RIGHTS OF A SUSPECTED PERSON WHEN HIS/HER STATEMENT IS BEING RECORDED BY THE POLICE

Where a suspect is arrested on allegation of having committed an offence, he/she must not be compelled to make a statement.

The choice to make a statement must be voluntary and certain rights available under the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 must be accorded to the suspected person when recording the statement.

Section 17 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 provides to the effect that if a suspect wishes to make a statement, it may be taken in the presence of a Legal practitioner of his/her choice, or where the suspect has no Legal practitioner, in the presence of an officer of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria or an official  of a Civil Society Organization or a Justice of the Peace or any other person of the choice of the suspect.

Also, where a suspect volunteer to make a confessional statement, the police officer shall ensure that the making and taking of the statement is in writing and shall be recorded electronically on a retrievable video compact disc or such other audio-visual means.

Any suspect who does not understand or speak or write in the English language shall have the right to an interpreter who shall record and read over the statement to the suspect and the suspect shall then endorse the statement with the interpreter.

Fatima-Usman Aliyu,
Probono – Partner (07036988982)

 

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