Section 158-188 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

Section 158-188 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Table of Contents

Section 158 to 188 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 is under PART 19 (BAIL AND RECOGNIZANCE: GENERALLY) of the Act.

Section 158 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

General entitlement to bail

When a person who is suspected to have committed an offence or is accused of an offence is arrested or detained, or appears or is brought before a court, he shall, subject to the provisions of this Part, be entitled to bail.

Section 159 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Power of court to order person in custody to be brought before it

(1) Where a suspect or defendant is detained in a prison, police station or any other place of detention the court may issue an order to the officer in charge of the prison, police station or other place to produce the suspect or defendant at the time and date specified in the order before the court.

(2) The court may, on production of the person or subsequently, make such order or give such directives, as it considers appropriate in the circumstances in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Section 160 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Recognizance by parent or guardian of a child

(1) Where a child is arrested with or without warrant and cannot be brought forthwith before a court, the police officer in immediate charge for the time being of the police station to which the child is brought, shall inquire into the case and shall except-
(a) the charge is one of homicide;

(b) the offence charged is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding three years;

(c) it is necessary in the interest of the child to remove him from association with any reputed criminal or prostitute, release the child on a recognizance being entered into by him or by his parent or guardian, with or without sureties.

(2) The parents or guardian of the child shall execute a bond for such an amount as will in the opinion of the officer secure the attendance of the child for the hearing of the charge.

Section 161 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Bail where a suspect is charged with capital offence

(1) A suspect arrested, detained or charged with an offence punishable with death shall only be admitted to bail by a Judge of the High Court, under exceptional circumstances.

(2) For the purpose of exercise of discretion in subsection (1) of this section, ‘exceptional circumstance’ includes:
(a) ill health of the applicant which shall be confirmed and certified by a qualified medical practitioner employed in a Government hospital, provided that the suspect is able to prove that there are no medical facilities to take care of his illness by the authority detaining him ;

(b) extraordinary delay in the investigation, arraignment and prosecution for a period exceeding one year; or

(c) any other circumstances that the Judge may, in the particular facts of the case, consider exceptional.

Section 162 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Bail where a defendant is charged with offence exceeding three years imprisonment

A defendant charged with an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding three years shall on application to the court, be released on bail except in any of the following circumstances:
(a) where there is reasonable ground to believe that the defendant will, where released on bail, commit another offence;

(b) attempt to evade his trial;

(c) attempt to influence, interfere with, intimidate witnesses, and or interfere in the investigation of the case;

(d) attempt to conceal or destroy evidence;

(e) prejudice the proper investigation of the offence; or

(f) undermine or jeopardize the objectives or the purpose or the functioning of the criminal justice administration, including the bail system.

SEE ALSO  Section 477-484 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

Section 163 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Bail where a defendant is charged with offence not exceeding three years imprisonment

In any other circumstance other than those referred to in sections161 and 162 of this Act, the defendant shall be entitled to bail, unless the court sees reasons to the contrary.

Section 164 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Bail in respect of matters in other offences

Where a defendant is brought before a court on any process in respect of any matter not included within Sections 158 to 163 of this Act, the person may, at the discretion of the court, be released on his entering into recognizance, in the manner provided in this Act, for his appearance before the court or any other court at the time and place mentioned in the recognizance.

Section 165 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Conditions for bail

(1) The conditions for bail in any case shall be at the discretion of the court with due regard to the circumstances of the case and shall not be excessive.
(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.

Section 166 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Recognizance in respect of a child

Where in any case the defendant in respect of whom the court makes an order requiring that a recognizance be entered into is a child, the child shall not execute the recognizance but the court shall require a parent, legal guardian or other fit person, with or without sureties, to enter into a recognizance that the child shall do what is required under the court’s order.

Section 167 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Sureties

(1) A defendant admitted to bail may be required to produce such surety or sureties as, in the opinion of the court, will be sufficient to ensure his appearance as and when required.

(2) The defendant or his surety or sureties may be required to enter into recognizance, accordingly.

(3) A person shall not be denied, prevented or restricted from entering into a recognizance or standing as surety for any defendant or applicant on the ground only that the person is a woman.

Section 168 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Judge may vary bail fixed by Magistrate or police

A Judge of a High Court may direct that the:
(a) bail conditions required by a Magistrate’s court or police officer be reviewed; or

(b) defendant in custody in a state or in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja be admitted to bail.

Section 169 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Reconsideration of bail

Where a defendant has been admitted to bail and circumstances arise which in the opinion of the Attorney-General of the Federation would justify the court in cancelling the bail or requiring a greater amount, a court may, on application being made by the Attorney-General of the Federation, issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant and, after giving the defendant an opportunity of being heard, may commit him to prison to await trial, or admit him to bail for the same or an increased amount.

Section 170 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Before whom recognizance may be executed

(1) The terms of recognizance fixed by the court in respect to any surety or sureties shall be processed in that court.
(2) The recognizance as mentioned in subsection (1) of this section may be entered into by the parties before any other court, any registrar, superior police officer, officer in charge of a police station or any official in charge of a prison.
(3) Recognizance entered into as described in subsection (2) of this section shall have the same effect as if they have been entered into before that court.

Section 171 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Release on execution of recognizance

(1) As soon as recognizance has been entered into in accordance with the provisions of section 164 of this Act or money or other security deposited in the registry of the court-
(a) the defendant for whose appearance it has been executed shall be released; and

(b) where he is in prison or police station or other place of detention, the court admitting him to bail shall immediately issue a written order of release to the official in charge of the prison or such other place of detention and the official on receipt of the order shall immediately release him.

(2) The release order or any process in relation to it may be served in accordance with the relevant law regulating service of processes in the court, or by such person or courier company as the Chief Judge may authorize to serve criminal processes of the court.

(3) Nothing in this section or in any other section relating to bail is deemed to require the release of a defendant liable to be detained for some matter other than that in respect of which the recognizance was entered into or to which the bail relates.

Section 172 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Mode of entering into recognizance

Where as a condition for the release of any defendant, he is required to enter into a recognizance with sureties, the recognizance of the sureties may be taken separately and either before or after the recognizance of the principal, and if so taken, the recognizance of the principal and sureties shall be as binding as if they had been taken together and at the same time.

Section 173 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Continuous bail

(1) Where a defendant is released on bail, the recognizance may be conditioned for his appearance at every time and place to which, during the course of the proceedings, the hearing may from time to time be adjourned.
(2) The court may, where the circumstances appear just:
(a) vary the order of release on bail of the defendant at any subsequent hearing;

SEE ALSO  Section 485 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

(b) at any subsequent stage of any proceeding, cause a defendant who has been released on bail to be arrested and be committed to custody: Provided that the Judge shall state in his record the reason for the variation of the order or committal of the defendant.

(3) Nothing in this section or in any other section relating to bail is deemed to require the release of a defendant liable to be detained for some matter other than that in respect of which the recognizance was entered into or to which the bail relates.

Section 174 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Defendant bound by recognizance to appear before a court or police may be committed to prison

Where an application is made before the Court by information on oath by a complainant, surety or other person that a defendant bound by recognizance to appear by court or police officer:
(a) is about to leave Nigeria; or

(b) for the purpose of evading justice, is about to leave or has left the division or district of the court before which he is to appear or in which he normally resides, the court may cause him to be arrested and may commit him to prison until the trial, unless the court considers it fit to admit him to bail on further recognizance.

Section 175 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Reconsideration of amount of bail on application by law officer or police

Where a defendant has been admitted to bail and circumstances arise which, if the defendant had not been admitted to bail would, in the opinion of a law officer or police officer, justify the court in refusing bail or in requiring bail of greater amount, a court, may:
(a) on the circumstances being brought to its notice by a law officer or police officer, issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant; and

(b) after giving him an opportunity of being heard, commit him to prison to await trial or admit him to bail for the same or an increased amount as the court may deem just.

Section 176 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Variation of a recognizance if surety unsuitable

Where at any time after a recognizance has been entered into, it appears to the court that for any reason the surety or sureties are unsuitable, the court may:
(a) issue a summons or warrant for the appearance of the principal; and

(b) on his coming to the court, order him to execute a fresh recognizance with other surety or sureties, as the case may be.

Section 177 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Discharge of sureties

(1) All or any of the sureties to a recognizance may at any time apply to the court which caused the recognizance to be taken to discharge the bond either wholly or so far as relates to the applicant.

(2) On an application under subsection (1) of this section, the court shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant on whose behalf the recognizance was executed and on his appearance shall discharge the recognizance either wholly or so far as relates to the applicant and shall require the defendant to find other sufficient sureties or meet some other conditions and if he fails to do so, may make such order as it considers fit.

Section 178 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Order of fresh security upon original order

Where a surety to a recognizance becomes insolvent or dies or where a recognizance is forfeited, the court may order the defendant from whom the recognizance was demanded to furnish fresh security in accordance with the directions of the original order and, if the security is not furnished, the court may proceed as if there had been default in complying with the original order.

Section 179 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Forfeiture of recognizance

(1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the court by which a recognizance has been taken or, when the recognizance bond is for appearance before a court and it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, that a recognizance has been forfeited, the court shall record the grounds of proof and may call on any person bound by the bond to pay the penalty thereof or to show cause why it should not be paid.

(2) Where sufficient cause is not shown and the penalty is not paid, the court may proceed to recover the penalty from a person bound, or from his estate if he is dead, in the manner laid down in this Act for the recovery of fines.

(3) A surety’s estate shall only be liable under this section if the surety dies after the recognizance is forfeited.

(4) When the penalty is not paid and cannot be recovered in manner provided in this Act, the person bound shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

(5) The court may at its discretion remit any portion of the penalty and enforce payment in part only.

Section 180 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Mitigation of forfeiture

The court may at any time cancel or mitigate the forfeiture, on the person liable under the recognizance applying and giving security to the satisfaction of the court, for the future performance of the condition of the recognizance and paying, or giving security for the payment of the costs incurred in respect of the forfeiture or on such other conditions as the court may consider just.

Section 181 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Where defendant fails to find surety

Where a defendant required by a court to find sufficient sureties fails to do so, the court, shall, unless it is just and proper in the circumstances, make some other order in the case of a defendant:
(a) charged with an offence and released on bail, an order committing him to prison until he is brought to trial, discharged or finds sufficient sureties, or meets such other conditions as the court may direct in the circumstances; or

SEE ALSO  Section 293-299 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 NG

(b) ordered to give security for good behaviour, an order committing him to prison for the remainder of the period for which he was originally ordered to give security or until he finds sufficient sureties.

Section 182 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Forfeiture on conviction

(1) Where a recognizance to keep the peace and be of good behaviour or not to do or commit some act or thing, has been entered into by a defendant as principal or as surety before a court, a court, on proof that the person bound by the recognizance as principal has been convicted of an offence which is by law a breach of the condition of the recognizance, may order that the:
(a) recognizance be forfeited; and

(b) persons bound by it, whether as principal or as sureties or any of those persons, shall pay the sums for which they are respectively bound.

(2) A certified copy of the judgment of the court by which the defendant was convicted of the offence may be used as evidence in proceedings under this section and, where the certified copy is so used, the court shall presume the defendant committed the offence until the contrary is proved.

Section 183 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Where recognizance forfeited warrant may be issued

Where a recognizance is ordered to be forfeited, the court having jurisdiction over the matter may, immediately or at any time after the order, issue a warrant of commitment against a person liable, whether as principal or surety under the recognizance, for any term not exceeding the term prescribed in respect of a like sum in the scale of imprisonment set out in this Act unless the amount due under the recognizance is paid.

Section 184 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Arrest on failure to appear

Where a defendant who is bound by a recognizance or bond to appear before a court or police station does not so appear, the court may issue a warrant for his arrest.

Section 185 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Payment on recognizance

All sums paid or recovered in respect of a recognizance order by a court in pursuance of section 178 of this Act to be forfeited shall be paid to the Treasury and a receipt issued which shall be produced in court as evidence of payment.

Section 186 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Appeal

An order of forfeiture made under this Act shall be subject to appeal.

Section 187 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Registration of bondsperson

(1) The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court or of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja may make regulation for the registration and licensing of corporate bodies or persons to act as bondspersons within the jurisdiction of the court in which they are registered.

(2) A person shall not engage in the business of bail bond services without being duly registered and licensed in accordance with the subsection (1) of this section.

(3) A person who engages in bail bond services without registration and licence or in contravention of the regulation or terms of his licence is liable to a fine of five hundred thousand naira or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both fine and imprisonment.

(4) On conviction under this section, the court shall forward a report to the Chief Judge and in instances of gross violation of the terms of the licence revoke the licence.

(5) A bondsperson registered under subsection (1) of this Section may undertake recognizance, act as surety, or guarantee the deposit of money as required by the bail condition of a defendant granted bail by the court within the division or district in which the bondsman is registered.

(6) A person or organisation shall not be registered as a bondsperson unless the person is, or the organisation is composed of persons of unquestionable character and integrity and deposits with the Chief Judge sufficient bank guarantee in such amount as may be determined by the Chief Judge in the regulation, having regard to the registered class or limit of the bondsman‘s recognizance;

(7) A registered bondsperson shall maintain with a bank or insurance company designated in his licence, such fully paid deposit to the limit of the amount of bond or recognizance to which his licence permits him to undertake.

(8) The Chief Judge may withdraw the registration of a bondsperson who contravenes the terms of his licence.

Section 188 Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015

Bondsperson may arrest absconding defendant or suspect

Where a bondsperson arrests a defendant or suspect who is absconding or who he believes is trying to evade or avoid appearance in court he shall:
(a) immediately hand him over to the nearest police station; and

(b) the defendant arrested shall be taken to the appropriate court within 12 hours.

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Inioluwa Olaposi

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