Justice Dorcas Agishi of a Jos Federal High Court I, on Wednesday struck two criminal cases filed by the Nigeria Police, for lack of diligent prosecution and frowned over the nonchalant attitude to prosecute.
The Judge, in her ruling in two cases involving illegal possession of fire arms, described the police as harbouring “very unserious’’ prosecution counsel and allowing criminals to go Scot free.
“I have had to strike out two serious cases because of lack of diligent prosecution by the police, who are saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the law and prosecuting offenders to keep the society free of criminals and crimes
“If you (Police) know that you can’t handle some of these cases, leave them to the State Security Service (SSS) to handle so that criminals won’t be let go just like that.
“You (police prosecution counsel) always claim to be busy doing nothing, only allowing criminals to get away with their criminal acts.
“Imagine these cases of illegal possession of fire arms. These are serious cases, yet you weren’t serious with it and I have no option than to strike them out based on the applications before me, ’’ she said.
Agishi asked, “how can the Nigerian society be free of criminals or crimes if this is how the police is handling matters as law enforcement agency?’’
She described the situation as “very sad’’ and “unfortunate’’ as she dismissed the two cases for lack of diligent prosecution.
“This case of illegal passion of firearms is hereby out for lack of diligent prosecution, ’’ the judge so declared on each of the two cases to close them up.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the two cases involved Rwang James and Muhammad Garba both who were charged with two counts of illegal possession of fire arms.
Mr Bitrus Simon, Counsel to James, had told the court that the prosecuting counsel have been asking for “unnecessary adjournments and giving frivolous accuses just to frustrate the case.’’
“My Lord, we are tired of the prangs being applied by the prosecuting counsels, and wish to apply for the invocation of section 351 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act for the dismissal of this case for lack of diligent prosecution, ’’ Simon had pleaded.
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