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Kaduna State Govt to deploy private legal practitioners for criminal cases – Commissioner

By Patience Yakubu [NAN]

The Kaduna State Government will engage and deploy experienced private legal practitioners in criminal prosecution of cases in the state.

The Commissioner for Justice, Aisha Dikko, made this known while issuing guidelines for the application of Fiat to prosecute criminal cases in courts as private legal practitioner.

This, Dikko said, will improve on the standard of trials in the High and Magistrates’ Courts.

The Attorney-General said that the guidelines demands that applicant’s for Fiat to prosecute a criminal case(s) must be a legal practitioner called to bar in Nigeria and in active legal practice for at least three years post-call.

“The applicant must have a functional law office/chambers or an address for service with a functional law office/chambers within the Jurisdiction of Kaduna state of Nigeria.

“The applicant must have paid practicing fees to the Supreme Court of Nigeria as at when due and had also paid Tax to the Kaduna State Board of Internal Revenue of Kaduna State for the year (year of application).

“The applicant must attach to the letter of application two passport photographs, a letter of instruction from the nominal complainant in the charge before the court.

“The applicant must have a certified True Copy of the charge Sheet before the Magistrate Court and Summary of the Facts of the case and intended witnesses and also evidence of payment of practicing fees and tax for the year,’’ She said.

She further said that applicants must register with the office of Department of Public Prosecution, Kaduna State Ministry of Justice with a verifiable office address and telephone number(s).

“A private Legal Practitioner handling a criminal trial/prosecution on behalf of the office of Attorney General shall not enter into plea bargain arrangement or out of court settlement without the prior consent and authority of the Attorney General of Kaduna State.

“The Director of the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) is hereby designated to supervise and monitor private legal practitioners handling criminal prosecution on behalf of the office of Attorney General,’’ she noted.

She further added that members of the general public and the courts in charge of criminal trials may by a letter addressed to the Attorney General of Kaduna state complain of any misconduct or unethical conduct of any private legal practitioner prosecuting criminal trials.

Dikko said criminal cases prosecuted by private legal practitioners with the fiat of attorney-general of Kaduna state are pro bono services and should attract No REMUNERATION from the nominal complainant or the office of the attorney-general.

“Following the grant of fiat to prosecute, the private legal practitioner shall transmit a copy of the letter of grant to the Police Prosecutor (For Magistrate court cases), commissioner of police and file a copy in the records of the trial court.

She said a private legal practitioner granted fiat to prosecute criminal cases by the attorney-general shall not handle more than five cases at a time, adding that these guidelines shall take effect from Jan. 1, 2021.

The attorney-general said private legal practitioners handling cases at the trial court before coming into effect of these guidelines, should continue to appear in those cases pending the regularisation of their applications. (NAN)

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