Section 278-292 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

Section 278-292 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Section 278 to 292 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 is under PART 29 (PERSONS OF UNSOUND MIND) of the Act.

Section 278 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Procedure when defendant is suspected to be of unsound mind

(1) Where in the course of a criminal trial, the court has reason to suspect the mental capacity or soundness of mind of a defendant, by virtue of which he is unable to stand trial or defend himself, the court shall order the medical examination of the defendant’s mental state or soundness of mind.

(2) An investigation under subsection (1) of this section may be held in the absence of the defendant where the court is satisfied that owing to the state of the defendant’s mind it would be in the interests of the defendant or of other persons or in the interests of public decency that he should be absent.

(3) Where the court is not satisfied that the defendant is capable of making his defence, the court shall adjourn the trial or proceeding and shall remand the person for a period not exceeding 1 month to be detained for observation in some suitable place.

(4) A defendant detained in accordance with subsection (3) of this section shall be kept under observation by a medical officer during the period of his remand and, before the expiration of that period, the medical officer shall:
(a) give to the court his opinion in writing as to the state of mind of that person; and

(b) where he is unable within the period to form any definite opinion, he shall so certify to the court and ask for a further remand and such further remand may extend to a period of 3 months.

(5) Where further period of remand is granted under subsection (4) of this section, the case shall be fixed returnable by the court at the expiration of the period granted under subsection 4 (b) of this section.

(6) A court, before which a defendant suspected to be of unsound mind is accused of any offence may, on the application of the Attorney-General of the Federation or a law officer made at any stage of the proceedings prior to the trial, order that the person be sent to an asylum or such other suitable place for observation.

(7) The medical officer in charge of the asylum or such other suitable place shall, within a period not exceeding one month in the first instance or on application to the court for a further period of three months, submit to the court a report in writing containing his opinion on the soundness of mind of the defendant.

SEE ALSO  Second Schedule Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

Section 279 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Report from medical officer

Where the medical officer or such officer in charge of the asylum or other suitable place to which the defendant is referred for observation under the provisions of this section fails to submit a report as provided in section 278(4) and (7) of this Act within the period stipulated in those sub sections, the court may discharge the person, or shall release him on bail in accordance with the provisions of this Act relating to bail.

Section 280 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Certificate of medical officer

(1) Where the medical officer certifies that the defendant is of:
(a) sound mind and capable of making his defence, the court shall, unless satisfied by the defence that the defendant is of unsound mind, proceed with the trial; or

(b) unsound mind and incapable of making his defence, the court shall, where satisfied of the fact, postpone the proceeding.

(2) The trial of the issue as to whether or not the defendant is of unsound mind and incapable of making his defence shall, where the finding is that he is of sound mind and capable of making his defence, be deemed to be part of his trial before the court.

(3) The certificate of the medical officer who issued the certificate shall be admissible under this section even in the absence from court of the medical officer provided there is sufficient explanation for his absence.

(4) Where the defendant is certified to be of unsound mind and incapable of making his defence, it shall not be necessary for him to be present in court during proceedings under this section.

Section 281 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Release of defendant of unsound mind pending investigation or trial

(1) Where a defendant is found to be of unsound mind and incapable of making his defence, ifthe offence charged is bailable by the court, it may in its discretion, release him on sufficient security being given:
(a) that he shall be properly taken care of and shall be prevented from doing injury to himself or to any other person; and

(b) for his appearance when required before the court or such officer as the court appoints in that behalf.

(2) Where a defendant is before a Magistrate charged with an offence which is bailable by a Judge but not by a Magistrate or where the offence is bailable by a Magistrate but the Magistrate refused to grant bail, the Magistrate shall inform the defendant of his right to apply to a Judge for bail.

(3) Where the offence charged is not bailable by the High Court or where a Judge has refused bail under subsection (1) of this section or after an application made under subsection (2) of this section or where sufficient security is not given or where no application is made for bail, the Judge shall report the case to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who after consideration of the report may, in his discretion, order the defendant to be confined in a lunatic asylum or other suitable place of safe custody and the Judge shall give effect to the order.

(4) Where the order is not given within two months, the court may discharge the defendant or release him on bail on satisfaction that doing so will not endanger the life of the defendant or the life of anyone else.

(5) Pending the order of the Attorney-General of the Federation, the defendant, may be committed to an asylum or other suitable place of custody for safe custody.

Section 282 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Resumption of proceedings or trial

SEE ALSO  Section 333-346 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

Where a proceeding or trial is postponed under section 278 or 279 of this Act, the court may at any time re-open the proceeding or re-commence the trial and require the defendant to appear or be brought before the court.

Section 283 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Resumption of proceedings after release under section 281

Where the defendant has been released under section 281 of this Act, the court may at any time require the defendant to appear or be brought before it and may again proceed with the proceeding or trial.

Section 284 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Where defendant appears to have been of unsound mind

Where the defendant appears to be of unsound mind at the time of any remand or similar pre-trial proceedings before a court, and the issue of the state of soundness of mind of the defendant is in issue, being a defence to the main offence for which he is arrested relating to insanity or intoxication, the court shall proceed to deal with the defendant in accordance with sections 278 to 291 of this Act and shall not make any finding of fact in relation to such defence that the defendant is open to plead at his trial for the offence.

Section 285 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Safe custody of defendant discharged

Where the finding states that the defendant committed the act alleged, the court before which the trial has been held shall, where the act would have but for the finding of incapacity constituted an offence, order the person to be kept in safe custody in such place and manner as the court thinks fit and shall, within 31 days of the order, report the case for an order of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Section 286 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Order of the Attorney-General in pursuance to section 285

(1) The Attorney-General of the Federation may at his discretion order the defendant to be confined pursuance to section 285 in a mental health asylum, prison or other suitable place of safe custody.

(2) In exercising this discretion, the Attorney-General shall ensure that the defendant is placed in such facility as to afford him adequate care at the expense of the State.

Section 287 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Observation of prisoners of unsound mind

Where any defendant is confined under section 281 (3) and (5), 285 or 286 of this Act, the medical officer of the prison, where such defendant is confined in a prison, or the medical officer attached to the asylum or other facility where he is confined in any asylum or such facility shall keep him under observation in order to ascertain his state of mind and such medical officer shall make a special report for the information of the Attorney-General of the Federation as to the state of mind of such defendant at that time or times as the Attorney-General of the Federation shall require.

Section 288 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Procedure when defendant of unsound mind is reported to be able to make his defence

Where a defendant is, under the provisions of section 279 of this Act, confined in a prison, asylum or other facility and is certified by the medical officer to whom the case is referred for his report to be capable of making his defence, the defendant shall be taken before the court at such time as the court appoints, and the court shall proceed with the trial or proceeding, as the case may be, and the certificate shall be receivable as evidence.

Section 289 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Procedure where defendant of unsound mind is reported fit for discharge

(1) Where the medical officer of a prison or the medical officer attached to an asylum or other facility in which a defendant is confined under section 281, 285 or 286 of this Act certifies that the defendant in his judgment may be discharged without the danger of him causing injury to himself or to any other person, the Attorney-General of the Federation may, on the receipt of that report order the defendant to be discharged or to be detained in custody or in prison or to be in custody or be transferred to an asylum where he has not already been sent to an asylum.

SEE ALSO  Section 193-215 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

(2) Where the Attorney-General of the Federation orders a defendant to be transferred to an asylum, he may appoint two medical officers to report on the state of mind of the defendant and on any other facts the court may require, and on receipt of the report, the court may order his discharge or detention as it thinks fit.

Section 290 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Transfer from one place of custody to another

Where a defendant is confined in a prison or an asylum, the Attorney-General of the Federation, may direct his transfer from one prison or asylum to any other prison or asylum as often as may be necessary or may at any time order for his release from detention as he may consider necessary.

Section 291 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Delivery of defendant of unsound mind to care of relative

(1) Where a relative or friend of a defendant confined under section 281 or 286 of this Act desires that the defendant shall be delivered over to his care and custody, the court may, on the application of the relative or friend and on his giving security to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant delivered shall be:
(a) properly taken care of; and

(b) prevented from doing injury to himself or to any other person,

in his discretion, order the defendant to be delivered to the relative or friend on condition that the defendant shall be produced for the inspection of such officer and at such times as the court may direct.

(2) Where a defendant delivered to a relative or friend under subsection (1) of this section is confined under the provisions of section 285 of this Act, the court may further require the relative or friend to give satisfactory security that if at any time it appears to the court that the defendant is capable of making his defence, the relative or friend shall produce the defendant for trial.

(3) Sections 281 and 287 of this Act shall apply, with necessary modifications, to a defendant delivered to the care and custody of a relative or friend under this section.

Section 292 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Removal to another State

Where it is necessary to remove a prisoner to a prison or asylum under the provisions of this Part, an order for the removal given under the provisions of this Part shall be sufficient authority for the removal and the detention of the prisoner in any prison or such other place of detention within the Federation.

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Inioluwa Olaposi

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