Bail is one of the most important parts of criminal litigation. Bail provides basic facility to an accused to fight his case properly. While on a bail he can study his case and relevant papers properly and he can also provide crucial information to his advocate who thus can prepare his clients case more objectively.
Bail provides necessary and much needed contact for objective and analytical discussion between the client and advocate and this is most important and essential ingredient of our judicial system for it gives a free and equal opportunity to the accused to put up his case in the court of law to prove his innocence. Thus bail should not only be treated as a help in securing the justice to litigants but it also provides the clear picture of criminal cases to judge and help him in dispensation of justice, therefore it is equally important to judicial officers for knowing the part of accused case.
Bail is a great help to financially weaker litigants to get in personal touch with his advocate and also affords facility to arrange attendance of defense witnesses if needed. Normally defense witnesses are reluctant to altered courts or police investigations. Due to certain negative impressions, people in Nigeria by and large are not willing to involve themselves with court and police proceedings thus for an accused it is really a herculean task even to name the defense witnesses in any case because he is always uncertain and unsure whether any one will come forward to testify in the court of law or with police to state the case objectively and correctly the story or its part of it is in the favor of an accused.
Unusually long proceedings and financial constraint also play its role in deterring such otherwise willing defense witnesses. Moreover the psychology of avoiding standing by a fallen or disgraced individual also plays a great part to discourage such persons. In Nigeria if a man touches the wrong side of law or if police even just start investigation against him be becomes enthralls to most of people in society, the stigma of wanted by police outweighs over larger section of Nigerian society. We should not forget that basically humans trends to avoid complication thus even knowing that their knowledge of facts of case can clear the truth and can unravels the factuality, a normal person in Nigeria opts to keep away from court proceedings especially on behalf of an accused. Thus bail serves a meaningful purpose for an accused to arrange for proper preparation of his case.
Thus denial of bail to an accused not only serves his contact with his advocate and with the facts of case but also plays psychological deterrent to real facts on his behalf. Usually while serving time in a prison cell plays havoc with an emotional individual who tend to confuse the facts if time thus served is rather long or very uncomfortable and grips him such negative ideas that he becomes desperate and hardly left with sufficient courage and fortitude to fight his case. Constant nagging of negative thoughts prepares him for acceptance of his guilt in spite of the facts that at times he might be innocent but conditions in the prison and continuous isolation make him vulnerable. Besides playing havoc with his capacity to fight his case the constraint imposed on his finance prepares him for accepting even an imposed verdict not properly fought out on account of above circumstances which are beyond his control.
Thus denying a bail is a sureway of imposing sometimes challengeable verdict on the accused. Therefore it ought to consider by all concerned whether this is restrictive in nature the right of accused to defend his case. Imagine a poor individual behind bars alter denial of bail, how he can face the might of states resources which are ranged against him to prove him guilty for many different personal reasons viz. investigators for achieving laurels for cracking yet another case, public prosecutors for the feather in his cap for another successful conviction and justice department for another success in sending an enemy of society behind bars but the state, the administrator of justice and people by large have even stopped for a minute to think that how one sided and unequal this tug of war was by denying the bail to an accused thus limiting his resources and freedom this fight was destined to be in favor of state. Do you really call it justice in its all holy perspective?
Even our constitution allows this freedom of resources and opportunity to a sinned individual by affording all facilities to any person to plead this case in court of law and this can be properly exercised only when he is allowed bail till the last appeal. Any thing short of this is clearly an impediment in his attempt. But by curbing the freedom of any individual by denying him bail are we really honoring this part of the holy scripture of our constitution. Our constitution gives the privilege of considering him innocent unless all venues of appeal are exhausted and declares him not innocent but by denial of bail to any accused is clearly a deliberate to put up his case properly. The denial of freedom of an accused may be considered as a positive attempt on part of state for judicious dispensation of justice attempt at crippling the right of an individual to defend himself against the might of state therefore all concerned should delve for a minute to think as to what exactly we want to achieve by curbing this transparency. Are we not slowly progressing towards a situation of unilateral dispensation of justice by denying the individual his freedom during the course of litigation and unbridled freedom to prosecution side to prepare their case?
We should also not forget that millions of litigants in Nigeria are poorer people who do not have enough money to pay the high fees of advocates and they mainly utilize this freedom during bail for rallying his resources to pay for high expenditure of court and under these circumstance the curbing the freedom of an individual may make it impossible to put up his side of story to court. In addition to this the cramping conditions and shortage of resources of Jails may also be given proper consideration whether reasonable facilities to inmates are provided and also the point of avoidable expenditure of tax payer’s money also needs proper deliberation to put our finances to best possible use for the service of Nigerian people.