Court Refuses To Hear Omisore’s Bail Application


The Federal High Court sitting at Abuja before Justice Olukayode Adeniyi has declined to hear the Bail application of Senator Iyiola Omisore.

Justice Adeniyi stated that the Application is premature and therefore incompetent. Omisore was remanded in accordance with Section 293 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJL) by an Order made by a magistrate court of the Federal capital territory pursuant to an ex parte application made by the EFCC.

Section 293 of the ACJL gives a magistrate the power to cause a pre-charge remand to be issued against a suspect depending on the gravity of their crime(s), where the Magistrate has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter .

The application for remand, when granted, subsists for a period of 14 days and can be renewed twice- each renewal for fourteen days.

Omisore applied through Counsel and the Judge stated that while the application is premature and incompetent, it puts the Court in a position to act in an appellate capacity for a Court of coordinate jurisdiction.

A lot of Counsel and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) have spoken on the validity/invalidity of Section 293 of the ACJL as it seems to contravene Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (CFRN) which guarantees the right of a person to Liberty.

Those who toe this line are also of the opinion that it amounts to a Holding Charge which the Supreme Court has stated to be illegal. Some others are of the view that it is simply a pre-charge remand and it does not exactly contravene the CFRN Section 35 as the section further provided that any person arrested or detained “shall be brought before a court of law within a reasonable time” and shall be released either conditionally or unconditionally, if not tried within a period of two months from the date of arrest or detention in the case of a person who is in custody or not entitled to bail.”

They contend that 2 months is at par with the number of days cumulative laid down for remand by the ACJL. It is hoped that this issue is clarified by the Supreme Court in the near future.