ABEOKUTA: The Ogun State Chief of Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu has said that she has completed arrangements to decongest Correctional Centres across the state through the introduction of the bondsmen regulations and bondsmen licensing board in the state.
Justice Dipeolu made this known at a stakeholders meeting, while formally introducing the bondsmen regulations and bondsmen licensing board in the state, held recently at Judiciary Complex, Kobape, Abeokuta.
She added that the bondsmen regulations was another important milestone in the state’s efforts to consolidate on the gains of the present administration at improving the judicial system for the benefit of the good people of the state.
According to her; “This development is timely and is in line with our administration’s Seven Point Agenda on Repositioning the judicial system by decongesting the Correctional Service Centres across the state.
“You see, it is necessary to clarify who Bonds persons or Bonds agents are. A “bail bondsman”, “bail bondsperson”, “bail bond agent” or “bond dealer” is any person, agency or corporation that will act as a surety and pledge money or property as bail for the appearance of a Defendant in court.
“Bail bond agents are almost exclusively found in the United States and its former colony, the Philippines”.
She said the practice of Professional surety before the Administration of Criminal Justice and Other Related Matters Law of Ogun State 2017 (ACIL) was greatly discouraged, noting that many courts have had course to convict and sentence such unregistered professional sureties.
Justice Dipeolu said decongestion of Correctional Service Centres across the State was the third of the Seven Point Repositioning Agenda of the administration, noting that recent statistics from the last emergency jail delivery exercise, revealed that 80 percent of persons in custody across all Correctional Service Centres in the State were awaiting trial inmates.
She added that some of these inmates were granted bail by the Courts, noting that most of the inmates could not perfect their bail or secure their release from custody, due to inability to present credible surety or sureties acceptable to the Court.
The Ogun State Chief of Judge said, registration of Bondsperson or agents was a catalyst for achieving the important objective of decongestion of Correctional Service Centres across the State.
Those members of the Bondsmen Licensing Board, including, Hon. Justice A. A. Akinyemi, as Chairman, Mr. M. A. Akinyemi, member, Mr. S. O. Banwo, member and Mr. O. Oyefeso member.
Justice Dipeolu charged the board members to see themselves as lay officers in the temple of justice and therefore must always cooperate with Judicial Officers in the performance of their duties.