The House of Representatives has begun moves to end multiple trials for the same criminal offence by a court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal by amending the Extradition Act to make it in tandem with international law.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, said while speaking on the bill that the amendment is in line with Section 36 (9) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) which states that “no person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence, or for a criminal offence having the same ingredients as that offence save upon the order of a superior court.”
Speaking at a public hearing organised by the House on Bill, to “Give Effect To The Rule Against Double Jeopardy As Recognition Under The Constitution, Provide Procedural Safeguards To Avoid Extradition Of Nigerian Citizens With Irrefutable And Uninvestigated Cases Of Mistaken Identity And To Effect Appropriate Modifications On The Act To Conform With The Provisions Of The 1999 Constitution,” the speaker explained that the law will also protect the rights of the affected persons.
He also added that the decision of the House to amend the law is in tandem with the primary functions of the House of Representatives which includes making laws for the peace and good government of Nigeria.
“These amendments will bring our extradition laws up to date and in tandem with norms of international law. It will also reinforce the commitment of Nigeria to protecting the rights of all its citizens.
“Extradition Act to give effect to the rule against double jeopardy as recognised under the constitution, provide procedural safeguards to avoid extradition of Nigerian citizens with irrefutable cases of mistaken identity and to effect appropriate modification on the Act to conform with the provision of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Speaker Dogara added.