1.1 Background of the Study

The pathetic circumstances of victims of crime in the world have been so worrisome that, Pino Alarcchi[1] once said, “We must agree amongst ourselves that we want a world where there will be no hiding place for the criminals and where there will be adequate support for their victims”. The essence of the research is vividly captured in the above prelude. Records reveal that before the state took over the provision of security for its citizenry through its official law enforcement agency the police -, victims of crime were solely responsible for identifying those who wronged them, footing the bills of investigating their crimes and prosecuting the felons when arrested.[2] Thus, where a crime was committed without witnesses, efforts to identify the assailant became the tasks borne by the victims unaided, as no government agencies was responsible for investigating crimes.[3]

Nmerole admitted that, this was the situation in the United Kingdom during the frankpledge era (a system under which each adult member was responsible for the good conduct of the others).[4] And after the Norman Conquest in 1066, though constables were added and saddled with the tasks of guarding the city gates at night, investigating crimes and prosecuting cases still remained a private matter handled by the victims themselves. In the United States, private prosecution dominated criminal justice during the colonial era, and criminal cases were initiated by complaints of private citizens, and the responsibility to pursue the case to its logical conclusion rested primarily with the private citizen who began the process. As a result, he was required to pay the justices’ fees and hire attorney to plead the case, which situation still prevails in the common law nations.[5]

However, in pre-colonial Africa, according to Tamuno, “crime in most societies was viewed as an infraction against the entire community and not the individual victim”.[6] Therefore when crime was committed, all that the victim needed to do was to alert the neighbours, and the entire members of the community, particularly members of the secret society responsible for security, would chase and apprehend the culprit; who would subsequently be tried by the elders’ council and if found guilty, “would be promptly, adequately and publicly punished”.[7] For instance, in the Kanuri speaking area of Nigeria, “communal solidarity, rather than personal gains and

successes, held sway in the sphere of defence”.[8] As a result, “whenever and wherever an individual member of the community was attacked, the entire village would rise up in arms in defence of the victim”.[9]

Tamuno also confirmed that, “There was no police force, but rather it was the supernatural sanction of their religion that policed the primordial Nigerian village society”.[10] These, “Indigenous religions had that strong moral code and supernatural sanction that were both able to keep the old village society morally clean and free from crime”.[11] He argued that what ensured a high level of public.

Ndifon similarly affirmed that under the customary legal system, every offence had its own punishment, and “Punishment was often effectively and realistically administered to the wrongdoer”.[13] For instance, for murder, “Punishments ranged from replacement in specie, enslavement, suicide, banishment of the wrongdoer, to payment of specific sum to the family of the deceased victim”. He maintained that, “Justice for the victim or his relatives was the ultimate aim of punishment in pre-colonial African justice system”.[14] To him therefore, it was the introduction of the British police tradition and adoption of the alien court and legal systems in Nigeria and other African countries that abolished these pre-colonial customary legal ideals from the territories.[15]

According to Tamuno, “This alien government recruited its own police to enforce its laws and keep the peace of the imperial crown”.[16] The police system, “Stressed prevention and detection of crime and punishment of the criminal, as against compensation and restitution of the victims which were the essence of the customary legal systems”.[17] The alien police and legal systems emphasised, and still emphasise that, “Complaints must be initiated by individual victims and police must investigate and possibly prosecute the offender, with the victim serving only as a prosecution witness”.[18] From the above analysis, it is obvious that during the colonial era, and still in Nigeria today, the victim of crime, was and still is relevant in the criminal justice process only for his testimony.[19]

In the context of international law jurisprudence, ordinary or conventional crimes are within the national criminal justice system.[20] Therefore, the protection of the right of victims of intentional or ordinary crimes, and affording them justice are, properly situated within the confines of national governments. Hence, violations of rights of victims of crime, through intentional crimes committed by fellow citizens in their private capacities, are outside the realm of international law jurisprudence.[21] Renewed interests in the affairs of victims of crime attracted global limelight, following the pioneering work of Marjory Fry in the early 1960s then a magistrate in England. She had reasoned that, “victims of intentional crimes should be given the same treatment as victims of motor vehicle or work place accidents”.[22] Accordingly, her efforts drew global attention to the need for better treatment for victims of crime. As a result, in 1963, New Zealand started the first State Compensation Programme for victims of violent crimes.[23] This was followed by England with the establishment of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in 1964, to handle the issue of compensation to victims of crime of violence.[24] Thereafter, similar schemes were introduced in other European countries, Australia and Provinces in Canada.[25]

Majory Fry’s agitations attracted the attention of the World Society of Victimology, which met with United Nations officials in 1982 to discuss ways of ensuring that victims of crime are guaranteed protection and redress, globally.[26] After series of discussions, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1985 adopted and implemented the

Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.[27] The UNO envisaged that through the Declaration interest in the protection of the rights of victims of crime would spread globally.[28] However, as would be seen shortly, interest in the issue only spread further within the leading countries of Europe and the United States of America. For example, shortly after the proclamation, England proclaimed the Victims’ Rights Charter, requiring courts to regularly consider compensation from offenders to victims. The Criminal Injury Compensation Act was enacted in 1995, but most recently he announced in 2001 that the Ministry of Home Affairs had declared “Criminal Justice:
the road ahead”,

Furthermore, it’s far articulated that, the reality that the police have fallen quick of public expectations, does now no longer warrant the reputedly disdain and hatred with which the officials and something that friends with them is regarded. Sometimes, this belief has precipitated provide of courtroom docket orders that flip out to disrupt crook investigative strategies; restrict the arrest of fairly suspected offenders, or even let loose the ones in police detentions unconditionally,[42] and in overall push aside of the law;[43] assumingly withinside the pursuit of safety of the purportedly breached rights of the applicants.

It has rightly been asserted that, “The important reason of human rights jurisprudence is to make certain the powerful safety of positive essential entitlements of all people anywhere with out distinction”.[44] Therefore, if harmless sufferers of crime are people, it’s far plain that each time their essential human rights are breached with the aid of using fellow non-public individuals, they are also entitled to be accorded ok safety and redress. Therefore, it’s far strongly argued that the discharge on bail of fairly suspected and arrested criminals, with out listening to from the sufferer, terminating police investigative strategies via courtroom docket orders; and the incapability or unwillingness of the courts, the police, exceptionally located political workplace holders, pinnacle authorities officers and leader executives of presidency parasatals, to right away and efficiently deliver perpetrators of crime to book, inclusive of provide of Presidential pardons and amnesty to jailed criminals, make a contribution a lot extra to the escalation of corruption and different crook sports in Nigeria, than the supposed police corruption – the recent oil subsidy[45] and the Pension’s fund scandals,[46] are clean examples. Events like those make a contribution extra to the sufferers’ despondency and create the affect that it will pay to be a crook.

1.2 Statement of Research Problem

Victims of crime in Africa and in Nigeria especially from the inception of colonialism, have constantly been applicable simplest for the reason of a success prosecution; with their needs, hobbies and rights accorded very little challenge with the aid of using the operators of the crook justice system. The numerous non-governmental organisations, civil society and different community-primarily based totally corporations in Nigeria are worried with the safety and redress for the suspect, accused individuals and or prisoners. The Nigeria Police as an institiution of the govt arm of presidency, as in advance stated, are saddled with numerous duties, [47] which they’ve accomplished under the public’s expectation, supposedly due to corruption, ineptitude, impunity and incompetence.[48]

That those allegations are proper are incontestable; a cursory turn via the dailies and social media will attest to this, and maximum unfortunately, now no longer too lengthy ago, an Inspector-General of police turned into jailed for corruption. However, a quick for the police isn’t pondered here, however on the equal time, it’s far apt to examine that frequently individuals police fairly suspect of crimes are prohibited from being arrested; and occasionally the ones already arrested and detained are ordered with the aid of using courts, to be launched on bail unconditionally. As a result, the crook investigative strategies are thwarted and aborted, and the criticism of the sufferer is abandoned,[49] and the suspected character now let loose, and reputedly included with the aid of using the law, is going approximately unleashing different heinous crimes at the society and his sufferer withinside the preliminary case now left at his mercy.[50]

1.3 Research question

What impact does court interference in criminal investigations have on victims, the criminal justice system, and society at large?
If a criminal investigation is dropped by court order, will all parties receive justice?
What message are courts sending to society when costs are imposed on victims who allegedly violated the rights of accused persons?
Does Nigeria have special laws to protect victims of crime?
What are the unique rights of crime victims that should be protected? 1.4 Purpose of the survey

The primary objective of this study is to assess the role of police and courts in the protection and redress of crime victims in Nigeria. Its goals are:

Determining the legality and constitutionality of an injunction against a police investigation or otherwise.
It explores the negative impact of early release of suspects on crime victims, the criminal justice system, and society at large.
(3) Assessing the Rights of Crime Victims.

(4) Comparative research on the exercise of police arrest and detention powers and the treatment of arrested persons in the United Kingdom, the United States, India, and Nigeria

(5) review and consider international, regional and national legislation for the protection and remedy of adult and child victims of crime;

(6) to make appropriate recommendations; 1.5 Validity of research

The protection and reparation of crime victims has received worldwide attention, and since the 1960s there has been a shift in emphasis and focus in Europe (excluding Africa) and the Americas to the “reparation and reparation” of victims. And given that anyone can be a victim of crime, we feel that action must be taken urgently to alleviate the plight of victims. This research is of great value to both federal and state executive branches and federal and state legislatures. The inquiry asked these government officials, as is customary in other jurisdictions, to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to protect and redress victims of crimes in Nigeria. We are asking for a realignment of roles and responsibilities.

Legislators in particular have been reminded of the importance of the role of legislators and thereby come up with relevant legislation to support the subject of this study. Senator Ganyu Olarevayu Solomon’s initiative to support the Witness Protection Bill has been applauded and applauded before the National Assembly. If enacted, the bill would only aim to protect citizens who voluntarily provide useful information about perpetrators and supporters of violence and unrest, and would not protect the rights of crime victims per se. Note that there is no I pray and hope that Members of Parliament will adopt appropriate provisions to protect the rights of victims in line with the 1985 United Nations Declaration.

Likewise, leaders at all levels of government will hereby recognize the imperative of establishing appropriate commissions and commissions to deal with victims’ welfare issues. NGOs, civil society groups and community groups in towns and villages therefore recognize the need to refocus their energies and resources on fighting for the protection and relief of crime victims. Additionally, judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys will find this piece helpful as it reminds them of their unique role in this regard. Finally, the general public, institutions, human rights organizations, constitutions, international human rights law and scholars and researchers of international human rights law.

Recently, Dame Helen, the Chief Executive of Victims’ Support in England equally lamented, “We believe an entirely new way of thinking about crime is needed – one that recognises the needs of victims of crime as the responsibility of the whole community, rather than leaving people to suffer in silence while we focus on offenders”.[30] She argued rightly that, “Crime ruins lives, people suffer direct physical and financial losses, including severe, and often long-lasting emotional and psychological trauma”.[31] She affirmed that this situation is often frequently made worst by, “insensitive treatment and a lack of understanding from the agencies with which victims come into contact”.[32] The experience narrated by Dame Hellen, it is observed, is a typical phenomenon of all victims of crime in Nigeria. For instance, at most police stations in Nigeria, their complaints are often not responded to promptly and sometimes when done at all, it is at a heavy price borne by the victim. In the USA, one of the significant achievements of Majory Fry’s agitations, it has been observed, is that, “Taxes and fines on corporate criminals are employed in services and awareness through the offices for Victims of crime (OVC)”.[33] Also the court in Payne v Tennessee[34] recognised and approved the right of victims to make, “victims’ impact statements” in the sentencing phase of criminal trials. This development has become an added impetus to the struggle for the redress for victims of crime in the United States.

In 1998 the United Nations General Assembly approved the Guide for Policymakers and the Handbook on Justice for Victims, which was adopted in 1999,[35] to facilitate the implementation of UNGA 1985 Basic Principles.[36] This was done in furtherance of her efforts to ensure that victims of crime are properly protected. Also in Europe, in November 1985, the European Union Council approved the Council’s 1985 Ministerial Recommendation R (85/11), which deals specifically with the issue of victims [37]. Unfortunately, neither the African Union, nor, through its charter[38], African countries, including Nigeria, have been more concerned in this regard than their European and American counterparts in initiating legislative measures to protect the interests of victims. Not positively affected. of crime.

As soon as a person has committed or is suspected of having committed a crime in Nigeria, he or she is obliged to report it to the police for investigation[39]. This action by the police, an apparent government agency, portrays the victims as not being completely abandoned by the state. However, investigating crimes alone is not enough to protect the rights of victims. Therefore, it is advocated to establish special laws, organizations and/or commissions that fully consider victims’ rights to deal with victims’ problems. Today, Nigeria, like other African countries, undoubtedly has a large number of international and domestic non-governmental organizations. Its sole purpose is to fight for the protection and redress of victims of abuse of power. Ironically, victims often suffer physical and psychological harm through the deliberate and unlawful hiring or firing of individuals who should be given more attention, yet are ignored. It is therefore proposed that federal and state governments, relevant non-governmental organizations, and other groups refocus their attention on the plight of crime victims.

Thanks to the Constitution and laws[40], the Nigerian Police as a government agency has a heavy responsibility to “prevent and detect crime, apprehend and protect criminals”.


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