By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), has rejected plans by Edo State government to set up mobile court to try suspects who burgled and vandalised public and private palliative warehouses and other related crimes in Benin
Benin branch Chairman of the association, Mr. Pius Oiwoh on Monday, described the government move as unacceptable, but, recommended that the suspects should be tries at conventional courts set up to hear such matters in accordance with the law.
He disclosed this while responding to the concerns arising from the Government decision to set up the trial within the premises of the Nigeria police headquarters in Benin City.
Oiwoh that the charges cannot be heard summarily, adding that the courts that can entertain the matter if adequate security arrangements are made.
He said: “These are matters that cannot be heard summarily. These are matters where for instance, the defendants may say they are not guilty and ought to be granted bail. In such instances, they will go home and the matter will be adjourned for hearing. The defendants will have an opportunity of calling his witnesses to explain to the court where they were as at that time.
“Now, when you set up a mobile court, it is with the expectation to hear them summarily guilty or not guilty and then send them to prison. It is not supposed to be like that”, he said.
The State government on Saturday in a statement said that the government-owned breached warehouse in Medical Stores Road, Benin City, storing palliatives materials and medical supplies, served as a strategic reserve to mitigate eventualities in the State.