Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Muhammed Bello Adoke
By Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Muhammed Bello Adoke (SAN) yesterday applied to a Wuse Magistrate court to take over the prosecution of a rape suspect being prosecuted by the police.
Eliana Melekwe, a five-year old Canadian girl was allegedly raped at Bolingo Hotel by one Mr. Godwin Okon, who works as a cleaner in the hotel while her mother was a guest in the hotel.
A lawyer from the office of the AGF, Mr Ejike Orji, made an oral application to the court that AGF was interested in taking over the matter because it involved a foreign citizen.
But counsel to the accused, Suleiman Usman, opposed the application, as he argued that the AGF could not takeover a criminal case without the fiat of an Attorney General of the state, he assumed the status of Abuja as a state.
Following arguments and counter-arguments, Magistrate Folashade Oyekan fixed Monday, June 25 for counsel to submit written addresses on whether the AGF could take over the case or not.
When she suspected that the police would not prosecute the case diligently, the rape victim’s mother, Moses Idris, reported the matter to the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria.
The commission however advised her to exhaust all internal mechanisms before it would step in.
She consequently sought the intervention of the AGF who instructed a lawyer in his office to go the Magistrate Court.
She also accused the police, specifically, the IPO of delib- erately frustrating the matter.