Nnamdi Azikiwe University Journal of International Law and Jurisprudence

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Mens Rea Principle and Criminal Jurisprudence in Nigeria

IKE Oraegbunam, R Okey Onunkwo


This paper discusses the possibility or otherwise of the application of the common law doctrine of mens rea in Nigerian criminal jurisprudence. Our study discovers that the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code are exhaustive for considering and deciphering the criminal intent, if any, of an accused in view of conviction and sentencing. This paper agrees totally with the principle that once local statutes contain sufficient provisions for a consideration of any relevant legal issue within a particular jurisdiction, it would no longer be apropos to undertake a voyage or have recourse to any legal system outside the jurisdiction. At best, one can only be persuaded by such extra-jurisdictional concerns. This paper finally makes some recommendations towards the improvement of the justice system in the relevant matters. Critical and hermeneutical approaches constitute our methodology.

AJOL African Journals Online