Surety wants to relocate
I am a surety for my neighbor who is charged with an economic offence. I deposited my title deed with the Court as one of the bail conditions imposed on the accused by the Court. I have been transferred by my employer to a foreign country as my new working station. What can I do to be discharged from duties as a surety because I feel I will not be able to ensure the accused’s appearance before the Court which is part of my duty as a surety? I am really worried as some individuals say that I cannot remove myself as a surety at this stage until trial is over.
The core duty of the surety is to ensure and guarantee the appearance of the accused released on bail. Section 155 of the Criminal Procedure Act states that a surety who wants her/his bond to be discharged is required to apply to the magistrate who admitted the accused to bail for discharge of her/his bond. The magistrate upon receiving the surety’s application for discharge from the bond will issue a summons to the accused to appear before the Court for him to be informed that one of his sureties has requested for discharge of her/his bond. Upon so informing the accused and upon discharging the surety from the bond, the Court shall require the accused to look for another surety and if she/he fails to secure another surety, she/he will be remanded in prison.
It is important that you inform your neighbor before you formally make an application for discharge from the bond so that the accused will be able to look for another surety with another title deed in order to meet the bail conditions imposed on him by the Court. Once you are discharged from the bond, your title deed will also be released by the Court as you will no longer be a surety.