The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch, Monday rejected proposed plan by Edo State government to commence mobile court trial of suspected looters and arsonist, within the premises of the state Police command.
It was gathered that a mobile court was set up to conduct the trial of some persons who allegedly damaged public and private property.
Recall some Benin residents on Saturday invaded few warehouses in Benin believed to be housing COVID-19 palliative distributed by the Federal Government and carted food items.
However, in a telephone conversation with our correspondent in Benin, the chairman of the branch, Pius Oiwoh said the government’s decision was unacceptable, adding that there are existing conventional courts set up to hear such matters.
He explained that using the police command as a venue for sitting would compel those in charge of the mobile court to carry out their orders.
Oiwoh further stressed that the matters cannot be heard summarily.
“Besides, the courts that can hear this matter are intact. By the time you use the police station as a venue for mobile court to be sitting, then be assured that they will do the bidding of the police.
“These are matters that cannot be heard summarily, they are matters for instance, the defendants say they are not guilty they ought to be granted bail, they will go home, and then the matter will be adjourned for hearing; where the defendants will now have an opportunity of calling his witnesses to explain to the court were they where as at that time,” he said.
“Now, when you set up a mobile court with the expectation to hear them summarily, guilty or not guilty they send them to prison, it is not supposed to be like that,” Oiwoh added.