It has been identified that lack of political will on the part of the Executive is responsible for the frustrations encountered in the prosecution of high profile cases in Nigeria.
Making this known, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, at a meeting with the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), maintained that the unbecoming attitude of government towards the prosecution of such criminal cases, particularly those that touch on politically exposed persons or political party family members calls for concern.
“Experience within the Judiciary shows that there is abject lack of political will to prosecute some of those cases pending before our various courts almost a decade in some instances.
“It is not because there are no special courts, but mostly for reasons of political expedience and other ancillary considerations.
“I would likewise wish to encourage you (AGF) to display a greater resolve than your predecessors in tackling outstanding cases before the courts. In times past, the Attorney General of the Federation would often lead teams of legal counsel in high profile cases so as to demonstrate the resolve of the government to enshrine the rule of law.
“Sadly, recent Attorneys-General have become less inclined to do this. I would certainly like to see you, as the Attorney General, appear before us especially in cases of important national purport.
“There is the need for seasoned prosecutors to prepare and file charges before courts of competent jurisdiction so that criminal matters are timeously determined.
“The quality of prosecutions presented in courts by our prosecutorial agencies must be improved upon, as they are sometimes of a standard that will never found a conviction in any court anywhere, yet, a well prepared prosecution can see to the determination of criminal matter within a month.
“Of course, no competent prosecutor who has filed valid charges would permit an accused to mount an interlocutory appeal, to the extent of going back and forth, sometimes twice or more to the Supreme Court, since such lapses could be injurious to the dispensation of justice.”