By Nasir Yusuf
The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has described as false, the report that it has stalled the trial of some former Katsina state government officials.
In a statement from the office of the AGF, the number one law officer in the country described the report as not only malicious but odious.
The Special Adviser to the AGF on Media, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, said the role played by the AGF in the trial was misrepresented in its entirety.
“The truth of the matter is that, contrary to the report, The Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in response to the letter of the Katsina state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice with reference number DPPA/REQ/510/18 dated 29th November, 2018 and titled, RE: REQUEST FOR CASE FILE FROM INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES AND OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION (ICPC) IN RESPECT OF CHARGES NOS. KTH/9C/2017-FRN VS ALHAJI ABDULAZIZ ABDULLAHI SHINKAFI AND ONE OTHER AND KTH/SC/2017-FRN VS NASIRU INGAWA AND ONE OTHER, the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mohammed Umar Etsu had written and I quote:
“I am further directed to inform you that after a careful study of your request, it is the directive of the Attorney General of the Federation that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Commission (ICPC) be allowed to continue the prosecution of the case.”
The letter by the Katsina state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Ahmad Usman Muhammad El-Marzuq reference number MOJ/KT/CON.10/VOL.1/142 titled as above was dated 28/08/2018 for which a reminder dated 30th October 2018 was sent to the AGF/MOJ. State inter alia:
“I wish to further seek for the intervention of your office to facilitate the release of the case files, in respect of the above-mentioned cases, to me, by the ICPC for the reasons stated in our earlier letter reference NO. MOJ/KT/CON.10/VOL… of 20th March 2017, that is to say, to enable the me (sic) to discontinue criminal proceedings against the accused persons and turn them to state witnesses in respect of charge NO. FHC/KT/26C/2017 FRN VS Ibrahim Shehu Shema.
“I also wish to request you to grant your fiat to me to discontinue criminal proceedings against the accused persons in the charges before the High Court of Justice, Katsina State as the patience of the court has been exhausted by our persistent requests for the adjournments of the cases, to enable me get the case files as well as your fiat based on clause (2)(c) of your fiat dated 7th July, 2017 (copy attached). The High Court is threatening to strike out the cases for want of diligent prosecution.”, the letter continued.