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Fair Hearing

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Fair hearing is a trial conducted according to
all legal rules formulated to ensure that justice is done to the parties. It also entails doings in the course of trials, whether civil or criminal trial, all the things which will make an impartial observe, leave the court room to believe that the trial has been balanced and fair on both sides to the trial. An appellant’s right to fair hearing has been given a wider scope by the provisions of section 36 (6) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides thus; Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to:
a) Be informed promptly in the language that he understands and in detail of the nature of the offence.
b) Be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence.
c) Defend himself in person or by legal practitioners of his own choice
d) Examine, in person or by his legal practitioners, the witnesses called by the prosecution before any court or tribunal and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court or tribunal on the same conditions as those apply to the witnesses called by the prosecution, and
e) Have, without payment the assistant of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the offence.
In the case of Alhaji Isiyaku Mohamm v. Kano Nature Authority (1968) I All NLR 424 at 426, Ademola CJN stated as follow;
“It has been suggested that a fair hearing does not mean a fair trial. We think a fair hearing must involve a fair trial, and a fair trial of a case consists of the whole hearing. The true test of a fair hearing, it was suggested by counsel, is the impression of a reasonably person who was present at the trial whether from is observation, justice has been due in the case…”
The Supreme Court in the case of Effion v. State 91995) NWLR (pt 373) 507.
It prescribed the essential elements of fair hearing as follows: easy access to court, right to be heard, impartiality of adjudicating process, principles of Nemo judex incausa suo and whether there is inordinate delay in delivery of judgment. The principles of fair hearing is also understood in terms of the twin pillars of natural justice, that audi alteram paterm and nemo judex in causa sua. Fair hearing lies in the procedure followed in a particular case and not in the correctness of the decision. Once a party alleges non-observance of the principle of fair hearing and the court establishes it, the proceedings will be vitiated notwithstanding that there was no miscarriage of justice. See Dinyadi v. INEC (No. 1) (2010)18 NWLR (pt 1224)

 

Nkechi Bright-Ewere

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Law/Judiciary

Five Feared Killed In Fresh Kaduna Attack

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A Sunday evening attack by gunmen on Unguwan Magaj community in Kauru Local Council of Kaduna State may have left four indigenes dead and 36 homes torched.
But the bravery of the youths reportedly led to the death of one of the attackers and confiscation of his handset.
Useful information was said to have been retrieved from the phone that had allegedly been handed over to the police.
In a statement yesterday, the National Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Biniyat, said: “The invaders, who came by 6:45 pm yesterday (Sunday) from behind the hills that serve as the boundary of Kaduna State and Ganawuri, Plateau State, were numbered over a 100.
“They attacked from four flanks, causing pandemonium among unsuspecting villagers as the youths tried to fend them off.”
He continued: “After about 30 minutes of violence, the following were unfortunately killed: Mrs Hanatu Joseph, 58, mother of five children; Mrs Sarah Sunday, 40, she left behind her husband and six children.
“The others are: Mrs Dije Sajay, 55, married with six children; and Mr Sunday David, 47, married with seven children. He was a retrenched civil servant.”
He noted: “The attackers targeted food stores and bans of grains, making sure they burnt as much as they could. This is to ostensibly cause starvation, especially under this lockdown from the Coronavirus.
“Police and soldiers came into Unguwan Magaji only this morning (yesterday) around 9 am and saw the corpse of the dead herdsman, which they later took away.”
Besides, Biniyat said: “Early this month yesterday, Ibrahim Atiga, 42, a native of Unguwan Magaji, was killed by herdsmen on his way to the farm. He has since been buried.”

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COVID-19: Nigerian Correctional Service Receives 2nd Batch Of PPE

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The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Lagos State Command, yesterday said the state government had released the second batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the service.
The Spokesman of the command, Supt. Rotimi Oladoku, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
The Tide reports that the items donated were hand gloves, face marks, inferred thermometers and sanitisers.
Oladokun said the gesture was part of the preventive measures taken by the state government, especially at custodial centers, to contain the spread of the virus.
“The first set of the PPE was released to the command on March 27 and the command also received the second bath on April 20,” he said.
According to Oladokun, the Lagos State NCoS Controller, Mr Sam Iyakoregha, received the items on behalf of the Controller-General of NCoS, Ahmed Ja’afaru.
“The NCoS thanks the Lagos State government for this tremendous support. The NCoS is well positioned to prevent COVID-19 in the custodial centres,” he said.

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I’ll Give Special Attention To Respect For Citizens’ Fundamental Rights – CP …Citizens Set Agenda For Him

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The new Rivers State  Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mukan has said that he would give special  attention to  respect for citizens’ fundamental human rights in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the  Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police  Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni and made available to newsmen last Monday in Port Harcourt .
The statement said that Mr Mukan would rekindle the people’s confidence in the police and as well reposition the command for efficiency and productivity.
According to the statement, the new Police Commissioner would be expected to work with humility and integrity as part of efforts to command a better police force in the state.
It further revealed that the Rivers police boss has an impeccable track record in crime fighting, thus the trust to make good his promises.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, however, through the statement, solicited for cooperation in terms of information sharing from the people in order to help the command to serve them better.
Meanwhile, some members of the public have called on the new Police Commissioner to remain neutral and face his primary assignment of policing.
A Port Harcourt-Based lawyer, Emperor Nnaoma, who spoke in an interview with The Tide , yesterday, said Mr Mukan must pay priority attention to his core mandate of crime fighting, if he wants to succeed in the state.
Nnaoma, recalled that previous Commissioners of Police who went outside their major task never ended well in the state.
In his view, the Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, King Leslie N Eke, said the Commissioner should make out time to check the activities of some of his men who allow themselves into chieftaincy issues in the communities.
The Eze Gbakagbaka/Nyerisi Eli Woji, said that such interference has divided the attention of some police officers in the state as they are always tempted to dance to the tune of their pay masters.

 

By: King Onunwor

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