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The Relationship between the Constitutional Right to Silence and Confessions in Nigeria

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image of African Journal of Legal Studies

AbstractThe extraction of confessions from suspects under torture by security agents is a notorious fact in Nigeria. Ironically, the Constitution of the country guarantees a right to silence, but courts in Nigeria predicate the admissibility of confessions on the common law-based Judges Rules and Evidence Act 2011 without linking it to the constitutionally guaranteed right to silence. This article reviews the legal rules on the admissibility of confessions in Nigeria and contends that without attaching constitutional flavour to the admissibility of confessions, the legislature and the courts in Nigeria unwittingly water the ground for the systemic extraction of confession from suspects in custody in Nigeria. The article suggests that the courts in the country consider the implication of the guarantee of the right to silence in the country’s constitution in the determination of the admissibility of confessions to promote fair trial in criminal cases in the country.

Affiliations: 1: Nigerian Law SchoolBwari, AbujaNigeria


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