By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ibrahim Mukhtar, has revealed that the Nigeria Police Force personnel will no longer prosecute criminal cases in magistrate’s courts in the state.
Mukhtar told reporters in Kano on Sunday that there are also plans by the state government to “gradually take over the entire criminal prosecution in the state from the police”.
The commissioner added that the decision is in consonance with section 211 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, as well as the provisions of the newly promulgated Administration of Criminal Justice Law of the state.
According to him, the new arrangement will boost diligent prosecution, while ensuring that every party to a criminal case has adequate representation in court for quick dispensation of justice.
“You find that defendants in criminal matters are always at liberty to engage the services of lawyers, even senior advocates while the state has to make do with police prosecutors whose knowledge of the law is limited. We hope to see that this trend is changed.
“We want all parties to have what would be seen as proper representation. We feel it is better to have legal practitioners on the two sides of every criminal prosecution in the state.
“The criminal justice system in Kano has witnessed a major leap from the 24th day of December 2019 because we have put machinery in place to gradually take over the entire criminal prosecution from the police in the state.
“In the same vein, we have also three lawyers to the three Shariah courts at Kofar Kudu to prosecute Shariah criminal cases.
“We have started with 14 magistrate’s courts in No-man’s-land, where we have deployed three lawyers (state counsel) to prosecute cases before each of the 14 courts,” he said.