All You Need to Know About Criminal Law in Nigeria

All You Need to Know About Criminal Law in Nigeria: Have you ever watched Law & Order on television? The first segment of the popular show concerns a crime that has been committed. This segment of the episode focuses on the police and detective work required to solve crimes and acquire evidence to prosecute the culprit. The second segment of the show delves into the legal system, demonstrating how criminal law is applied to actual events. As a result, you will observe criminal law in action as it is applied in a courtroom setting. This class provides an excellent overview of the criminal justice system.

As a Nigerian, there are several aspects of Nigerian criminal law that you should be aware of. It is critical that you are informed of these facts in order to participate fully in the Nigerian system of things, which is why it is always advisable to consult The Defenders Criminal Defense Lawyers regarding criminal law. You should not wait until you are driven to seek enough knowledge on this subject by circumstance.

Criminal law

Criminal law is a collection of statutes that govern criminal behavior. When an individual violates a specific criminal statute, he or she has committed a criminal act. This corpus of rules is distinct from civil law in that criminal law penalties include the abolition of rights and imprisonment. On the other hand, civil law is concerned with resolving legal disputes through the use of money damages.

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Numerous hypotheses exist to explain why we have a criminal justice system. Neither theory is conclusive. The primary goals of criminal law are deterring crime, reforming the perpetrator, providing retribution for the offense, and preventing future crimes. There is considerable debate over these criminal law ideas and the optimal policy to promote through the corpus of criminal law.

Criminal Laws of Various Types

Criminal laws are classified into two categories:

  • misdemeanor
  • felony.

A misdemeanor: is a lesser-included criminal offense, such as small assaults, traffic violations, or petty stealing. Additionally, the penalty for a misdemeanor crime is normally one year or less in most states.

By comparison, felony offenses are more serious. Felonies include murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking, rape, robbery, and arson. Felonies carry a mandatory minimum sentence of one year or more in practically every state in the United States, depending on the nature of the offense and the jurisdiction in which the felony crime was committed.

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Criminal Law Statutes in Their Components
All criminal statutes are divided into two different sections. The first of these components is the mens rea, which refers to the mental condition required to commit a crime. For instance, in order to commit murder, the party doing the crime must have planned to do so. This is the mens rea of murder.

The actus reus is the other component of a criminal statute. This section of the criminal legislation refers to the perpetrator’s action. For example, in a drug dealing case, the perpetrator must have sold the drugs. This is the action required for the actus reus of the criminal legislation to exist.


Every criminal law case involves the alleged conduct of a crime, and hence the accusation, which comprises an allegation of a violation of a criminal statute. Certain cases are decided by jurors, who hear the evidence and assess the defendant’s guilt or innocence. Typically, over 90% of cases are handled through the use of a plea bargain. A plea bargain happens when a defendant admits to committing a crime in exchange for a lower sentence or some other advantage in exchange for his admission and cooperation. Other cases are tried in bench trials, which are presided over by a judge.

Nigerian criminal law

Criminal defense is controlled by two distinct statutes. They are as follows:

  • Criminal
  • penal codes

Nigeria’s southern region employs the criminal code, whereas the northern region employs the penal code (get the criminal lawyer consultation to learn details).

Where did these laws originate?

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Indeed, Nigerian law is derived from three distinct sources:

  • Local
  • International
  • Religious

According to Whitney S. Boan, P.A., who defends federal charges:

  • The Nigerian legislation
  • The judicial precedent
  • The constitution
  • International treaties

Sharia Law is referred to in the religious source.


Never enable law enforcement authorities to dupe you into believing a lie in order to ensnare you in an offense you did not commit or to force you to serve time in prison for an offense that should not have resulted in a prison term. You have a right to counsel and a right to comprehend your accusations. At the time of arrest, the police are obligated to read you your rights after informing you of the offense for which you have been arrested.

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