Section 241-250 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Section 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, and 250 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 is under PART 25 (WITNESSES: COMPELLING ATTENDANCE AND TAKING OF OATH OR MAKING OF AFFIRMATION) of the Act.
Section 241 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Issue of summons for witness
(1) The court may, on an application of the prosecution or the defence, issue a summon or a writ of subpoena on a witness requiring him to attend court to give evidence in respect of the case, and to bring with him any specified documents or things and any other documents or thing relating to them which may be in his possession or power or under his control.
(2) Where the prosecutor is not a public officer the person to whom the summons is addressed is not bound to attend unless his traveling expenses are paid to him.
Section 242 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Service of summons and other processes on witnesses
(1) A court with criminal jurisdiction shall have a process server specifically assigned to it.
(2) The process server has the responsibility to effect due efficient service of witness summons, defendant’s production orders, writs and all other processes issued in the court in respect of all criminal matters.
(3) A summons shall be served on the person to whom it is directed in the same manner as is set out in section 122 or 123 of this Act or, with leave of the court, section 124 and sections 126 to 130 of this Act shall apply to the summons.
(4) Service of processes may be effected by registered reputable courier companies, recognized and authorised by the Chief Judge in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the registered courier companies may be assigned to a court with criminal jurisdiction as a process server in accordance with subsection (1) of this section.
(5) The Attorney-General of the Federation or a person so authorized or the police, may serve on a person whom the prosecutor wishes to call as witness, a witness summons or writ of subpoena.
(6) Proof of service of a process or document shall be endorsed by the process server effecting the service, and shall be filed in the court’s file.
Section 243 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Warrant for witness after summons
Where a witness summoned to give evidence does not:
(a) attend court at the time and place indicated on the summons; and
(b) provide any reasonable excuse for his non-attendance, then after proof that the summons was duly served on him, or that the person to be served wilfully avoids service, the court may issue a warrant to arrest and bring him before the court.
Section 244 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Issue of warrant for witness
Where the court is satisfied in the first instance, by proof on oath, that a person likely to give material evidence, either for the prosecution or for the defence, will not attend to give evidence without being compelled to do so, then, instead of issuing a summons, it may issue a warrant for the arrest of the person.
Section 245 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Mode of dealing with witness arrested under warrant
(1) A witness arrested under a warrant shall, if practicable and where the hearing of the case for which his evidence is required is fixed for a time which is more than twenty-four hours after the arrest, be taken before a Magistrate, and the Magistrate:
(a) may, on the witness furnishing security by recognizance to the satisfaction of the Magistrate for his appearance at the hearing, order him to be released from custody; or
(b) shall, on the witness failing to furnish the security, order him to be detained for production at the hearing.
(2) The provisions of this Act relating to bail, summons and warrants in respect of the defendant shall apply to witnesses.
(3) A witness arrested or detained under this section shall not be kept in the same room or place as the defendant, if the defendant is in custody and the defendant shall not be allowed to make any contact with the witness.
Section 246 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Penalty on witnesses refusing to attend
(1) A witness who:
(a) refuses or neglects, without reasonable cause to attend court in compliance with the requirements of a summons duly served in the manner prescribed by law; or
(b) departs from the premises of the Court without the leave of the Judge or Magistrate hearing the case, is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months.
(2) A complaint shall not be made for an offence under this section except by the order of the court made during the hearing of the case for which the evidence of the witness is required.
Section 247 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Non-attendance of witness on adjourned hearing
A witness who is present when the hearing or further hearing of a case is adjourned, or who has been duly notified of the time and place to which the hearing or further hearing is so adjourned, shall attend any subsequent hearing and if he defaults, he may be dealt with in the same manner as if he had refused or neglected to attend the court in obedience to a witness summons.
Section 248 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Persons in court may be required to give evidence though not summoned
A person present in court and compellable as a witness, whether a party or not, in a cause, may be compelled by a court to give evidence, and produce any document in his possession, or in his power, in the same manner and subject to the same rules as if he had been summoned to attend and give evidence, or to produce the document and may be punished in like manner for any refusal to obey the order of the court.
Section 249 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Manner of taking oath or affirmation
A witness shall take an oath or make a solemn affirmation in such a manner as the court considers binding on his conscience.
Section 250 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Witness refusing to be sworn, or produce documents
(1) When a person attending court and who is required to give evidence, without any sufficient excuse or reason:
(a) refuses to be sworn or to affirm as a witness;
(b) having been sworn or having taken affirmation refuses to answer any question put to him;
(c) refuses or neglects to produce any document or anything which he is required by the court to produce, the court may adjourn the hearing of the case and may in the meantime by warrant, commit the person to prison or other place of safe custody for a period not exceeding thirty days.
(2) Nothing in this section shall:
(a) affect the liability of the person to any other punishment for refusing or neglecting to do what is so required of him; or
(b) prevent the court from disposing of the case in the meantime according to any other sufficient evidence taken by it.