Vol. 6, Issue 3 (2020)
A comparative legal analysis of the fault elements for criminal responsibility in the prosecution of crimes in Nigeria
Author(s): Akuchie Henry A
Abstract: As it is generally known in criminal law, intention, recklessness, strict liability and negligence are forms of mental elements that fall under mens rea for criminal liability. One insists that negligence is a fault, and when qualified as gross or inadvertent negligence, it is a fault in the standard we expect. However, intention and negligence stand to each other as two poles in opposite direction, and between them is recklessness. Some authors have postulated that one who causes death recklessly falls between two extremes of liability. Some of these authors asserts that he/she is less culpable than the intentional killer but more culpable than a merely negligent agent. It is argued by this writer that both the intentional and the reckless agent’s behaviours are in relation to a specified harm, which they choose to bring about. In examining the culpability level of one who acted with intention, recklessly and negligently, this paper makes a comparative analysis of the fault elements for criminal responsibility in Nigeria with some cases in some common law jurisdictions. The comparative analysis should help to improve the Nigerian criminal jurisprudence.