The Lagos State Government on yesterday inaugurated an advisory committee on Police Prosecutions in Magistrate Courts to review laws enabling Police prosecutorial power.
The committee was inaugurated in response to the clamour by non-governmental organisations and stakeholders to bar Police Prosecution of criminal matters at the State Magistrate Court in accordance with 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, Mr. 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.
The Committee’s terms of reference include the State of Law in terms of Police Prosecutorial powers; Challenges of oversight functions of the AG; Distinctions in the type of offences Police can prosecute; and Magistrate Court Jurisdiction on criminal matters and its powers to review charges, among others.
Onigbanjo noted that the members were carefully selected based on their wealth of experience in State Criminal Justice practice and assured NGOs as well as Lagos residents that government’s final decisions will be based on fairness, devoid of sentiments and bias.
The Attorney-General urged the advisory committee to look beyond Lagos State in their deliberations and likewise consider the laws of the country in order to give balanced counsel.
“I hereby urge you to look beyond Lagos State being a Pacesetter to others in your deliberation to make informed decisions in your advice”, he said.
Responding, Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, commended the Attorney-General for the choice of members, promising that the committee will put in their best to ensure unbiased and professional recommendations are submitted to the government in a short while.
In her remarks, the Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey, expressed optimism that the recommendations of the advisory committee would enhance the effective Administration of Justice in the State.
The members of the advisory committee are 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, Chairman, NBA Ikorodu Chapter – Member;
Mrs. Rukayat Owolabi – Member; and Mrs. Arinola Momoh-Ayokanmbi – Secretary.