The Ekiti State Government has expressed concern over increase in the number of applications by victims of crimes, their relatives and other interested persons seeking to discontinue prosecution of suspects facing trial over serious offences.
The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Olawale Fapohunda, stressed the need for caution in exercising the discretionary power of the Attorney General to discontinue prosecution in the public interest.
He said, “All applications shall be subjected to proper review and determined by merit on a case-by-case basis.”
According to him, discontinuation of prosecution of criminal cases at the request of crime victims will no more be automatic in the state “as all cases would be diligently prosecuted in the interest of the public good.”
Fapohunda, in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, said, “It is more worrisome that subject matter of the applications often request for stoppage of prosecution of the accused facing trial over serious crimes such as murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, rape and child defilement.
“Applications found to lack merit, unjust, abusive of court process and against government’s policy on crime prevention shall be denied.
“Victims of crime, their relations and other interested parties must cooperate with the state as witnesses or in any other capacity as may be required if their application for discontinuation of prosecution was denied, otherwise they may be indicted for compounding felony.”
Fapohunda, however, gave the assurance that applications found meritorious would be granted unconditionally or conditionally in line with the state policy on restitution, compensation and plea-bargaining in criminal cases.
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