Rights Lawyer Faults Arrest And Imprisonment Of Sureties

In Breaking News, Civic Space, Crime
James Ibor Esq at the June 12 2021 rally in front of CrossRiverWatch office at marian, Calabar shortly before the police sting unit of Operation Akpakwu led by Governor Ben Ayade's ADC, DSP Mohammed Sani Ibrahim attacked and arrested him, Agba Jalingo, Jonathan Abang-Ugbal and Akwagiobe Daniel. (Credit: CrossRiverWatcxh/Patrick Obia)

By Jonathan Ugbal

Rights lawyer and activist, Barr. James Ibor says the trend of arresting, detaining and imprisonment of sureties by Judges, Magistrates and law enforcement agents is worrisome as the actual process is not being followed.

Ibor, who is the secretary of the justice sector reform commission in Cross River State, took to Facebook to express his dissatisfaction on Facebook recently, where he stressed that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 had already laid down the procedure before that can happen.

In the criminal justice system, a surety is a person who takes responsibility for another’s performance of an undertaking, for example their appearing in court or paying a debt. And, in

And, the activist, whose intervention has led to the imprisonment of no fewer than two dozen sexual offenders, insisted that sureties are not criminals, hence, should not be treated as such.

“Judges, Magistrates and Police Officers: A surety is not a criminal. Arrest and imprisonment of a surety should only happen when all efforts to recover money or property to satisfy the bond fails. The mere failure of a Surety to pay on demand is not enough. ACJA targets defendants first in attachment of property. See sections 40 and 80,” he wrote.

While section 80 which falls under part seven of the act deals with an attachment where a person disobeys summon or warrant, part 3 which covers sections 35 through 49, deals with warrants.

It will be recalled that there was uproar after Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court jailed Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) in November 2020 over his failure to produce the chairman of the defunct pension reform task team, Abdulrasheed Maina who was facing trial.

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