Governor Aminu Masari has frowned at the indiscriminate release of suspected bandits, rapists, and other criminals on bail by courts.
“We have had incidents where suspected bandits, terrorists, armed robbers, and rapists were released on bail only for them to commit the same offence. Such ugly incidents could have been averted if bail was not granted at all,” said the governor shortly after the swearing-in of three newly appointed high court judges in Katsina.
The governor called on the Nigerian Bar Association to implore its members that are in the habit of supporting criminals to secure bail through the instrument of fundamental right enforcement to be ethical.
“We are in an unusual time of serious security challenges and must therefore put heads together to address these unusual challenges,” Mr Masari explained. ”The age-long adage that justice delayed is justice denied has been a thing of concern to the government. Thus, there is the need to address the speed of justice among all stakeholders in the justice sector.”
In response to the justice sector reform in Katsina, the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2019 and the state’s Penal Code Law 2019 were repealed and replaced with the new laws in 2021, said the governor.
Mr Masari further noted that the new laws addressed the shortcomings observed in the 2019 law, stressing that with this development, all actors and stakeholders in the justice sector will now work to ensure speedy disposal of criminal cases, which involves arrest, investigation, and prosecution.
He stated that the state government was disturbed about the blame game by the justice sector actors, urging the state’s monitoring and coordination committee to discharge its statutory mandate by ensuring that all criminal cases are handled with deserved dispatch.
He further urged the committee to check the release of suspects with prima facie records of crimes on bail.
Mr Masari charged the new judges to consider their appointment as a call to duty that requires more dedication, professionalism and above all, the fear of God.
The judges are Ibrahim Shu’aibu, Ibrahim Mashi and Abubakar Maude.