The Chief Registrar of the Kano State High Court, Abdullahi Ado Bayero has said granting bail to persons standing trial before the court, does not mean a compromise from the judiciary.
He stressed that every person standing trial before the court is entitled to bail if the case he is facing touches on Capital offences.
The Chief Registrar made these remarks while clearing the air on allegations that Kano Courts grant unilateral bails without due processes.
He said bail is a right of the defendant, not a favour, “Court is not doing any favour to the person standing trial but fulfilling its obligation of ensuring justice in a trial.”
He, however, explained that granting bail to the defendant is a discretionary power of the court which is also exercised judicially and judiciously.
The legal luminary explained that though admitting a defendant to bail is always his right, the court puts into cognisance the nature of the offence the defendant is being charged with.
“Capital offences are not ordinarily bailable, such as culpable homicide, rape, armed robbery, treason among others,
Similarly, a judge can grant bail in misdemeanour offences which include: petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, simple assault, disorderly conduct, trespass, shoplifting, vandalism, reckless driving, indecent exposure, and possession of cannabis for personal use among others”
He further explained that in every criminal trial, justice is a tripod; to the complainant, defendant and society.
He dispelled the insinuation that the Kano judiciary grants bail arbitrary, insisting that Magistrates and Judges follow laid down procedures according to the extant Laws before granting bail.
” Constitution of Federal Republic Nigeria 1999 as amended provides that, “Every person standing trial in a criminal matter is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of jurisdiction”
“You detain a defendant in custody for many periods and at the end of the trial you find no culpability against him, you discharge him, what is his faith? this is an infringement on his rights.”
The Chief Registrar emphasized that granting bail helps in decongesting the custodial facility.
“If you look at what is happening now, there are a lot of inmates awaiting trial in the correctional facility, without being convicted”
“Our statics at hand revealed that those who are waiting for trial are much more than those who are convicted”
He said that was the reason the government introduced a policy on correctional facility decongestion.
“This is the reason we encourage Judges and Magistrates to grant bail where the offences are bailable” he added.