AGF issues fiat to state Attorneys-General to prosecute criminal matters

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on Thursday, issued a fiat to the 36 states Attorneys- General and commissioners of justice, to prosecute criminal cases within their respective jurisdictions.

Malami, who is the chief law officer of the federation, said the essence of the fiat is to enhance quick dispensation of criminal cases and to reduce the increasing number of Awaiting Trial Inmates (AWT), in the country’s detention centres.

The AGF announced the issuance of the fiat  on Thursday, in Abuja, at a meeting with the Body of Attorneys- General of the 36 states of the federation, organised  to adopt the proposed national policy on prosecution, code of conduct and guidelines for prosecutors in the country.

During the first meeting between the AGF and the Body of Attorneys -General of the states, two months ago, in Abuja, a draft national policy on prosecution, code of conduct for prosecutors and the national guidelines on prosecution ,was presented to them for consideration and adoption.

But due to some concerns raised by some AGs, with respect to the implementation of the policy, a committee was then set up to consider all the issues raised and make recommendations that will be received and considered at the meeting.

The meeting of  Thursday, was to formally present the committee report for adoption to enable work on the policy to be finalised but the AGF, in his address,  said that the adoption of the policy documents and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 by states of the federation, will among others; promote effective and efficient criminal justice administration, remove impediments to speedy dispensation of justice, protect the society from crime and protect the rights and interest of defendants, victim and the society at large.

Malami, who noted that the fear that a national and uniform adoption of the policy documents will infringe on the autonomy of the states, is misplaced,  said that the policy only seeks to provide framework to which all prosecutors and prosecuting agencies are expected to subject themselves in achieving higher prosecution standards.