Ubiaja (Edo State) – Edo Chief Judge Cromwell Idahosa has advised judicial officers against granting bail on stringent conditions to accused persons.
Justice Idahosa gave the advice when he visited Ubiaja Prisons on Tuesday.
The chief judge, who would retire on Jan. 25, cautioned judges, magistrates presidents of customary courts to grant bail on liberal terms.
“You should not make it difficult by asking for a surety on a particular grade level,” he said, adding that what matters was to verify if the surety had verifiable address.
According to him, if you have decided to grant bail, give condition that a surety can fulfill, not making it difficult. If you do not want to give bail, don’t give.
“In our neighbouring countries, such stringent condition does not exist and please let us be mindful when giving bail condition.”
Idahosa’s advice followed a case of a female inmate, Linda Agbada,35, who stood as surety to bail her son who was changed for assault.
Agbada’s son refused to appear in court after the bail, consequently, the court issued a bench warrant on her.
The court granted her bail in the like sum of N200,000 with two sureties who must be on grade level 14 in like sum.
Idahosa, however, reduced the bail sum from N200,000 to N50,000 with two sureties who reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
He also decried kidnappers who abduct citizen, abuse their victims and still collect ransom before their release.
“Kidnapping is the worse form of offence a criminal will commit. I really frawn at how they abduct victims, restrict their movent, abuse and also collect ransom.”
The Assistant Comptroller of Ubiaja Prisons, Mr John Oriabule, said one of the major challenge was vehicle to convey 260 awaiting trial inmates to courts.