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Monday, August 21, 2017

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Factors To Consider For Grant Of Bail in Nigeria



Though the right to bail is a constitutional and statutory entitlement, in reality, the granting authorities in most cases, exercise discretionary powers in granting bail to suspects/accused persons/defendant. The power to use discretion is generally recognized by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.See Section 165
(1). In exercising the discretion to either grant or refuse bail, recourse is made to some factors/considerations. From case-law authorities, the common factors to be considered before bail is granted are generally thus:
(a) The nature and gravity of the offence;
(b) The character of the evidence
(c) The severity of the punishment;
(d) The criminal record or antecedents of the accused person;
(e) The likelihood of the repetition of the offence by the accused person while on bail.
(f) Likelihood of further charge being brought against the accused person;
(g) A probability of guilt of the accused person;
(h) Evidence that if the accused person is granted bail the prosecution witnesses will be in deferred with or prevented from appearing to testify; and
(i) Detention for the protection of the accused person.
See  the cases of  ABACHA V. STATE (2002) 5 NWLR (pt. 761) 638; OBASEKI V. POLICE (1959) NMLR 149; DAN BABA V. POLICE (1958) NMLR 3; BAMAYI V. STATE (2001) 2 NWLR (pt.698) 435; and ALATA V. STATE (2007) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1061) 483 at 517 -518.”Per ADAMU, J.C.A.(Pp. 19-21, paras. D-A
It is important to note that the above factors are not exhaustive and need not coexist and the Court can rely on one or more of them in the exercise of its discretion judiciously or judicially to grant or refuse an application for bail.

BAIL CONDITIONS

Upon the grant of bail, the court or granting authority would in most cases stipulate the conditions that are to be fulfilled/perfected before it takes effect. These conditions generally relate to the production of sureties and the requirements the sureties are to meet to be able to stand as sureties. Then, there is the procedural requirement of surety recommendation, filling of the bail bond, verification of address of suspect and sureties and production of evidence of tax payment

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