Kano State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Ibrahim Mukhtar, has disclosed the banning of men of the Nigeria Police Force from handling criminal prosecutions in the state’s magistrate courts.
Mr Muktar made the disclosure on Sunday in Kano, also announced plans by the state government to “gradually take over the entire criminal prosecution in the state from the police”.
“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.”
“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.
“In the same vein, we have also three lawyers to the three Shariah courts at Kofar Kudu to prosecute Shariah criminal cases,” Mr Muktar explained.
The commissioner added 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 Mr Muktar, 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,” he said.
“We want all parties to have what would be seen to proper representation. We feel it is better to have legal practitioners on the two sides of every criminal prosecution in the state”, he explained.