legal practitioner of his own choice, an accused person has the right to lawyer to defend his case at his expense. The state will only provide a lawyer where it is impossible for the accused to afford a lawyers. In cases of capital offence a lawyer will be awarded him to defend his case.
An accused person is entitled to an interpreter free of charge if he does not understand the language of the court. In the case of Uwaekweghinya V. State Sc. 55/2004, the supreme court per Datiru Musdapher JSC said Non by the provision of section 36(6) (e) of the 1999 constitution, the law requires that there shall be adequate interpretation to the accused person of anything said in a language which he does not understand. The right of an accused to an interpreter cannot be raised in an appeal unless he claimed the right during his trial and was denied it.
Right to presumption of innocence. Every person charged with in offence should be pressured innocent unitil proven unity. The accused person has no duty to prove his innocent, it is the sole duty of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Right to remain silent. An accused has a right to remain silent unity after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his choice, neither is he bound to say anything before or during trial.
Right to bail, an accused person is entitled to bail as guaranteed by section 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. No police station has the right to detain an accused person for over 24 hours without arraignment or presenting them before a magistrate. The law provides that in the case when it is impossible to arraign the accused person within 48 hours arraign the accused peson or release him on bail. The only exception to this, is an accused suspected of committing a capital offence such as murder.
Right to fair hearing. The accused person must be given easy access to court. The right to fair hearing is described as an extreme fundamental right in the constitution and the breach thing has its implication on the proceedings.
The right to have record of proceedings kept and the right to have copies of it within seven days of the conclusion of the case.
All these rights are aimed at ensuring that an accused person is not unjustly dealt with.

 

Nkechi Bright Ewere

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Law/Judiciary

Wike’s Tribunal Victory Excites Monarch

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The  election tribunal  Victory of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike last Saturday has been described as the victory of Rivers people.
The General Secretary, Association of Niger Delta Monarchs Of Nigeria (ANDMON), King Leslie Eke said this when he spoke with newsmen recently in his palace at Woji Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
King Eke said that the victory had vindicated the Governor and the entire Rivers people.
The ANDMON scribe, who is the Nyerisi Eli Woji and  Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, pointed out that the tribunal had once shown that the court was the last hope of the common man.
The  Eze Gbakagbaka,  opined that the judgement of the tribunal, further pointed to the fact that the Governor was God-sent.
“Congratulations  Your Excellency . You are  God sent as I always say. The taste of the pudding is in the eating”, he said.
He maintained that the tribunal would not have done otherwise considering the level of support given to the Governor by the people.
“God  has ultimately vindicated you and the victory He gave you Sir. The tribunal actually did the needful, because the people gave you both their votes and support “, he added.
The Eze Woji, further stressed that his support for the state Governor would not go down, no matter the intrusion of those he described as detractors.
According to him, Governor Wike’s  name  would ever remain in the sands of history of  state and the country due to his contributions to democracy and good governance.
On the purchase of 45 percent interest share of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Oil Mining Lease 11 (OML11), at Ejama , Ebubu Community in Eleme Local Government by the Governor, he said it was a welcomed development.
He said the purchase, would not only increase the revenue base of the state, but would also tackle the issue of unemployment.
According to him, it will only take those with bold spirit to plan and strategically position the state for economic viability.
It will be recalled that the purchase of the OML 11 and the tribunal victory came shortly after the meritorious 100 days in office celebration of the second tenure in office of Governor Nyesom Wike.

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Soldiers Rescue Kidnapped Boko Haram Victims In N’East …Raid Kidnappers’ Den In Rivers

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The Nigerian Army has said that its troops have rescued some Boko Haram kidnapped victims in the  North East and raided kidnappers’ den in Rivers State where some suspects were also arrested.
This was contained in a statement issued by the  Army Operations Media Coordinator, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu which was made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, Monday.
The statement, pointed out that the move, was part of the drive by the Nigerian Army to clear marauding     criminal insurgents and other unscrupulous elements in the country.
The feat, it revealed, was recorded from Operation Lafiya Dole and other theatres of operations nationwide, troops of 151 insurgents.
“This rescue operation occurred at about 12:20 pm on 4 October, 2019 when the said troops, while acting on  information volunteered by some patriotic indigenes, blocked and engaged the criminal insurgents in a fierce fire fight at a crossing point around Firgi village in Bama LGA of Borno State”, it added.
Iliyasu in the statement, explained that the operation, also led  to the rescue of the civilians and a Canter truck loaded with grains.
It further hinted that the criminal insurgents, succumbed to the superior fire power of the troops, abandoned the hijacked truck and its occupants and fled into the forest. “The gallant troops are still on the trail of the criminal insurgents while the rescued victims have been escorted safely, back to their destination”. Troops continue to dominate the area and deny the criminal elements freedom of action within the entire Theatre of operation”, it stressed.
Similarly, it was learnt that the of troops of 114 Task Force Battalion, last Saturday, while on its clearance operations, discovered two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by criminal insurgents at Bitta – Yamteke Road, and added that the devices were successfully detonated by the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, thus making the route safe again for commuters.
In the same vein, troops of Operation MESA, as the statement further noted,  raided the criminal hideouts of some identified kidnap kingpins in Rivers State.
It was revealed that the suspected kidnappers who had been terrorising innocent citizens met their waterloo  when troops of 29 Battalion simultaneously raided the said  criminal hideouts in Obio/Akpor, Tai and Gokana Local Government Areas on 2nd October 2019.
According to the Army statement, the operation led to the arrest of  four high profile criminals which included DUMBARI Bro from B-Dere community, Victor Dokara from K-Dere community, Gbaraco Kaviloba from Lewe and Confidence Friday from Bodo community.  It informed that the suspects were undergoing interrogations and would soon be handed over to the appropriate Security Agency for prosecution.
Meanwhile, the statement, had on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, appealed to the general public to support the Nigerian Army’s resolve to completely rid their communities of criminal elements by providing useful information to effectively tackle the myriad  of the security challenges facing the nation.

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Motorcycle Theft: Man To Spend Six Months In Correctional Centre

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A Sharia Court ll, sitting in Magajin Gari, Kaduna, yesterday sentenced a bricklayer, Benjamin Ayuba, 25, to six months in correctional centre for stealing a motorcycle.
The Judge, Murtala Nasir, however gave the convict an option of N6,000 fine and also ordered him to pay N5,000 as compensation.
In his plea, the defendant, Ayuba, told the court that the motorcycle belonged to a church not the complainant.
Earlier, the police prosecutor, Sgt. Aliyu Ibrahim, told the court that on Sept. 30, at about 10:00am one Caleb Shittu of Mando, Kaduna, reported the case at the Kurmin Mashi police division.
He said that the complainant told the police that he parked his boxer motorcycle valued at N75,000 at about 2pm in front of his house at Mando, Kaduna, but was stolen few minutes after.
“During police investigation, the motorcycle was found in the possession of the accused and he confessed to have committed the crime,” the prosecutor told the court.
He said that the motorcycle was retrieved from the accused and released to the owner.
Ibrahim said the offense is punishable under section 139 of Kaduna State Sharia Law, 2002.
“We pray the court to sanction him accordingly and to order him pay us N5,000 as compensation”, he said.

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