THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE POWERS OF MAGISTRATE TO GRANT BAIL OR REMAND IN CAPITAL OFFENCES (THE BENUE SCENARIO).
The Criminal Justice System is an essential part of any civilized nation to ensure justice, fairness, the Practice of the Rule of Law and the institutionalisation of a democratic system. The Criminal Justice system is a system comprising different agencies charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting crimes and the correction and rehabilitation of those found guilty of opposing the law.
The criminal justice system comprises of three major elements–the police, the court and the correctional centers. Although an elaborate discuss on these components is not the piece de resistance of this discourse as much have been said already on this by various authors, hence, we shall not belabor the topic, but limit our discuss only to the Court. The importance of the courts cannot be overemphasized as far as the criminal justice system is concerned. There exists in Nigerian a distinction between Federal High Courts and The State High Courts, at least in theory this distinction is recognized by the 1999 constitution.
The courts have the functions of interpreting the Law, adjudication and judicial review; and at more general level, it resolves disputes and enforces the law. The courts in Nigeria are in order of hierarchy, the magistrate/district courts, the high court/sharia/customary court of appeal, court of appeal and the Supreme Court and our attention shall be on the criminal jurisdiction of the magistrate courts.
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