January 31, 2019

By

Abasi Femi Oguntayo

 

Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda has  expressed concern at the increasing rate at which victims of crime, their relations and interested persons apply for the discontinuance of criminal prosecution.

Fapohunda who expressed this concern today as he signed a Directive on Applications for Discontinuance of Prosecution said  that more often than not the subject matter of such applications were  serious crimes including murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, rape and defilement.

He stressed further that the applications were in respect of  offences which, the exercise of his discretionary power to discontinue prosecution must necessarily be exercised cautiously, judiciously and in the interest of the public.

The Attorney General announced that henceforth, the discontinuance of criminal prosecution shall not be automatic as all applications shall be subjected to merit review and determined on a case by case basis.

According to him “Applications, which upon review are found unmeritorious, unjust, abusive of the court process and against government’s policy on crime prevention shall be denied.

He emphasised that “Applicants (victims of crime, their relations and interested persons) applying for discontinuance of prosecution, shall upon notification of the refusal of the Application, be obliged to co-operate with the State as witnesses or in any other capacity as may be required or risk indictment for Compounding Felony.

He said “Applications for discontinuance of prosecution, which upon review are found meritorious may be granted unconditionally or conditionally, upon such terms in furtherance of the State’s policy on restitution, compensation and plea- bargain in criminal matters”,

The directive takes effect from today. (31st of January 2019)