Private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu

A private legal practitioner has cautioned against the use of bail as punishment or extorting monies as a condition to release a suspect who has been granted bail.

According to Martin Kpebu, the country’s law frowns on such activities as they are illegal.

Speaking on JoyNews’ ‘The Law’ on Sunday, Martin Kpebu said such illegal activities has been a huge problem in the country.

“Sometimes the one that is to be deprecated is the one that the officer is extorting. Sometimes they take your client behind you and extort, ‘pay us this sum, look it is my power to grant not the lawyer’…give me this money if not you are not going’ they would say, and that is a big problem.”

He cited a situation where the court has granted bail, yet the officer who was to inspect the victim’s house took a sum of ¢1,000.

“It’s a huge problem, we should stop it,” he stressed.

The lawyer blamed the situation on the insufficient resources available to officers and, therefore, called on the IGP to ensure that they are resourced to cut down on extortion.

“I am aware that when this government came in, so far they’ve given about 400 vehicles, but the vehicles are not for going to inspect so maybe IGP should look at it.

“There should be some of the vehicles allocated…because sometimes the suspect has to use his own car or family member’s car so look, as we build schools, let’s also build the criminal justice system because nobody knows tomorrow.”

Martin Kpebu also urged victims to report such officers so that the trend can be reversed.