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What is acquit?

By Bamidele Kolawole

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In legal terms, “acquit” means to find a defendant not guilty of a crime or offense. When a court acquits a defendant, it means the prosecution has not presented sufficient evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Obada Toyosi Charles Esq

In legal terms, “acquit” means to find a defendant not guilty of a crime or offense. When a court acquits a defendant, it means the prosecution has not presented sufficient evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Nigeria, the term “acquit” is used in criminal trials, and it is the opposite of “convict.” When a defendant is acquitted, they are discharged and set free, as the court has found them not liable for the alleged offense.

“To acquit means to set free, discharge or find a person not guilty of a crime or offense, due to insufficient evidence or the prosecution’s failure to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” – Supreme Court of Nigeria, in the case of State v. Oladele (2018) LPELR-44287(SC)

“When a court acquits a defendant, it means the prosecution has not adduced sufficient evidence to establish the defendant’s guilt, and the defendant is accordingly discharged.” – Court of Appeal, Nigeria, in the case of FRN v. Ogbunyinya (2020) LPELR-49443(CA)

Oluwanbe Adefehinti Esq

Acquittal, a legal term, signifies a court or jury declaring a defendant not guilty of the charges in a criminal trial. This declaration absolves the defendant of all criminal responsibility and spares them from punishment for the alleged offense.

Acquittals may stem from insufficient evidence, the prosecution’s failure to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or the determination that the defendant’s actions didn’t constitute a crime.

Crucial in criminal proceedings, acquittal upholds the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” and safeguards individuals from wrongful conviction and unjust penalties.

Once acquitted of a crime, a person is protected from being retried for the same offense.

Even if new evidence emerges later, the defendant’s acquittal remains valid. This legal principle serves as a safeguard against unconstitutional governmental actions.

Olubunmi Akinseye Esq

The term Acquit, is primarily associated with Criminal Justice Process. Ordinarily, the word Acquit have more than one meaning, such as “put away properly”, “pay off debt in total”, “done well”, etc.

However, in the Legal world, Acquit means “to exonerate a person from a criminal Charge”, meaning that the person charged to Court for a Criminal offence, went through the Trial process but, the Court, upon weighing the Evidences before it, decides that the person is not Criminally Liable, hence has to pronounce an Acquit instead of a Guilt decision, consequent upon which such person is Discharge of any or all responsibilities of further answer to same charge before the Court.

 Acquit, can also be said to mean, not Liable to Conviction and Sentencing.

A pronouncement of Acquit on an individual standing Criminal Trial before a court, signify an end of that Trial Process, as the essence of the Acquit so pronounced is absolving the person from that Criminal Charge and letting him go free, without any official or Judicial Burden.

Banjo Ayenakin Esq

To acquit means to find a defendant not guilty of a crime or charges in a legal trial. When a judge acquits someone, the court is declaring that the prosecution has not provided sufficient evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

It does not necessarily mean that the defendant is innocent, but rather that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof.

An acquittal results in the defendant’s release, and they cannot be retried for the same crime due to the principle of double jeopardy.

Apparently, acquittal means the defendant in a criminal prosecution is free from trial and cannot be tried for the same offence again.

There are usually two words used by court to set a defendant who is facing criminal trial free: ‘a discharge’ and ‘an acquittal’.

 If the defendant is set free on account of no case submission; the court will discharge the defendant. However, if at the end of trial, the prosecution is held not to have proved his case beyond reasonable doubt; the defendant will be discharged and acquitted. Once a defendant is acquitted, the acquittal is a bar to further prosecution.

The following are some case laws related to acquittal ¹:

– Aderemi Aderounmu vs Federal Republic of Nigeria (LER [2019]CA/L/782C/2018)

– Ogunleye Tobi vs The State

– Chidi Ukachukwu vs Mr. Amos Olatokunbo Kukoyi & Ors

– Anireju Ekudano & Anor v Sunday Keregbe & 5 Ors – Nigeria-Law

– Ankpegher vs. State (2018) LPELR-43906 (SC)

– Ugboji vs. State (2017) LPELR-43427 (SC)

– State vs. Ajayi (2016) LPELR-40663 (SC)

– Okputuobiode & Ors vs. The State (1970) ALL NLR 36, (1970) LPELR – 2524 (SC)

– Omorede Darlinton vs. FRN ELC (2018) 2415 page

– Aiguoreghian & Anor vs. State (2004) 1 SC (pt 1) 65

– Onwudiwe vs. FRN (2006) 4 SC (Pt. II) 70

– Adejobi & Anor vs. State (2011) 6-7 SC (pt III) 65

Ilemobayo Akinbote Esq

The word “Acquit” means to set free a person who has undergone trial. It only comes up in a criminal trial.

When a person is charged to court, he is presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise. It is only the court that can declare a person guilty of certain crimes.

The court can only do this after a criminal trial and evidence reviewed. In case the evidence presented by the prosecution is overwhelming against the defendant, he is convicted and may be sentenced to term of imprisonment.

Where the court finds that with the evidence before it, sees that there is no sufficient to convict him, the court acquits him and discharges him. He is in that circumstance, cleared of all charges.

Benjamin Salami Esq

In legal terms, to “acquit” means to formally declare that a defendant is not guilty of the criminal charges brought against them after a trial.

An acquittal is a verdict that the prosecution has not proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ayonitemi Fasakin Esq

To acquit means to set free, release, or discharge someone from an obligation, burden, or accusation. Specifically, in the context of a criminal trial, it refers to the act of a judge finding the accused defendant not guilty of the crime charged.

An acquittal is a formal declaration that the accused is free from the charge of an offense, following a verdict or other legal process.

It is an adjudication that the evidence was insufficient to overcome all reasonable doubt of the accused’s guilt. Once acquitted, the individual is judicially discharged from the accusation and is absolved of the crime.

Jerry Adeyogbe Esq

To “acquit” someone in a legal context means that a judge or jury has found the person not guilty of the charges brought against them in a criminal trial.

This decision indicates that the evidence presented by the prosecution was insufficient to meet the legal standard of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

As a result, the defendant is released from the charge and cannot be tried again for the same offense, a protection known as “double jeopardy.”

An acquittal can occur in various forms, such as a jury verdict, a directed verdict by a judge, or an appellate court ruling overturning a conviction.

Adeola Turton Esq

Acquit means to set free, release or discharge as from an obligation, burden, or accusation.

A suspect is pronounced “acquitted” when they are found not guilty of the charges against them in a court of law. This typically happens when the prosecution fails to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The implications for the defendant are that they are cleared of the charges and are legally innocent.

However, being acquitted does not always mean the person is truly innocent; it simply means there was not enough evidence to convict them.

David Ebriku Esq.

Acquit is When a court lets a person go without any penalty. If a court decides that a person is not guilty of a crime, or the case has not been proved, it will acquit the person. Acquit mean to discharge defendant completely .

Acquittal, in criminal law, acknowledgment by the court of the innocence of the defendant or defendants.

Such a judgment may be made by a court in a trial or by a judge who rules that there is insufficient evidence either for conviction or for further proceedings.

An acquittal removes all guilt in law.Acquit is When a court lets a person go without any penalty. If a court decides that a person is not guilty of a crime, or the case has not been proved, it will acquit the person. Acquit mean  to discharge defendant completely.

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