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“Bail must be free”, NBA tells Police

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By Felix Kuyinu

Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos branch, Olabisi Makanjuola, has insisted that bail is free at police stations, calling on lawyers to report any demands for money by security agencies when carrying out the act.

Makanjuola revealed on Tuesday in Lagos that bail should be free in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constituion as that is one of the ways in maintaining ethical and professional standards in the legal profession.

The Chairman stated that paying for bail at police post is a trample on the fundermental human rights. He noted that the NBA would do everything lawful to ensure that bail remains free in Lagos State.

“Our colleagues that go to the police formations always come back to lament that, often times, money is paid to secure bail of suspects,” he stated.

“The point we are making is that it must stop; even if that is one thing we begin to get right.

“A clarion call to everybody out there is that where any officer demands money for bail, please reach out to us, and we will draw the attention of the commissioner of police.

“He must live up to his promise; bail is free and bail must continue to be free,” the chairman said.

Makanjuola also said that the NBA group is determined to clamp down on fake lawyers.

“In the next couple of weeks and months, the Lagos branch intends to begin to clamp down on persons who parade themselves as lawyers.

“If any lawyer conducts himself in any manner that is improper, we ask members of the public to bring such a person to our attention; we have an ethics committee,” he said.

Makanjuola stated that the group remains committed to providing trainings for lawyers in exposing them to other aspects of legal practice apart from litigation. He expressed confidence that the trainings would equip lawyers more and reduce ‘ambulance chasing’ and unethical conducts by some lawyers.