RIGHT OF POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS TO FAIR TRIAL IN NIGERIAN COURTS: PIECING THROUGH THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVES
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Keywords

Fair Trial
Human Rights
Criminal Justice
PEPs
Nigerian Constitution
Islamic Law

How to Cite

ABDULFATAI O. SAMBO. (2018). RIGHT OF POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS TO FAIR TRIAL IN NIGERIAN COURTS: PIECING THROUGH THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVES. Unimaid Journal of Public Law, 5(2), 292 - 314. Retrieved from http://journals.unimaid.edu.ng/index.php/unimaid-journal-of-public-law/article/view/100

Abstract

The right to fair trial is a fundamental aspect in human rights discourse that has taken a centre stage. This is because the protection of this right necessitates the observance of other constitutionally ordained rights. Yet, its continued application to Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) accused of grand corruption remains uncertain. Despites its safeguards by the Nigerian Constitution, there are inadequacies in the implementation of the right to fair trial by the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria. In view of this, the paper seeks to make a critical exposition into the perspectives of the right to fair trial as provided for under the Nigerian Constitution and Islamic law in juxtaposition with the PEPs entitlement to fair trial. The objective is to aid law reforms in areas of fair trial in Nigeria and other similar jurisdictions in the world. Also, the comparative analysis with Islamic positions will benefit some States in the Northern Nigeria that are implementing the Islamic law as part of their legal system and other similar jurisdictions. In this paper, various constitutional provisions in Nigeria and the authors’ experience in the area of criminal trials are used. The paper found that the application of the guaranteed rights to fair trial to the PEPs accused of grand corruption have been abused as PEPsare being treated above common accused. Yet, every person is equal before the law in from constitutional and Islamic viewpoints.  It is suggested that the PEPs should be denied certain right to fair trial such as right to bail, presumption of innocence and some other rights identified in this paper. This is due to the pervasive nature of corruption by the PEPs and the adverse impacts of their actions on the nation’s integrity, resources and stability.

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