Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Ibrahim Mukhtar, has revealed that officials of the Nigeria Police Force would no longer prosecute criminal cases in magistrate courts in the state.
Mukhtar told journalists in Kano yesterday that there were also plans by the state government to “gradually take over the entire criminal prosecution in the state from the police.”
The commissioner added the decision was in consonance with section 211 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, as well as the provisions of the newly promulgated Administration of Criminal Justice Law in the state.
According to him, the new arrangement would 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 to be 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 added three lawyers to the three Shariah courts at Kofar Kudu to prosecute Shariah criminal cases.
“We have started with 14 magistrates’ courts in no-man’s-land, where we have deployed three lawyers (state counsel) to prosecute cases before each of the 14 courts,” he explained.