The idea of replacing police prosecutors with lawyers, for some times now, has been generating discourse among legal practitioners in Kwara State. In this interview with our JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI, the chairman, Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barr. Muhammed Ayoola Akande, speaks on the issue among others. Excerpts:
We learnt the Kwara State government is planning to replace police prosecutors at magistrate courts with lawyers, how do you see such development?
Though I’m not aware of such in Kwara State but if it’s introduced, it will be a welcome development. We have to learn how to follow new trends. We have sufficient and good lawyers who can do the job. If the lawyers at the Ministry of Justice are not enough, government can recruit more. It will be a very good thing if it can be practised in Kwara State. I’ll advice the government to set up a committee that will oversee this change, they cannot just rush into it because there are some things that must be put into consideration, though, our law, Administration of Criminal Justice Law support it, but a committee must be put in place so that the implementation will be done appropriately. Nigeria is currently under policing, the ones in courts can be deployed to start facing some other aspect of police. The police as an institution, is very wide, their work is more than any other security agencies in Nigeria.
The issue of kidnaping has been threatening the peace of the country, what is the way out?
The Federal Government needs to embrace what is coming from the South West and develop on it, the region has come up with what is called ‘Operation Amotekun’, this is a combination of hunters, police and many other security forces. To curb the menace, people especially at the local levels must be involved. The vigilantes should be carried along in the fight. We’ve over the years, overlooked efforts that could come from the rural areas security agencies. Now is the time to team up and do the work together so that we can address the devastating issue.
Recently, a serious allegation of fraud was made by a Northern Governor…?
The problem we are having is that, most of these governors are being eroded of their powers. The Governor caught army officers collecting bribe and If a chief officer of the state is making such allegation, it’s weighty and it should be taking with all seriousness. The army authority should investigate this and those involved should be brought to brook.
What is your take on the fight against corruption by the Buhari-led government?
It’s still the same one way, more should be done, what we have now is corruption in the highest side, though we claimed we’ve subdued the menace. The fight against it is too low. And I will score government very low. If you look at the logo, it’s a woman blindfolded, holding sword. This shows that justice is no respecter of anybody. Government should stop being selective in the fight.