Friday, September 26, 2014

More questions about constitutionality of Nigerian capital case

From an editorial in Premium Times about the recent capital sentences awarded to 12 Nigerian soldiers convicted of mutiny and other offenses:
"There are serious doubts whether the court martial under the Army Act complied with the essential rules of fair hearing. The guarantee of fair hearing in criminal proceedings under Nigeria's Constitution requires a clear separation of the roles of the prosecutor, judge and defence. Yet, in a court martial, the Army is the investigator, prosecutor, defence counsel, and the judge. This is akin to placing soldiers charged before a court martial beneath the protections provided for in our constitution. We agree that persons who opt to go into the armed forces subject themselves to a special regime with its own forms of discipline. We draw the line, however, at any suggestion that our men and women in uniform should thereby be placed outside the protection of the Constitution."
Nigeria's military justice system is based on the pre-Findlay command-centric UK model.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).