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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS LEGAL SERIES: Types of Bail in Nigeria

POLICE BAIL

The power of the police to grant bail to an arrested  suspect  before he is arraigned in court(if need be)  is   generally specified under  Section 27 of the Police Act .The said section state thus

When a person is arrested without a warrant, he shall be taken before a magistrate who has jurisdiction with respect to the offence with which he is charged or is empowered to deal with him under section 484 of the Criminal Procedure Act as soon as practicable after he is taken into custody:

Provided that any police officer for the time being in charge of a police station may inquire into the case and-

except when the case appears to such officer to be of a serious nature, may release such person upon his entering into a recognisance, with or without sureties, for a reasonable amount to appear before a magistrate at the day, time and place mentioned in the recognisance; or

  1. if it appears to such officer that such inquiry cannot be completed forthwith, may release such person on his entering into a recognisance, with or without sureties for a reasonable amount, to appear at such police station and at such times as are named in the recognisance, unless he previously receives notice in writing from the superior police officer in charge of that police station that his attendance is not required, and any such bond may be enforced as if it were a recognisance conditional for the appearance of the said person before a magistrate

Sections 30 and 31  of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 also empowers the police to grant bail to suspects. Section 30  specifically enjoins police officers to release on bail(upon recognizance) where the  arrest was without a warrant and where the offence is not offence punishable with death. By Section 31(1) where a suspect is taken into custody, and it appears to the officer that the inquiry into the case cannot be completed forthwith, he may discharge the suspect on his entering  into a recognizance with or without sureties for a reasonable amount, to appear at the police station and at such times as are named in the recognizance, unless he previously receives notice in writing from the police officer in charge of that police station that his attendance is not required

BAIL BY CHIEF MAGISTRATE

A unique provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 is that which empowers a Chief Magistrate or any Magistrate designated by the Chief Judge , to, in her monthly inspection of police stations/other places of detention, grant bail to any suspect( where bail has been refused) if the offence for which the suspect is held is within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate. See Section 34(2) (c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

COURT BAIL

This is bail granted by a court of law. It could either  be granted by the court pre –trial or post judgment, in which case it is granted pending an appeal to a higher court. The statutory powers of the courts to grant bail to a suspect before it are governed by the provisions of Sections 158 to 188 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.The application for bail is generally made by the defendant or his counsel upon his being arraigned and his plea(of not guilty) already obtained. In some cases where an arraigned  defendant is unrepresented by counsel, the court still grants bail  to him as there is a general entitlement  to bail specified under Section 158 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Read Factors To Consider For Grant OF Bail in Nigeria

Read The Meaning Of Bail

Read Is Bail Free in Nigeria?

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