As a follow up to the raging debate on the need to amend the extant Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State (ACJL), various legal practitioners across Nigeria have proposed the removal of non lawyer police men from our court to prosecute criminal matters.

Crucially, this has necessitated Femi Falana SAN to address the subject matter vide a conversation with the current Chairman of the NBA, Ikorodu Branch wherein he wrote an open letter to the latter.

Below is the excerpt of the Silks candid legal opinion and preposition as replicated from NBA Ikorodu whatsapp group.
Femi Falana SAN


I have raised this matter with the Lasg AG. He has promised to look into it.

Instead of addressing the myriad of problems confronting the rule of law in the country Nigerian lawyers prefer to spend hundreds of millions every year on fruitless debates during the annual confab of the national NBA and the law week of each of the 125 branches of the NBA. Can you  imagine that many lawyers are still debating whether the provisions of the ACJA are applicable to the states? In spite of our mangled federalism it has been established in a number of cases that the AG of each state is fully in charge of the prosecution of all state offences.

Therefore, the NBA branches in Lagos State should  propose an amendment to ACJL  and forward it to the House of Assembly through the office of the AG.

I believe that if the proposed amendment is carried out Asap it will enhance the quality of prosecution in our courts and create additional jobs for our members.

However, I congratulate the Ikorodu  branch under your leadership for monitoring  the monthly inspection of police stations by magistrates in line with section 34 of the ACJA. I wish  the remaining branches will follow suit so that we can end the illegal arrest and detention of poor people in police stations.

As you are aware, I sued the immediate past CJ of the federal high court over his refusal to designate Judges to visit detention facilities of the Armed Forces, EFCC, ICPC, NDLEA etc. Happily, the new CJ has assured me that he would soon designate the Judges. That is the only way to halt the gross abuse of the Human Rights of people held in the detention centres of the anti graft and security agencies.

Finally, I wish you a challenging legal year ahead.


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