Probation of Offenders: A court may instead of sentencing a convicted person, make a probation order, that is, an order requiring him to be under the supervision of a probation officer for a stated number of months.
A probation order cannot be made without the offender’s consent. If the offender fail to comply with the order, or commits another offence, he will be liable to be sentenced for the original offence, coupled with the new one.
Breach of probation order in the Jurisdiction, where the practice is popular, like in United State can be dealt with by a fine, community services order or requirement to attend a center for reformation.
Probation order is not granted in some offences such as murder, acts of terrorism, or high treason.
Under the Nigerian law, offences are broadly divided into felony, misdemeanor and simple offences carry lighter punishment, and the felonies always carry the death penalty. However, offences that carry the death penalty are specifically stated under the Nigerian law and they include:
Murder is the intentional killing pr killing as the result of an action likely to cause death. The criminal code defines killing as the causing of death of another directly or indirectly, by any means whatever. Section 306 of the same code also provides that it is unlawful to kill any person unless such killing is executed or justified by law.
In states applying Sharia law, murder carries the retributive sentence of death. Also intentional killing during robbery or after secluding a person to rob him carries the mandatory death penalty.
Under the secular law of Southern states, the death penalty is mandatory for murder. Under the Armed Penalty Force Decree of 1993, murder is punishable by death after conviction by court martial.
2) Other Offences Resulting in Death:
Under the Sharia law, unsuccessful robbery resulting in death carries the mandatory death penalty; assisting the suicide of a person legally unable to consent is punished by death in at least one state; perjury or fabrication resulting in the execution of an innocent defendant carries the retributive sentence of death. Committing any act of witchcraft or juju that results in death carries the death penalty, and causing the death of an accused witch through trial by ordeal carries the retributive death penalty.
Under the secular law of Southern states, some offences resulting in death are deemed murder and carry the mandatory death penalty even in absence of a showing of intent or recklessness with regard to risk to life.
Presiding over a trial by ordeal which results in death carries the mandatory death penalty.
3) Rape of Adult not resulting in Death:
Under the sharia law, under demanding evidentiary showings, rape committed by a married person carries the death penalty by stoning. Rape in general is punishable by death under the Sharia law under demanding evidentiary showing when committed by a married person.
4) Robbery not resulting in Death:
In at least one Nigerian state, armed robbery even when not resulting in death may be punishable by death.
Under the Secular Federal Law, armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm to victim carries the mandatory death penalty.
5) Kidnapping not resulting in Death:
According to Amnesty international, in 2009, kidnapping was made a capital offence in six Nigerian states – Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
6) Adultery: In states applying the sharia law under demanding evidentiary showings, adultery carries the death sentence and adulterers are to be stoned to death.
7) Apostay: Apostasy is the act of leaving ones religion for another. Under the Sharia law, some religions are considered juju and offenders are punished to death. Conversion to Judaism or Christianity is explicitly permitted. Experts state that apostasy is punishable by death in Nigeria, but this may no longer be the case.
8) Consensual Sexual Relation between Adults of The Same Sex: In states applying Sharia law, under demanding evidentiary showings, homosexual sodomy carries the death sentence by stoning.
9) Treason: High treason, conspiring (which applies against non-Nigerians as well as Nigerians) carry the mandatory death penalty.
10) Military Offences not resulting in Death: Misconduct in action, mutiny and dereliction of duty are punishable by death. Armed robbery and treason are punishable by death.
11) Other Offences not resulting in Death:
a) Incest: In states applying Sharia Law, under demanding evidentiary showings, incest committed by a married offender carries the death sentence by stoning.
b) Witchcraft: In states applying Sharia Law, various acts related to the practice of indigenous beliefs, even when of little or no harm, are punished by death. Blasphemy to the prophet or Islam, cannibalism and similar practices are also punished by death.