In a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs of the Lagos state Ministry of Justice, the state has explicitly declared that there is no law barring the Police from prosecution of criminal matters in Magistrate Courts in Lagos State.
The statement reads:
RE: POLICE PROSECUTORIAL POWER IN THE STATE MAGISTRATE COURTS.
… Position of Lagos State
The Ministry of Justice is aware of the current clamour by the Non-Governmental Organizations and Stakeholders to stop Police prosecution of criminal matters in Magistrate Courts in accordance to ACJA provisions.
The Ministry, wish to clearly state, that the ACJA does not apply to Lagos State.
Furthermore, there is no provision of any Law barring the Police from prosecution of criminal matters in Magistrate Courts in Lagos State.
As such, the provision of the Law in Lagos State as it stands does not Bar the Police from the prosecution of matters in Magistrate Courts.
However, the Ministry of Justice is always willing to investigate any issue that would improve Administration of Justice in the State.
As a result, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN had directed the set – up of a committee to look into the matter and advice accordingly.
The committee members are as follows:
Arthur Worrey Esq – Chairman
T. K Shitta-Bey (Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Justice) – Member
Y. G Oshoala (Directorate of Public Prosecution) – Member
Lawson Coker – Member
Bayo Akinlade – Member
Rukayat Owolabi – Member
Arinola Ayokanmbi – Member.
More importantly, the Ministry is currently in the process of reviewing the State Laws relating to the Administration of Criminal Justice.
The Ministry hereby assures members of the public that they would be informed on the outcome of the committee’s report.
Mr. Kayode Oyekanmi
Deputy Director, Public Affairs
Ministry of Justice.