Lagos Assembly Considers New Bill To Compel Chief Magistrate To Visit Police Stations Monthly
The Lagos State House of Assembly is considering a new bill that will compel a Chief Magistrate within a police division in the state to conduct inspection of the station or other places of detention at least every month.
The new bill stipulates that where bail had been refused, the magistrate could grant bail to any suspect if the offence for which the suspect was held occurred within the jurisdiction of the magistrate.
These were revealed on Thursday during a Day- Public Hearing on a Bill for a Law to amend the administration of Criminal Justice Law, Cap A3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, organised by the House Committee On Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC at the Lagos House Assembly Pavilion, Alausa-Ikeja.
Giving an overview of the bill, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said that some new innovations were introduced into the bill, saying that the amendment was to strengthen the administration of criminal justice law of the state.
In the Bill, Section 9 states that a person who is arrested and in the custody of the police shall be given reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, bail or making arrangements for his defence or release.
It states further that the police shall refrain from parading any suspect before the media.
On the right of suspects, the bill in section 7 explained that a suspect should not be arrested merely on a civil wrong or breach of contract.
Also, section 76 of the Bill, stated that prosecutor may receive and consider a plea bargain from a defendant charged with an offence either directly or on behalf of the defendant, stressing that he may offer a plea bargain to a defendant charged with an offence.
The Bill in section 181 (b) reads that a witness who refuses to attend court proceedings shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding N20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2months.
On non-appearance of a prosecutor, the Bill stated that the court should strike out the case and discharge the defendant unless the court having received a reasonable excuse from the prosecution for the non-appearance of the witness.
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