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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS LEGAL SERIES: Is Bail Free in Nigeria?

A common and vexed issue when it comes to bailing is this: is bail free? In other words, do you pay money for bail?

The issue of (deposit of) money is mentioned in Section 165 (2)&(3) of the  Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 thus:

Section 165

(2)        The court may require the deposit of a sum of money or other security as the court may specify from the defendant or his surety before the bail is approved.

(3)        The money or security deposited shall be returned to the defendant or his surety or sureties, as the case may be, at the conclusion of the trial or on an application by the surety to the court to discharge his recognizance.

The other time money issue may rear its head in the bail process is when the court orders a forfeiture of the recognizance under Section 179 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, in which case the court may call upon any person bound by the bond to pay the penalty thereof or to show cause why it should not be paid.

Aside from the above provisions, there are no rules that make the payment of (nonrefundable) money a condition precedent before bail (whether police or court bail) is granted. It is not unlikely that in the course of fulfilling the bail conditions, the monetary expense could be incurred. It is thus opined that though bail is free, the perfection of bail is not necessarily free! This, of course, depends on the type of bail conditions.

Read Factors To Consider For Grant OF Bail in Nigeria

Read The Meaning Of Bail

Read Types of Bail in Nigeria

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