Fair Hearing: Sine Qua Non Under Nigerian Criminal Justice Jurisprudence

Enobong Mbang Akpambang


The right to fair hearing is a right that is as old as mankind. It dates back to the Biblical account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, where God gave them an opportunity of being heard before passing His judgment upon them.[1] Indisputably, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other relevant national statutes have similarly recognised and constitutionalised the basic right of fair hearing. The article examines the attributes of fair hearing and contends that where, in appropriate circumstances, these essential principles are lacking in any criminal trial, such a trial would be nullified or vitiated.

Keywords: Safeguard, Fair Trial, Fundamental Rights, Jurisdiction, Fair Hearing, Criminal Justice

[1] The Holy Bible, The Book of Genesis, Chapter 3:1-24. See also R. v. Chancellor, University of Cambridge (Dr. Bentley’s Case) [1723] 1 Str. 557; Garba v. University of Maiduguri [1986] 1 NWLR (Pt. 18) 550; Adigun v. Attorney- General, Oyo State [1987] 1 NWLR (Pt. 53) 678.

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