Section 416-437 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Section 416 to 437 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 is under PART 40 of the Act. It is about SENTENCING GENERALLY OTHER THAN CAPITAL SENTENCE.
Section 416 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Court to determine term of imprisonment
(1) On conviction, a court may sentence the convict to a term of imprisonment as prescribed by the law.
(2) In exercising its discretion of sentencing or review of sentence, the court shall take into consideration the following factors; in addition to the provisions of section 401 of this Act:
(a) each case shall be treated on its own merit;
(b) the objectives of sentencing, including the principles of reformation, shall be borne in mind in sentencing a convict;
(c) an appeal court may in a proper case reduce the sentence imposed by the trial court, especially where it is excessive or based on wrong principles; or an appeal court may increase the sentence imposed by the trial court especially where it is inadequate;
(d) a trial court shall not pass the maximum sentence on a first offender;
(e) the period spent in prison custody awaiting or undergoing trial shall be considered and computed in sentencing a convict;
(f) trial court shall conduct an inquiry into the convict’s antecedents before sentencing;
(g) it may be desirable to adjourn for sentencing in order to have time to consider any evidence adduced at the sentencing hearing in accordance with section 311 of this Act;
(h) where there is doubt as to whether the defendant or convict has attained the age of eighteen, the court should resolve the doubt in his favour;
(i) a defendant may not be given consecutive sentences for two or more offences committed in the same transaction;
(j) an appeal court may not increase the sentence of a lower court beyond the maximum number of years the lower court has power to impose; and
(k) sentencing to a term of imprisonment shall apply only to those offenders who should be isolated from society and with whom other forms of punishment have failed or is likely to fail.
Section 417 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Power to order detention for one day in precincts of the court
(1) Where the court has power to pass a sentence of imprisonment, it may, in lieu of passing sentence of imprisonment, order the convict to be detained within the precincts of the court or at a police station till such hour not later than eight in the evening on the day on which he is convicted, as the court may direct.
(2) The court shall, before making an order of detention under this section, take into consideration the distance between the place of detention and the convict’s abode, where his abode is known to or ascertained by the court, the court shall not make an order of detention under this section as will deprive the convict of a reasonable opportunity of returning to his abode on the day on which the order of detention is made.
Section 418 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Consecutive sentence of imprisonment
(1) Where a sentence of imprisonment is passed on a convict by a court, it may order that the sentence shall commence at the expiration of any term of imprisonment to which that convict has been previously sentenced by a competent court in Nigeria.
(2) Where two or more sentences passed by a Magistrate court are ordered to run consecutively, the aggregate term of imprisonment shall not exceed four years of the limit of jurisdiction of the adjudicating Magistrate.
Section 419 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Date from which sentence commences
A sentence of imprisonment takes effect from and includes the whole of the day of the date on which it was pronounced.
Section 420 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Default in payment of fine
(1) In the case of a conviction in the High Court, where no amount of fine is stipulated, the amount of the fine shall be at the discretion of the court, and any term of imprisonment imposed in default of payment of the fine shall not exceed 2 years.
(2) In the case of a conviction in a magistrate court:
(a) the amount of the fine shall be at the discretion of the court but shall not
exceed the maximum fine authorised to be imposed by the Magistrate
or under the law by virtue of which he was appointed a Magistrate; and
(b) a term of imprisonment imposed in default of payment of the fine shall
not exceed the maximum fixed in relation to the amount of the fine by
the scale specified in the Fourth Schedule of this Act.
(3) In no case shall any term of imprisonment imposed in default of payment of a fine which has been imposed by virtue of the power in that behalf contained in subsection (1) of this section, exceed the maximum term authorised as a punishment for the offence by the law.
(4) The provisions of this section do not apply in a case where a law provides a
minimum period of imprisonment to be imposed for the commission of an offence.
Section 421 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Execution of sentence on escaped convict
Where sentence of imprisonment is passed on an escaped convict, the sentence shall take effect after he has served imprisonment for a further period equal to that which at the time of his escape remained unexpired of his former sentence.
Section 422 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Fine in default of imprisonment
A defendant convicted of an offence punishable by:
(a) imprisonment as well as fine, and sentenced to pay a fine, whether with or without imprisonment; or
(b) imprisonment or fine, and sentenced to pay a fine, may be ordered to serve imprisonment, in default of payment of the fine, for a certain term, which imprisonment shall be in addition to any other imprisonment to which he may have been sentenced.
Section 423 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
General provision on review of sums of amount
(1) The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court or of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall jointly review from time to time, the provisions for the amount of fines, compensation or other sums of money prescribed under this Act.
(2) Such provisions as may be reviewed and effective date shall be published in the Gazette.
Section 424 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
General power of awarding imprisonment in default of payment of penalty
Where by a law, the court is empowered to impose a penalty for a summary conviction offence, it may, in the absence of express provisions to the contrary in the same or any other law, order a defendant who is convicted of such offence, in default of payment of the sum of money adjudged to be paid under the order, either immediately or at the time specified in the order, as the case may be, to be imprisoned, in accordance with the scale set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act.
Section 425 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Scale of imprisonment for non-payment of money ordered to be paid
Subject, in every case, to the provisions of the law on which the order is founded, the period of imprisonment, which is imposed by the court in respect of the non-payment of a sum of money ordered to be paid by an order shall be such period as in the opinion of the court will satisfy the justice of the case but shall not exceed the maximum fixed in the scale set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act.
Section 426 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Limitation of imprisonment in default of payment of fine
A commitment for non-payment of a fine shall not be for a longer period than two years, except where the law under which the conviction has taken place prescribed or allows a longer period.
Section 427 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Payment and allocation of fines and fees
(1) A court, in fixing the amount of a fine to be imposed on a convict, shall take into consideration, amongst other things, the means of the convict.
(2) Where a fine is imposed, the payment of the court fees and other legal expenses payable in the case, up to and including conviction, shall not be taken into consideration in fixing the amount of the fine or be imposed in addition to the fine, but the amount of the fine, or of such part as may be paid or recovered, shall be applied as follows:
(a) in the first instance, in the payment to the informant or complainant of any court or other fees paid by him and ordered by the court to be repaid to him;
(b) in the second instance, the payment of any outstanding court fees not already paid by the informant or complainant which may be payable under rules of court; and
(c) the balance, if any, remaining after the above payments have been made shall be paid into general revenue of the Federation.
Section 428 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Power to commit defendant in certain cases
In a case where an order is made against a defendant for the payment of a sum of money and the defendant is in default of payment and liable to be imprisoned, the court may:
(a) issue a warrant of commitment;
(b) allow time for the payment of the said sum; and
(c) direct that the defendant liable to pay the said sum shall be at liberty to give, to the satisfaction of the court, security, either with or without a surety or sureties, for the payment of the said sum or any instalment.
Section 429 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Allowance of further time and payment by installments
(1) Where time has been allowed for the payment of a sum adjudged to be paid upon conviction or order, further time may on an application by or on behalf of the convict liable to pay the sum, be allowed by a court having jurisdiction to issue a warrant of commitment in respect of the non-payment of that sum, the court may, subject as aforesaid, direct payment by installments of the sum so adjudged to be paid.
(2) Where a sum of money is directed to be paid by installments and default is made in the payment of any one installment, the same proceedings may be taken as if default has been made in the payment of all the installments then remaining unpaid.
(3) Where before the expiration of the time allowed, the convict surrenders himself to the court having jurisdiction to issue a warrant of commitment in respect of the non-payment of the sum and states that he prefers immediate committal to awaiting the expiration of the time allowed, the court may, if it thinks fit, issue a warrant committing him to prison.
(4) A warrant of commitment issued under the provisions of this section may be executed on any day, including a Sunday or a public holiday.
Section 430 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Payment of penalty to person executing warrant
In all cases where a convict, against whom a warrant of commitment for non-payment of a sum of money adjudged to be paid by an order is issued, pays or tenders to the person having the execution of the warrant the sum or sums mentioned in the warrant together with the amount of the expenses of the warrant up to the time of the payment or tender, the person having the execution of the warrant shall not execute the warrant.
Section 431 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Commencement of imprisonment pursuant to a warrant
Where a convict is brought to a prison to be imprisoned by virtue of a warrant of commitment, there shall be endorsed on the warrant the day on which the convict was arrested by virtue of it and the imprisonment shall be computed from that day and inclusive.
Section 432 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Varying or discharging order for sureties
Where a person has been committed to prison by the court for default in finding a surety or sureties, the court may, on application made to it by the person or by some person acting on his behalf, inquire into the case of the person, and if on new evidence produced to the court or proof of a change of circumstances the court thinks, having regard to all the circumstances of the case that it is just so to do, the court may:
(a) reduce the amount for which it was ordered that the surety or sureties should be bound;
(b) dispense with the surety or sureties; or
(c) otherwise deal with the case as the court may think just.
Section 433 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Right of person imprisoned in default to be released on paying sum and effect of part payment
(1) Where a person has been committed to prison by the court for non-payment of a sum of money adjudged to be paid by an order, the person may pay or cause to be paid to the officer in charge of the prison the sum mentioned in the warrant of commitment together with the amount of the costs, charges and expenses, if any, and the officer in charge of the prison shall receive the sums and discharge the person, unless he is in custody for some other matter.
(2) In a case where under subsection (1) of this section a sum has been received in part satisfaction of a sum due from a prisoner in consequence of the conviction of the court, the sum shall be applied:
(a) firstly, towards the payment in full or in part of any costs or damages or compensation which the court may have ordered to be paid to the complainant; and
(b) secondly, towards the payment of the fine, if any, imposed on the prisoner.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, where an amount is paid towards a fine:
(a) the imprisonment shall be reduced by a number of days bearing as nearly as possible the same proportion to the total number of days for which the person is committed as the sum so paid towards the fine bears to the amount of the fine for which the person is liable; and
(b) the superintendent or other officer in charge of a prison in which a person who has made the part payment is confined shall as soon as practicable thereafter take the person before a court which shall: (i) certify the amount by which the term of imprisonment originally awarded is reduced by such payment in part satisfaction, and (ii) make such order as the circumstances require.
(4) Where, in the opinion of the superintendent or other officer, the delay occasioned by taking the person before a court is such that the person will be detained beyond the date on which he should by reason of the part payment be released, the superintendent or other officer may release the person on the day which appears to the superintendent or other officer to be the correct day, endorse the warrant accordingly and shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, inform the court of the action taken and the court shall make such order or record as the court may consider to be required in the circumstances.
(5) In reckoning:
(a) the number of days by which a term of imprisonment would be reduced under this section, the first day of imprisonment shall not be taken into account; and
(b) the sum which will secure the reduction of a term of imprisonment, fractions of a naira shall be omitted.
Section 434 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Fines may be ordered to be recoverable by distress
Where, under the authority of a law, the court imposes a fine or a pecuniary penalty whether or not that fine or penalty is accompanied by a power to impose imprisonment, and no special provision other than recovery by distress is made for the recovery of the fine or penalty, the court may:
(a) order the fine or penalty to be recoverable by distress; and
(b) in default of the distress satisfying the amount of the fine or penalty, order that the convict be imprisoned, in accordance with the scale set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act.
Section 435 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Warrant of distress
Where the court orders a sum to be recoverable by distress, it shall issue a warrant which shall be in writing and signed by the court authorising the person charged with the execution of the warrant to take any money as well as any goods of the person against whom distress is levied, and any money so taken shall be treated as if it were the proceeds of sale of goods taken under the warrant.
Section 436 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Procedure on the execution of distress warrant
In the execution of a distress warrant the following provisions shall have effect:
(a) a warrant of distress shall be executed by or under the direction of the sheriff;
(b) where the person charged with the execution of the warrant is prevented from executing the warrant by the fastening of doors or otherwise, the Magistrate may, by writing under his hand endorsed on the warrant, authorize him to use such force as may be necessary to enable him to execute the warrant;
(c) the wearing apparel and bedding of the person and of his family, and to the value of twenty thousand naira, the tools and implements of his trade, shall not be taken;
(d) except as provided in paragraph (e) of this subsection and so far as the person on whose movable property the distress is levied consents in writing to an earlier sale, the goods distrained on shall be sold at public auction not less than five days and not more than fourteen days after the making of the distress, but where consent in writing is so given, the sale may be in accordance with the consent;
(e) subject to paragraph (d) of this section, the goods distrained on shall be sold within the time fixed by the warrant, unless the sum or charges, if any, of taking and keeping the goods distrained on, for which the warrant was issued are sooner paid;
(f) where a person charged with the execution of a warrant of distress: (i) willfully retains from the proceeds any property sold to satisfy the distress; or (ii) otherwise exacts any greater costs or charges than those to which he is, for the time being, entitled by law or makes any improper charge, he is liable, on summary conviction before a Magistrate, to a penalty not exceeding twenty thousand naira, but nothing in this paragraph shall affect the liability of the person to be prosecuted and punished for extortion; or for the return of the sum of money or value of the item extorted, by the person;
(g) a written account of the costs and charges incurred in respect of the execution of a warrant of distress shall, as soon as practicable, be delivered by the person charged with the execution of the warrant to the Court, and the convict on whose movable property the distress was levied may, at any time within one month after the making of the distress, inspect the account, without payment of any fee or reward, at any time during office hours, and to take a copy of the account;
(h) a person charged with the execution of a warrant of distress shall sell the distress or cause the distress to be sold, and may deduct out of the amount realized by the sale all costs and charges actually incurred in effecting the sale, and shall pay to the Court or to some person specified by Court, the remainder of the amount, in order that: (i) the amount may be applied in payment of the sum for which the warrant was issued, and of the proper costs and charges of the execution of the warrant; and (ii) the surplus, if any, may be rendered to the person on whose movable property the distress was levied.
Section 437 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Part payment to reduce period of imprisonment in proportion
Where a part only of the amount ordered to be recovered by distress is so recovered, the period of imprisonment ordered to be suffered in default of recovery of the amount imposed shall be reduced accordingly and shall bear the same proportion to the full period as the amount recovered bears to the total amount ordered to be recovered, and the warrant of commitment under the provisions of section 428 of this Act, shall apply.