JUDICIAL ATTITUDE TO HOMICIDE IN NIGERIA

 

ABSTRACT

Criminal Law in Nigeria is so wide that it applies to a wide range of crimes. a crime is and act that is deemed by a statute or by the Common Law to be a public wrong and is therefore punishable by the state in Criminal proceeding. The crime of homicide which can be divided into two namely, lawful homicide which is a division of homicide justified or excused by law and they are self defence, suppression of riot, defence of property etc. unlawful homicide is prohibited by law with very stiff punishment melted out to its offenders. Unlawful homicide could be either murder or manslaughter, murder is an intentional killing of and human being and its carries a severe punishment of a sentence to death while manslaughter is an unintentional killing of another which must have been through provocation, negligence, causation, omission etc. and its carries a sentence of life imprisonment.the actus reus and mens rea of a crime must be proven before and accused can be convicted, the burden of proving that the accused committed the crime is on the prosecution and it never shifts. This study will be narrowed down to homicide generally ,the problems facing in the proving of guilt of an accused person by the prosecution and solutions will be proferred.

Chapter one, general introduction to the whole will be discussed.

The second chapter unearths the different definition of crime by different jurists and legal writers, it will discuss the burden of prove in Criminal Cases,and the ingredients that constitute crime.

Chapter three discusses extensively the critical and general overview of the meaning of homicide, under which lawful and unlawful would be discussed.

Chapter four espouses the main aim of this study where the judicial trend of Courts will be discussed, also the origin and meaning of punishment, enforcement of homicide laws, punishment for crime of homicide will be discussed.

The fifth chapter closes with the summary of the whole study, Recommendation would have been made towards the advancement of Criminal Law through the provisions of both the criminal code and the penal code.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

COVER PAGE…………………………………………………………………….i

CERTIFICATION PAGE………………………………………………………..ii

ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………………iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS…………………………………………………………iv

DEDICATION……………………………………………………………………..v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT………………………………………………………..vi

TABLE OF CASES………………………………………………………………vii

TABLE OF STATUTES…………………………………………………………viii

LIST OF ABBREVIATION………………………………………………………ix

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.0.0: INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………1

1.1.0: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY……………………………………….2

1.2.0: OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY…………………………………………..3

13.0: FOCUS OF THE STUDY…………………………………………………….4

1.4.0: SCOPE OF STUDY………………………………………………………..4

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1.5.0: METHODOLOGY…………………………………………………………5

1.6.0: LITERATURE REVIEW…………………………………………………5

1.7.0: DEFINITION OF TERMS……………………………………………….8

1.8.0: CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………8

CHAPTER TWO

INTRODUCTION TO THE CONCEPT OF CRIME

2.0.0: INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………….9

2.1.0: MEANING OF CRIME……………………………………………………9

2.2.0: INGREDIENTS THAT CONSTITUTE CRIME……………………….14

2.2.1: ACTUS REUS……………………………………………………………..15

2.2.2: ACTS…………………………………………………………………………18

2.2.3: OMISSIONS………………………………………………………………18

2.2.4: ACTUS REUS AND CAUSATION………………………………………20

2.3.0: PRINCIPLESOFMENS REA…………………………………………….23

2.3.1: INTENTION……………………………………………………………….26

2.3.2: PROOF OF INTENTION………………………………………………….27

2.3.3: RECKLESSNESS…………………………………………………………28

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2.3.4: KNOWLEGDE……………………………………………………………29

2.3.5 NEGLIGENCE…………………………………………………………….30

2.3.6: MOTIVE……………………………………………………………………31

2.4.0: BURDEN OF PROOF IN CRIMINAL CASES…………………………31

2.5.0: CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………37

CHAPTER THREE

A CRITICAL AND GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE MEANING OF

HOMICIDE

3.0.0: INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………38

3.1.0: WHAT IS HOMICIDE? 39

3.2.0: DISTINCTION BETWEEN LAWFUL AND UNLAWFUL

HOMICIDE………………………………………………………………………41

3.3.0: UNLAWFUL HOMICIDE……………………………………………….41

3.3.1: MURDER-CULPABABLE HOMICIDE PUNISHABLE WITH

DEATH……………………………………………………………………………42

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3.3.2: MANSLAUGHTER-CULPABABLE HOMICIDE NOT

PUNISHABLE WITH DEATH………………………………………………….50

3.3.3: VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER………………………………………52

3.3.4: ELEMENTS OF PROVOCATION………………………………………53

3.3.5: INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER …………………………………..57

3.4.0: LAWFUL HOMICIDE…………………………………………………….60

3.4.1: EXECUTION OF SENTENCE…………………………………………………….60

3.4.2: SELF DEFENCE……………………………………………………………61

3.4.3: DEATH BY MISADVENTURE……………………………………………62

3.4.4: SUPPRESSION OF RIOT………………………………………………….62

3.4.5: DEFENCE OF PROPERTY………………………………………………..63

3.4.6: CONSENT TO DEATH……………………………………………………..64

3.4.7: PREVENTION OF CERTAIN OFFENCES………………………………64

3.4.8: LAWFUL ARREST, PREVENTING ARREST OR RESCUE

AFTER ARREST…………………………..………………………………………65

3.4.9: KILLING OF THIEVES …………………………………………………..66

3.5.0: CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………68

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CHAPTER FOUR

EXAMINATION OF JUDICIAL ATTITUDE TO HOMICIDE IN NIGERIA

4.0.0: INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………69

4.1.0: ORIGIN OF PUNISHMENT………………………………………………..69

4.2.0: ENFORCEMENT OF HOMICIDE LAWS IN NIGERIA………………..73

4.3.0: PUNISHMENT FOR THE CRIME HOMICIDE…………………………75

4.4.0: JUDICIAL TREND OF COURTS IN HOMICIDE CASES

IN NIGERIA………………………………………………………………………..76

4.5.0: CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………87

CHAPTER FIVE

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.0.0: CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………….88

5.1.0: RECOMMENDATION……………………………………………………89

BIBLOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………92

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