Ogun introduces bondsmen regulations to decongest correctional centres

The Ogun State Government has concluded arrangements to decongest Correctional Centres across the state, through the introduction of the bondsmen regulations and bondsmen licensing board.

The State’s Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu made this known on Tuesday, at a stakeholders meeting held at the Judiciary Complex, Kobape, Abeokuta, while formally introducing the bondsmen regulations and bondsmen licensing board in the State.

Dipeolu added that the bondsmen regulations was another important milestone in the state government 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.

She said: “This development is timely and in line with our administration’s Seven Point Agenda on Repositioning the Judicial System by decongesting the Correctional Service Centres across the state.

‘’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,” the Chief Judge stated.

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 the course to convict and sentence such unregistered professional sureties.

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Dipeolu said decongestion of Correctional Service Centres 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 Centres in the state were awaiting trial inmates.

The CJ added that, after some of these inmates were granted bail by the courts, most of them could not perfect their bail or secure their release from custody, due to inability to present credible surety or sureties acceptable to the court, saying the registration of bondsperson or agents was a catalyst for achieving the important objective of decongestion of Correctional Service Centres in the state.

She 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.

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