Section 453-467 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Section 453 to 467 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 is under PART 44 of the Act. It is about PROBATION AND NON-CUSTODIAL ALTERNATIVES.
Section 453 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Meaning probation order
In this Part, “probation order” means an order containing a condition specified in section 455 of this Act.
Section 454 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Conditional release of defendant and payment of compensation for loss or injury and of costs
(1) Where a defendant is charged before a court with an offence punishable by law and the court thinks that the charge is proved but is of opinion that having regard to:
(a) the character, antecedents, age, health, or mental condition, of the defendant charged;
(b) the trivial nature of the offence; or
(c) the extenuating circumstances under which the offence was committed,
it is inexpedient to inflict a punishment or any order than a nominal punishment or that it is expedient to release the defendant on probation, the court may, without proceeding to conviction, make an order specified in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) The court may make an order under subsection (1) of this section:
(a) dismissing the charge; or
(b) discharging the defendant conditionally on his entering into a recognizance, with or without sureties, to be of good behaviour and to appear at any time during such period not exceeding three years as may be specified in the order.
(3) The court may, in addition to an order under subsection (2) of this section, order:
(a) the defendant to pay such damages for injury or compensation for any loss suffered by a person by reason of the conduct or omission of the defendant, and to pay such costs of the proceedings as the court thinks reasonable; and
(b) the parent or guardian of the defendant to pay the damages and costs specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection, where the defendant has not attained the age of 18 years and it appears to the court that the parent or guardian of the defendant has conduced to the commission of the offence.
(4) Where an order under this section is made, the order shall:
(a) for the purpose of reinvesting or restoring stolen property and of enabling the court to make orders as to the restitution or delivery of property to the owner; and
(b) as to the payment of money upon or in connection with such restitution or delivery, shall have the like effect as a conviction.
Section 455 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Probation orders and conditions of recognizance
(1) A recognizance ordered to be entered into under this Part shall, where the court so orders contain a condition that the defendant be under the supervision of such person or persons of the same sex, called a probation officer, as may, with the consent of the probation officer, be named in the order during the period specified in the order.
(2) A recognizance under this Part of this Act may contain such additional conditions with respect to residence, abstention from intoxicating substance and any other matters as the court may, having regard to the particular circumstances of the case, consider necessary for preventing a repetition of the same offence or the commission of other offences.
(3) The court by which a probation order is made shall furnish to the defendant a notice in writing stating in simple terms the conditions he is required to observe.
Section 456 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Relieving probation officer of his duties
A Probation Officer may at any time be relieved of his duties or in case of the death of the Probation Officer named, another person may by consent be substituted by the court before which the defendant is bound by his recognizance to appear for conviction or sentence.
Section 457 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Duties of probation officers
(1) A probation officer shall, subject to the directions of the court:
(a) where the person on probation is not actually with the probation officer, visit or receive reports on the person under supervision at such reasonable intervals as may be specified in the probation order or subject as the probation officer may think fit;
(b) see that he observes the conditions of his recognizance;
(c) report to the court as to his behaviour; and
(d) advise, assist, and befriend him and when necessary to endeavour to find him suitable employment.
(2) The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, or of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall make regulations with respect to the appointment of probation officers, including designation of persons of good character as probation officers from which list a court within the district or division of the probation officer resides may make its appointment under section 455 of this Act.
Section 458 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Variation of terms and conditions of probation
The court before which a defendant is bound by a recognizance under this Part to appear for conviction and sentence or for sentence may:
(a) at any time if it appears to it on the application of the probation officer that it is expedient that the terms or conditions of the recognizance should be varied, summon the defendant bound by the recognizance to appear before it and if he fails to show cause why the variation should not be made: (i) vary the terms of the recognizance by extending or diminishing the duration, which shall not exceed 3 years from the date of the original order, or (ii) alter the conditions or insert additional conditions; or
(b) on application being made by the probation officer, and on being satisfied that the conduct of the defendant bound by the recognizance has been such as to make it unnecessary for him to be under supervision, discharge the recognizance.
Section 459 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Provisions in case of convict failing to observe conditions of release
(1) Where the court before which a defendant is bound by his recognizance under this Part to appear for conviction or sentence is satisfied by information on oath that the defendant has failed to observe any of the conditions of his recognizance, it may issue a warrant for his arrest or may, if it thinks fit, instead of issuing a warrant in the first instance, issue a summons to the defendant and his sureties, if any, requiring him or them to attend at the court and at such time as may be specified in the summons.
(2) The defendant where arrested shall, if not brought before the court before which he is bound by his recognizance to appear for conviction or sentence, be brought before another court.
(3) The court before which a defendant on arrest is brought or before which he appears in pursuance of the summons may, where it is not the court before which he is bound by his recognizance to appear for conviction or sentence, remand him to custody or on bail until he can be brought before the last-mentioned court.
(4) A defendant so remanded in custody may be committed during remand to a prison to which the court having power to convict or sentence him has power to commit prisoners.
(5) A court before which a defendant is bound by his recognizance to appear for conviction and sentence on being satisfied that he has failed to observe a condition of his recognizance may, without further proof of his guilt, convict and sentence him for the original offence.
Section 460 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Suspended sentence and community service
(1) Notwithstanding the provision of any other law creating an offence, where the court sees reason, the court may order that the sentence it imposed on the convict be, with or without conditions, suspended, in which case, the convict shall not be required to serve the sentence in accordance with the conditions of the suspension.
(2) The court may, with or without conditions, sentence the convict to perform specified service in his community or such community or place as the court may direct.
(3) A convict shall not be sentenced to suspended sentence or to community service for an offence involving the use of arms or offensive weapon, or for an offence which the punishment exceeds imprisonment for a term of 3 years.
(4) The court, in exercising its power under subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall have regard to the need to:
(a) reduce congestion in prisons;
(b) rehabilitate prisoners by making them to undertake productive work; and
(c) prevent convict who commit simple offences from mixing with hardened criminals.
Section 461 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Arrangements for community service
(1) There shall be established by the Chief Judge in every Judicial Division a Community Service Centre to be headed by a Registrar who shall be responsible for overseeing the execution of Community Service Orders in that Division.
(2) The Registrar shall be assisted by suitable personnel who shall supervise the implementation of Community Service Orders that may be handed down by the courts.
(3) The functions of the Community Service Centre include:
(a) documenting and keeping detailed information about convicts sentenced to Community Service including the: (i) name of the convict, (ii) sentence and the date of the sentence, (iii) nature, duration and location of the Community Service, (iv) residential address of the convict, (v) height, photograph, full fingerprint impressions, and (vi) other means of identification as may be appropriate;
(b) providing assistance to the court in arriving at appropriate Community Service Order in each case;
(c) monitoring the operation of Community Service in all its aspects;
(d) counselling offenders with a view to bringing about their reformation;
(e) recommending to the court a review of the sentence of offenders on Community Service who have shown remorse;
(f) proposing to the Chief Judge measures for effective operation of Community Service Orders;
(g) ensuring that supervising officers perform their duties in accordance with the law; and
(h) performing such other functions as may be necessary for the smooth administration of Community Service Orders.
(4) Where the court has made an order committing the convict to render community service, the community service shall be in the nature of:
(a) environmental sanitation, including cutting grasses, washing drainages, cleaning the environment and washing public places;
(b) assisting in the production of agricultural produce, construction, or mining; and
(c) any other type of service which in the opinion of the court would have a beneficial and reformative effect on the character of the convict.
(5) The Community Service sentence shall be performed as close as possible to the place where the convict ordinarily resides to ensure that the community can monitor his movement.
(6) Before passing a community service order, the court shall consider the circumstances, character, antecedents of the convict and other factors that may be brought to its attention by the Registrar of the Community Service Centre.
(7) A convict sentenced to community service shall not at the same time be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the same offence, but may in default of performing his community service diligently and to the satisfaction of the court, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the remaining part of his community service to which he is in default or neglect.
(8) Upon sentence to community service, a convict shall be required to produce a guarantor who shall undertake to produce the convict if the he absconds from community service.
(9) The guarantor shall be a relation of the convict or any other responsible person of adequate means or substance who shall produce the convict when required by the court, failing which the guarantor shall be liable to a fine of one hundred thousand naira or more as the circumstances of each case may require.
Section 462 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Performance of community service order
(1) The Community Service Order shall be performed for a period of not more than 6 months and the convict shall not work for more than 5 hours a day.
(2) The convict shall be under the supervision of a supervising officer or officers or Non-Governmental Organizations as may be designated by the Community Service Centre.
(3) The Community Service Order shall contain such directives as the court may consider necessary for the supervision of the convict.
(4) The Registrar of the court making the Community Service Order shall forward to the Registrar of the Community Service Centre a copy of the Order together with any other documents and information relating to the case.
Section 463 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Default of convict in complying with community service order
(1) Where at any time during the community service period, the Registrar of the Community Service Centre informs the court of the default of the convict in complying with the directives of the Community Service Order, the court may issue a summons requiring the convict to appear before it.
(2) Where the convict fails, refuses or neglects to appear in obedience to the summons, the court may issue a warrant of arrest.
(3) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the convict has failed to comply with any of the requirements of the Community Service Order, the court may:
(a) vary the Order to suit the circumstances of the case; or
(b) impose on him a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or cancel the Order and sentence the convict to any punishment which could have been imposed in respect of the offence, but the period of community service already performed may count in the reduction of the sentence.
(4) A supervising officer shall not employ the convict for his or her personal benefit.
(5) Where a supervising officer employs the convict for his or her personal benefit, the officer is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or more, or such other punishment as the court considers fit.
Section 464 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Commission of further offence
Where a convict has been ordered to undergo community service on conviction by an original court but has committed another offence during the period of community service, the following rules shall apply:
(a) the subsequent court may add to the sentence or impose a term of imprisonment which might have been passed by the original court and cancel the order of community service;
(b) the subsequent court may take into account the period of Community Service served in reduction of the term of imprisonment;
(c) where the original court is a High Court and the subsequent court is a subordinate court, the subordinate court shall send the copy of the proceedings to the High Court and on receipt of the proceedings from the subordinate court, the High Court shall proceed under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section; and
(d) where the original court is a subordinate court and the subsequent court is a High Court dealing with the matter at first instance or on appeal, the High Court shall proceed under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.
Section 465 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Amendment, review and discharge of community service orders
(1) A convict undergoing community service who intends to change his or her place of residence shall inform the supervising officer of his intention to do so.
(2) On receipt of the information, the supervising officer shall furnish the Registrar of the Community Service Centre with the information giving the details of the case.
(3) On application by the Registrar of the Community Service Centre, the court shall make appropriate amendment in the Community Service Order and inform the court having jurisdiction for the area where the convict intends to reside.
(4) The court shall give the convict a copy of the amended Community Service Order which the convict shall present to the subsequent Community Service Centre.
Section 466 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Discharge of community service order
(1) Where a convict has been ordered to undergo community service for a period of more than 4 months, the supervising officer shall, from time to time, give a report to the Registrar on the convict’s performance and general conduct.
(2) The supervising court based on the report made by the Registrar, may reduce the period of the community service specified in the Community Service Order by not more than one third where the convict is of good conduct.
(3) The Registrar shall make a report to the supervising court on the termination of a Community Service Order.
(4) The supervising officer who is to be responsible for the supervision of a convict shall be the officer designated by the Registrar of the Community Service Centre and if that supervising officer dies or is unable for any reason to carry out his duties, another supervising officer shall be appointed by the Registrar of the Community Service Centre.
(5) Where the convict is a female, the supervising officer shall be a female.
Section 467 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015
Confinement in rehabilitation and correctional centre
(1) A defendant convicted of an offence triable summarily may be sentenced and ordered to serve the sentence at a Rehabilitation and Correctional Centre established by the Federal Government in lieu of imprisonment.
(2) A court in making an order of confinement at a Rehabilitation and Correctional Centre shall have regard to:
(a) the age of the convict;
(b) the fact that the convict is a first offender; and
(c) any other relevant circumstances necessitating an order of confinement at a Rehabilitation and Correctional Centre.
(3) A court may make an order directing that a child standing criminal trial be remanded at Rehabilitation and Correctional Centre.