Kano State Government has exonerated Nigerian Police Force (NPF) from handling criminal prosecutions on behalf of the state in magistrates’ courts in the ancient city.
The state’s attorney-general and justice commissioner, Ibrahim Mukhtar, made this known on Sunday, December 29, 2019.
According to him, the police will no longer prosecute suspected criminals in Kano courts because the justice system in Kano had witnessed positive progress recently with the state making effort to strengthen the judiciary.
“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,” Mukhtar said.
The commissioner said the state government relies on section 211 of Nigeria’s constitution as well as the provisions of the new administration of criminal justice law of Kano to stop the police from prosecuting suspected criminals.
He said since the roles of the police include crime prevention, detection and investigation, the state would give it all the needed encouragement to assist in these regards.
“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 proper representation. We feel it is better to have legal practitioners on the two sides of every criminal prosecution in the state”, he explained.
He affirmed that, “This would assist in ensuring that all parties have justice in the spirit of equality before the law. We plan to gradually take over the entire criminal prosecution in the state from the police.”