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Grant bail to suspects in robbery, defilement and rape cases – Supreme Court

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Law2People accused of offences like robbery, defilement, rape and murder among others can now be granted bail while awaiting trial, the Supreme Court (SC) has declared.

This was after the court in a 5-2 majority decision described section 96 (7) of Act 30, in the Criminal Procedure Code as unconstitutional and strike out same.

Mr Martin Kpebu, a private legal Practitioner, had gone to SC praying it to declare Section 96 (7) of the Criminal Procedure Code as unconstitutional as it was inconsistent with Article 14 (1) and 19 (2) of the Constitution.

Section 96 (7) of Act 30 among others had described some offences such as rape, defilement, murder as non bailable offences and persons held  under those offences were kept on remand pending trial.

This situation had given room for congestion at the country’s prisons.

The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina T. Wood in their ruling noted that as at May this year, there were 256 persons on pre- trial detention in Nsawam Medium Security Prison.

The CJ therefore commended Mr Kpebu for his initiative.

Mr Kpebu told the journalists that there would be no need to keep people on remand for a long time when their cases are not being heard.

He said he has been doing criminal cases for sometime and there was a lot of frustrations  when people charged with those offences were denied bail and that some have been on remand for eight years without trial and that infringes on their human rights.

The move according to him would help decongest the country’s prisons and do away with the frustrations accused persons suffer while awaiting trial.

Source: GNA

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