General News of Sat, 5 May 20182
Judges to be appraised on bail applications
The Judicial Service will be appraising Judges and Magistrates on the use of their discretion in granting of bail to alleged offenders who appear before them, a Supreme Court Judge has said.
The appraisal would be in the wake of how some magistrates and judges were interpreting the Supreme Court decision in the Martin Kpebu’ case relating to the grant of bail to accused.
Justice Jones Victor Dotse, a Supreme Court Judge told journalists at the Akuse Local Prison in the Eastern Region after a Justice for All Programme (JFAP) sitting on Friday.
Justice Dotse said although he was elated at the immense benefits of JFAP but was saddened by the conduct of some Magistrates and Judges.
He said: “it appears some trial judges are not appreciating the rationale behind the Supreme Court decision which allows the grant of bail in cases.”
According to him, judges could decline bail if they have reasons to believe that an accused person may not appear to stand trial or considering the gravity of the offence, he or she might commit further offences.
However, he said, some judges were incorporating their own understanding to the Supreme Court’s decision.
Justice Dotse said in some instances some judges order that sureties are to be public servants, adding “I don’t know where they are getting all these things from.”
He said after the refresher course, if the practice continued then, “sanctions would be applied.”
Justice Clemence K. Honyenuga, a Court of Appeal Judge, stated that 37 cases were put before two courts in the Prison.
According to Justice Honyenuga who presided over the cases four persons were discharged, 24 others were granted bail, two were refused bail and one person referred to the Psychiatric Hospital.
Five persons, he said were absent because they had already been admitted to bail by their respective courts.
Justice Iddrisu Abdala, a High Court Judge also presided over one of the courts.
POS Foundation a Human Rights organisation filed for bail for the remand prisoners.
The cases that came before JFAP were murder, robberies, rapes, stealing, defilement and possession of narcotics.