The Illegality Of Imposing Civil Servants As Sureties In Nigeria By Douglas Ogbankwa Esq. - IReporteronline
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The Illegality Of Imposing Civil Servants As Sureties In Nigeria By Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.

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The Nigerian Courts and some Security Agencies are in the practice of imposing high ranking civil servants as sureties in criminal matters. This practice with all due respect to my Lords, their Worships, their Honours and the head of security agencies does not conform to the extant law on the matter in Nigeria.

A cursory look at Sections 158 to 166 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which are relevant sections in the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of States, shows that sureties as provided by the laws should be blood relatives of the defendants. While the law made references to blood relatives specifically, there is no portion where it mentioned civil servants or house owners, with certificates of occupancy.

This practice which is very obnoxious and unacceptable has led to the unwarranted detention of defendants in Correctional Facilities and in some cases death of some defendants in Correctional Facilities (Prison Custody). Bail is not an escape from justice, but an opportunity given to the defendant to prepare for his defence as provided for by Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In actual fact, bail is a constitutional right, not a favour to be done by a judicial official or security agent. A cursory examination or comparative analysis of bail conditions in other parts of the world shows that the Nigerian Criminal Justice System is unnecessarily bureaucratic, manipulative and cruel to the ordinary man. In other parts of the World, whether you are rich or poor, you are arraigned in court and go home that same day!

The Court of Appeal in the case of Dasuki V. Director-General, S.S.S. [2020]10 NWLR PT.1731 PG. 136-143, in a split decision, HELD: (Granting the application for variation of Bail by a majority decision of 2-1, AGIM, J.C.A. dissenting)

On Whether civil servants or public officers can be involved in bail of accused persons – Per ADAH, J.C.A. at page 153, paras. F-A: “Let me quickly say that of concern it is to us that as a court we must be ready and sensitive enough not to allow or do anything that will run foul of the law. The issue of involving civil servants or public officers in the public service of the Federation and the State in bail of people accused of criminal offences has never been the practice in Nigeria or any part of the civilized world. It was an oversight on our part to allow it in. Our Civil and Public Service Rules do not have any room for it. Expecting a Level 16 Servant to own property worth N100,000,000, will be running counter to the Public Service Rules and by extension the war against corruption. It is in this respect that I will act ex debito justitiae to ensure that the aspect of involving serving public servants not below the status of Level 16 Officer in either the state or Public Service of the Federation or any of its agencies be removed and I so order.”

The above staris decisis is the law as we speak in Nigeria until the same is set aside and it must be obeyed by all and sundry. Any Judge, Magistrates, President of Court or Official of Security Agencies still imposing civil servants on citizens is engaging in illegality. This obnoxious practice must stop and heads of courts should bring it to the attention of the Judges and other judicial officers under them, the same way the head of security agencies should do the same.

We should do things the right way. As ministers in the temple of justice, our duty is to show light, so that others will see the way!

About the Author.

Douglas Ogbankwa Esq, @douglasogbankwa@gmail.com is a Benin based lawyer and Writer, who is the Convener of the Vanguard for the Independence of the Judiciary.

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Politics

2023: APC Reacts To Zoning List In Circulation

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has disowned a 2023 zoning list in circulation, saying it is yet to zone its offices ahead of the forthcoming national convention.

There is a list in circulation indicating that the APC has zoned its 2023 presidential ticket to the South and chairmanship to the North, among others.

But reacting, Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Sen John James Akpanudoedehe, in a statement on Wednesday, described the list as the handiwork of speculators who are interested in running for various offices.

“People who are interested in running for one office or the other can speculate.

“As far as I am concerned, the last Caretaker Committee meeting we had, we did not discuss that [zoning].

“That is not what we are concerned with now. What we are concerned with is data collection; how to collect data without making mistake.

“We are not going to be pressurised because of sentiment and we do the wrong thing.

“Let me say that zoning is not for the Caretaker Committee alone.

“It has to do with the President, it has to do with other major stakeholders, it has to do with a lot of people.

“I want to mute the speculation. The list is not from us [Caretaker Committee].

“The President is not in town. There is no way such decision will be taken without consulting with the President, consulting with the governors and other major stakeholders,” he said.

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Moses Omo-Ikirodah Felicitates With Muslims As Ramadan Fast Begins

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Moses Omo-Ikirodah Felicitates With Muslims As Ramadan Fast Begins

Moses Omo-Ikirodah has appealed to Nigerians especially Muslims to use the Holy period of Ramadan to pray for the unity of the country and also seek God’s intervention to the end of the spread of the coronavirus.

He gave the advice in his message to felicitate with the Muslim community in Nigeria as they join other faithful across the world to commence the Holy month of  Ramadan.

According to him, the current insecurity ravaging the country has made it imperative that Muslims who are engaged in the Holy month of prayer and fasting should make it a point of duty to seek God’s forgiveness and mercy upon Nigeria.

He also urged the Muslim community to seek Gods intervention in curbing the menace the coronavirus pandemic has brought upon mankind.

Moses Omo-Ikirodah urged Muslims to live and act according to the importance of the Holy Month, reminding them not to lose the essence of Ramadan which is to get closer to God and a way to become more compassionate to others.

“As I wish my Muslim brothers and sisters a happy and blessed Ramadan I urge them to be God-fearing and also  remember the less privileged during this holy period while showing love towards one and another ”

 

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2023: 6 Nigerian Female Politicians to Look Out For

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The Nigerian political environment is not friendly to female politicians as patriarchy reigns supreme in the polity. This has affected the number of women folk in active politics in the country, but some are bracing the odds and proving that they are capable of even surpassing the unsatisfactory performances recorded by their male counterparts.

Legit.ng has compiled the names of 6 female politicians distinguishing themselves in politics and paving the way for greater responsibilities as the 2023 general elections draw near.

1. Senator Abidoun Olujimi The 62-years old former deputy governor of Ekiti is an example of an irrepressible politician who has seen it all and continues to break new grounds in her distinguished political career. Olujimi had made a name for herself as a broadcaster and journalist before venturing into the murky waters of politics. Currently representing Ekiti South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, she is expected to contest for the governorship election of the state in 2022.

2. Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Popularly called Binani, the senator representing Adamawa Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly came into the national political scene in 2015 and she is already a force to reckon with. Even before her foray into politics, Binani had made a name for herself in the highly competitive Nigerian business environment.

3. Natasha Akpoti 41-years old Akpoti ran for the post of Kogi Central Senatorial District seat under the Social Democratic Party and contested in the Kogi state governorship election under the same party all in 2019. She lost both contests in controversial circumstances, but more importantly, cemented her place in Nigeria’s politics as a fearless and solid politician with an unrivalled ability to mobilise people from the grassroots.

4. Gbemi Saraki At 55, Saraki is following the footsteps of her father Olusola and brother, Bukola who are both widely-respected political juggernauts in Nigeria. She is currently the minister of state for transportation and former senator who was elected to represent the Kwara Central Senatorial District in the year 2003. She is expected to flex her political muscles in 2023.

5. Senator Uche Ekwunife At just 50-years old, Senator Ekwunife has come of age in politics and keeps breaking new grounds in what has been a distinguished political career so far from the House of Representatives to the Nigerian Senate. Ekwunife will have the chance to prove her doubters wrong long before 2023 as she seeks the PDP ticket in the 2021 Anambra governorship poll.

6. Hadiza Bala Usman 45-years old Hadiza is a Nigerian politician currently serving as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority. She was previously the chief of staff to the governor of Kaduna state from 2015 to 2016. Despite the current position, her constant foray into politics are well-documented as she continues to serve in several committees within the ruling All Progressives Congress. Her thriving political career is expecting to take shape in 2023

Meanwhile, a lot of stakeholders in Nigeria are becoming increasingly skeptical about the possibility of achieving a free, fair, and credible election in 2023 amidst the worsening security situation in the country. With the current trend of insecurity in the different geo-political zones of the country, there is a general apprehension that things could get worse before the next election.

Some prominent leaders of thought have also expressed fear that the people’s desire for a smooth change of leadership in the 2023 general elections could be marred by violence and other forms of criminalities if left unattended to by the Buhari administration.

Source: Legit

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