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Stringent bail conditions justified

Posted by By ADESINA AIYEKOTI on 2008/02/15 | Views: 564 |

Stringent bail conditions justified


A Lagos-based lawyer, Barrister Folarin Popoola has defended the Nigerian judges, especially those handling criminal cases, submitting that the court does not impose stringent conditions for bail where there is no need for it.

A Lagos-based lawyer, Barrister Folarin Popoola has defended the Nigerian judges, especially those handling criminal cases, submitting that the court does not impose stringent conditions for bail where there is no need for it.

Long adjournment of cases
It is not ideal for the administration of justice but when it becomes necessary it has to be granted, although it is always said that justice delayed is justice denied. It must also be borne in mind that justice rushed is justice quashed or justice strangulated. For that reason, there must be a marriage between justice and adjournments.

Election petitions
For the election petition cases, the time frame has been made but imagine a situation where the petitioner who brought the matter to the tribunal wasnít ready because he has so many witnesses to call and he has not called half of them when the time frame recommended is expiring, you cannot blame the tribunal for that. You canít blame the respondent also for that and sometimes, you cannot blame the petitioner himself because of human constraints.

Judiciary in the last six months
What has been happening in the judiciary within the last six months is not different from what had happened before. There is no change in the system. The habit is the same, the attitude is the same. The principles, which guide them to take decision, are still there.

Due process
Due process and rule of law were massacred during the era of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

EFCC/ICPC proposed merger
There is no reason for their merger because they are for different things. Independent Corrupt Practices Commission is for supervision of the administration on due process, while EFCC is only for the investigation of criminal matters. People are calling for their merger because the ICPC has not been doing well enough. But can the EFCC be as effective as before? It can no longer be active and effective as before, now that they are being called back to perform their duties like Nigerian policemen. We know what Nigerian policemen can do, how they have been doing it. If we are merging EFCC and ICPC, the law has to be amended such that the appointment of a person to head the commission would have nothing to do with the police.

In fact, we donít have to appoint a serving police officer as the chairman of such an organisation. We can appoint people who have proved to be lovers of the nation, honest people. We know some of the people who are committed to the country, if we do that we can merge them.

Bail conditions
Our constitution is inadequate on the condition of bail to suspects. We have not work out what to do if the police refuse to bring suspects to court within 48 hours stipulated in the constitution. Until we do that, people will remain in detention unlawfully and justifiably. Stringent conditions of bail depend on the gravity of the offence. The court does not give stringent conditions for bail where there is no need for it. How do you want to be unnecessarily lenient with someone who stole trillions of naira? I think it is justifiable where the offence itself is so grave.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.