PROVOCATION AS A DEFENSE TO CRIMINAL LIABILITY: THE NIGERIAN PERSPECTIVE

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ABSTRACT 

One of the defences open to an accused which may exculpate or mitigate him from criminal liability is provocation. The law recognizes that human beings are prone to losing their control under extreme rage and should they react violently, justice demands that account be taken of this natural tendency of theirs in inflicting punishment.

The defence of provocation is available to an accused as a mitigating defence rather than an absolute one because much as the law recognizes human weakness, it does not condone human ferocity.

This project work shall attempt a detailed examination of provocation as a defence to criminal liability largely concentrating on the Nigerian perspective.

In order to achieve this objective, the work is divided thus:Chapter one will give a general introduction to provocation, what is a crime, elements of crime, criminal liability, the definition of provocation as defence, the defences which are open to an accused under the Nigerian criminal justice system, the historical development of the defence of provocation and also the justification for the defence of provocation. Chapter two will cover expressly the defence of provocation under the Nigerian Law, the elements that sufficiently constitute  provocation and the offences to which provocation is a defence under Nigerian Law, it will also cover an analysis of some of the Nigerian cases on the defence of provocation. Chapter three will focus on the restrictions and limitations of provocation as a defence, the rule of proportionality as a limitation to the plea of provocation, the reasonable man’s test, the issue of retreat and provocation by a third party,  Chapter four will focus on the conclusion and recommendation.The methodology of the research is Doctrinal, Analytical and Argumentative. Information shall be sought from law libraries and the internet. Recourse shall be made to books, journals, law reports and statutes.

TABLE OF CONTENT

TITLE PAGE  

i CERTIFICATION

ii DEDICATION

iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

iv TABLE OF STATUTES

vi TABLE OF CASES

vii LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

xv TABLE OF CONTENT

xvii ABSTRACT

xix CHAPTER ONE 1PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS 11.1 INTRODUCTION 11.2 CRIME 41.3 ELEMENTS OF CRIME 181.4 THE PRINCIPLE OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY 231.5 DEFINITION OF PROVOCATION AS A DEFENCE 291.6 HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE DEFENSE OF PROVOCATION 311.7 JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DEFENCE OF PROVOCATION 37CHAPTER TWO 43THE DEFENCE OF PROVOCATION UNDER NIGERIA LAW 432.2 DEFINITION OF PROVOCATION UNDER NIGERIA LAW 452.2 ELEMENTS OF PROVOCATION UNDER NIGERIA LAW 512.2.1 THE PROVOCATIVE ACT 532.2.2  LOSS OF SELF-CONTROL 792.2.3 RULE OF PROPORTIONALITY 852.3 OFFENCES TO WHICH PROVOCATION IS A DEFENCE 882.3.2 ASSAULT 912.3.3 MANSLAUGHTER 932.3.4 DEFAMATION OFFENCES AND MALICIOUS DAMAGE 932.4 AN ANALYSIS OF SOME OF THE NIGERIAN CASES ON PROVOCATION DEFENCE 94CHAPTER THREE 105RESTRICTIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE DEFENCE OF PROVOCATION 1053.1 THE RULE OF PROPORTIONALITY 1073.2 THE REASONABLE MAN’S TEST 1153.3 THE ISSUE OF RETREAT 131CHAPTER FOUR 1414.1 CONCLUSION 1414.2 RECOMMENDATION 144