CRIMINAL LAW AND PRACTICE – Arraignment – Requirements of a valid arraignment – Effect of no-compliance with the mandatory requirements of a valid arraignment

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There is no doubt that for a proper arraignment, as provided for in Section 187(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (applicable in Northern Nigeria), the following requirements must be met (i) The accused person shall be brought before the court unfettered (unless the trial Judge otherwise directs); (ii) The charge shall be read and explained to him to the satisfaction of the court in the language he understands; (iii) The accused shall be called upon to plead thereto instantly. As held by this court in Joel Adamu Vs The State (2017) LPELR – 41436 (SC) @ 8-9 F – E, the requirements are mandatory as they ensure the protection of the accused person’s Constitutional right to fair hearing as provided for under Section 36(6) of the of 1999 Constitution, as amended. Failure to comply with the requirements in respect of any count of the charge would render the trial in respect of that particular charge a nullity for lack of fair hearing.Per KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO EKERE-EKUN, JSC in AKEEM ABIODUN V. THE STATE (2022-LCER-46641-SC) at P. 15; Paras. A-G.

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CRIMINAL LAW AND PRACTICE – Arraignment – Requirements of a valid arraignment – Effect of no-compliance with the mandatory requirements of a valid arraignment

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