Consider bail on weekends and public holidays – Opinion – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
Sir:I just read on a platform where someone made reference to the fact that if magistrates can sit on Saturdays to try cases of environmental sanitation offenses and generate revenue for the government, why can’t the court sit to rule on other issues concerning the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens?
The police do not sleep and do not go on vacation but our courts do! Is it correct?
Even on a normal day, most courts will not accept bail applications after 4 p.m. on Fridays; thus, those arrested after 4 p.m. will have to wait in police custody until Monday to obtain justice if they are not released on bail by the police. Is it correct? Does justice have a day off?
What about long holidays or long weekends like this last Sallah (Eid-el-Kabir) where our classes resumed on Wednesday (July 13). The person arrested on a Friday night will have to spend all of their Sallah in a police cell…unless of course they have enough money or a family that can provide enough money for their release.
Can we have judges and magistrates who care enough about citizens and justice? The answer is yes and we have them, but how do we treat these judges and magistrates? One of the reasons our justice system is not working is that we have not given enough attention or spent enough money to keep our justice system running smoothly.
Why can’t we have magistrates working weekends? Maybe because we overworked them, processing over 200 cases in five working days, writing with long hands and sitting for five to eight hours straight is no joke.
Maybe if we employ more magistrates or are resourceful enough to liberalize our bail conditions, we might just be able to deliver justice for the benefit of citizens…I have a few ideas. #justicefirst
• Esq Bayo Akinlade