Lagos Inaugurates Committee to Review Laws Empowering Police to Prosecute in Magistrate Court.

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Lagos State Government on Wednesday inaugurated an advisory committee on Police Prosecutions in Magistrate Courts to review Laws enabling Police prosecutorial power.

The committee’s inauguration was in response to the clamour by Non-Governmental Organizations and Stakeholders to Bar Police Prosecutions of Criminal matters at the state Magistrate in accordance to the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Acts (ACJA).

While inaugurating the Seven member advisory committee, Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said the government will announce its position on the matter after the recommendation of the committee, which will be made known to the general public.

Part of the Committee’s terms of reference are as follows:
1. The State of Law in terms of Police Prosecutorial powers
2. Challenges of oversight functions of the AG
3. Distinctions in the type of offences police can prosecute
4. Magistrate Court Jurisdiction on criminal matters and it’s powers to review charges
5. Track the Number of criminal cases filed at the Magistrate courts in Lagos State within a given period and how many cases where successfully prosecuted
6. Whether the Office of the DPP can take over prosecution in over 150 magistrate courts in Lagos
7. Types and categories of cases Police prosecutors handle in the Magistrate court.

He added that the members were carefully selected based on their wealth of experience in State Criminal Justice practice.

Onigbanjo assured NGOs and residents in the state that government’s final decisions will be based on fairness, devoid of sentiments and bias.

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The Attorney-General urged the advisory committee to look beyond Lagos State in their deliberations and likewise consider the Laws of the Country inorder to give a balanced advise.

“I hereby urge you to look beyond Lagos State being a Pace setter to others in your deliberation to make informed decisions in your advise.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the
Advisory Committee, Fola Arthur-Worrey, commended the Attorney-General for the choice of committee members selected.

Arthur- Worrey promised that the committee will put in their best to make sure they present to the government, a rational recommendation within a month.

The Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary Titilayo Shitta-Bey, in her address noted that the recommendations of the advisory committee would enhance the effective Administration of Justice in the State.

The Seven member advisory committee include:
Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey – Chairman
Mr. Norrison Quakers, SAN – Member
Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey (Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice) – Member
Mr. Yhaqub Oshoala (Director, Public Prosecutions) – Member
DSP- Yetunde Cardoso, O/C Legal Dept, Criminal Investigation, Yaba, Lagos. – Member
Mr. Bayo Akinlade, NBA Ikorodu Chairman- Member
Mrs. Rukayat Owolabi – Member
Mrs. Arinola Momoh-Ayokanmbi – Secretary

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