We insist bail must be free – NBA

The Chairman of the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Olabisi Makanjuola, has called on lawyers to report any demands for money for bail at police stations.

Makanjuola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that bail remained free under the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

He said that the branch would do everything lawful to ensure that bail remained free in Lagos State.

He spoke on ways to maintain ethical and professional standards in the legal profession.

He said that the Lagos Branch of the NBA would ensure that demands for money for bail at police stations in Lagos State would stop.

“Our colleagues that go to the police formations always come back to lament that, often times, money is paid to secure bail of suspects.

“The point we are making is that it must stop; even if that is one thing we begin to get right.

“A clarion call to everybody out there is that where any officer demands money for bail, please reach out to us, and we will draw the attention of the commissioner of police.

“He must live up to his promise; bail is free, and bail must continue to be free,” the chairman said.

Makanjuola also said that the branch was determined to clamp down on fake lawyers.

“In the next couple of weeks and months, the Lagos branch intends to begin to clamp down on persons who parade themselves as lawyers.

“If any lawyer conducts himself in any manner that is improper, we ask members of the public to bring such a person to our attention; we have an ethics committee,” he said.

Makanjuola added that the branch was committed to providing trainings for lawyers to expose them to other aspects of legal practice apart from litigation.

He expressed confidence that the trainings would equip lawyers more and reduce ‘ambulance chasing’ and unethical conducts by some lawyers.

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