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3 Int'l J. Advanced Legal Stud. & Governance 1 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/ijalsg3 and id is 1 raw text is: 








       THE PRAGMATIC NATURE OF PRIVATE DEFENCE UNDER
                 CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE IN NIGERIA


                                  Akande, I. F.
                        Public Law Department, Faculty of Law
                        Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
                        E-mail: queenethakande@yahoo.com
                                     Oji, S. I.
               Faculty of Law, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria


                                  ABSTRACT
        The study aimed at examining the practical operation of the right to private
        defence in Nigeria by virtue of the various constitutive legal instruments operating
        in the field of criminal jurisprudence. The sources of information relied upon
        here, are relevant statutes, texts, journals (both local and international) and
        conference papers. The finding is that the enabling provisions on the subject
        matter is not smooth sailing. This is because the exercise of the right to private
        defence is further tied to the satisfaction of certain conditions which ordinarily
        the user will not advert his mind too and if case is not taken, in the attempt to
        prevent the commission of an offence which is about to be done to him, he becomes
        criminally liable in the reverse. In this regard, the study concluded that there is
        the problem of uncertainty as far as the instruments of self defence are concerned.
        In order to erase the problem of uncertainty, the user of the right must exercise
        caution in order to succeed in the courts. Pending when an amendment is made.
        Keywords: Criminal jurisprudence, defence, practical operation

                               INTRODUCTION
The right of private defence, otherwise known in English law as self-defence, is
dated back to the period of antiquity as an inherent right of man which enables him to
protect his interest against wrongdoers. In this regard, it forms an aspect of human
right which is constitutionally guaranteed as follows:
        a person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in
        contravention of this section2, if he dies as a result of the use, to such
        extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such
        force, as is reasonably necessary... (a) for the defence of any person
        from unlawful violence or for the defence of property3.
In the light of the above provision, it is clear that the right of private defence deals
with the right such as ones protection of life and property and as such one may be
correct to refer to the right of private defence more as a right than as a defence.
However, the theoretical provision of self-defence is so nice to such an extent that it
could be assumed that it completely exonerates the accused from criminal liability
but practically, it operates with certain conditions, by virtue of the enabling provisions
of both the criminal code and the penal code placing restrictions on the enjoyment of


International Journal of Advacced Legal Studies and Governance Vol. 3 No.1, April 2012  1

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