The Transnational Human Rights Review

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English Abstract

The protection of victims of crime and witnesses in criminal trials from intimidation is gradually being recognised in Nigeria as a critical aspect of criminal justice administration. Policing activities leave a record of widespread human rights violations committed by law enforcement and security personnel. Attempts to investigate and prosecute these violations are impeded by acts of intimidation or threats of reprisals against the victim who testifies as a witness in criminal proceedings against the perpetrators. This expository paper brings to the fore the importance of interrogating the issues of protection for victim-witnesses participating in criminal proceedings and ensuring accountability for the human rights violations of state actors in Nigeria. The paper concludes that there is hardly any information about the practice of witness protection in prosecutions involving human rights violations in Nigeria. It proposes a system to facilitate the protection of victim-witnesses testifying against perpetrators of human rights violations.

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