SEQUEL TO PART ONE AND TWO. 5. Right to Defend Himself Personally or by Legal Practitioner of Choice Most persons do not even know that they have a constitutional right to defend themselves personally, in any civil or criminal matter. Section 36(6)(c) of the Constitution entitles an accused person to defend himself in person or by legal practitioners of his own choice. This means that the defendant could elect to be his own lawyer throughout the trial. In more developed…
Continued From the previous post.
2. Right to be Presumed Innocent
Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution provides clearly that an accused person is at all times presumed innocent until he is proven guilty. This means that there is no duty on the accused or defendant to prove his innocence as the law already presumes him to be guiltless unless and until he is proven otherwise. The prosecution therefore has a duty of proving the guilt of the accused or defendant beyond reasonable doubt.
In very simple words, an accused is any person who has been charged with a criminal offence either by the Attorney General of the Federation or State; the Inspector General of Police; Commissioner of Police; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; National Drug Law Enforcement Agency or any other law enforcement agency. The Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (hereinafter called “the ACJA”) refers to an accused person as a Defendant. Thus, using the word Accused or Defendant refers to one and the same thing.
“Alibi means “elsewhere” i.e that the accused was somewhere other than where the prosecution says he as at the time of the commission of the offence making it impossible for him to have committed or participated in the commission of the offence with which he is charged”