Not comfortable with the incessant granting of ‘Nolle Prosequi” order against complainants, Delta state commissioner of police, Muhammad Mustafa, has called on the National Judicial Commission, NJC, human right groups and the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA to wade into the ugly development.
This may not be unconnected with the alleged malicious damage to the properties of a businessman, Mr. Alex Ikpeazu, by the former chairman of Ika south local government area of Delta State, Mr. Fred Ofume.
The commissioner said the order was seriously affecting criminal justice against accused persons and depriving complainant of the right to fair hearing.
The call came after an Asaba magistrate court acted on the order of the Delta state attorney-general, Mr. Peter Mrakpor, to strike out a criminal proceeding against three accused persons, namely, Frederick Ofume, Mr. Chuks Irabor and Francis Eki.
The attorney-general in a signed letter to the registrar of the court, dated June 14, 2018, tagged Nolle Prosequi, in exercise of the power conferred on him in paragraph (C) of sub-section 1 of section 211 of the 1999 constitution, as amended, and all other enabling powers, directed that the charge number CMA/202c/2018, be discontinued with.
Hence, at the resumed hearing on the alleged malicious demolition of a market place in Agbor, Ika South council area of the state by the accused persons, the Presided Judge, Justice F.I. Dike, averred that the matter has become inconvenient for him to hear, owing to a letter of Nolle Prosequi from the attorney-general.
He said: “It is no longer convenient for this court to continue with the criminal case against these accused persons in the above mentioned charges. The case is hereby struck out following the Nolle Prosequi from the Attorney-General of the state to discontinue with the criminal proceedings. The accused persons are thereby discharged and acquitted.”
But the prosecution counsel, I.O. Eze, said the order shutout the complainant- the commissioner of police, of fair hearing.
He lamented that the Nolle Prosequi had not resolved the conflict surrounding the land on which he market facility was demolished and called on NJC and NBA to stop unwarranted granting of the order against complainants.