Lawyers protest Lagos AG’s Nolle Prosequi.
A Group of lawyers, led by Olayinka Ola-Daniels, have condemned the action of the Hon. Attorney-General of Lagos State, Adeniji Kazeem, in filing a Nolle Prosequi in the case of the State versus Deepak Khilnani and Sushil Chandra.
The lawyers also called for the need to separate the judicial office of Attorney-General from that of the political office of Commissioner for Justice.
The two foreigners were alleged to have stolen the sum of $8.8 million dollars from Green Fuels Limited by way of over invoicing and then laundered and lodged same overseas.
The lawyers through their leader, Ola-Daniels, said the action of the AG was unexpected, suspicious and hasty.“The action had been unexpected because the same office of the AG had, just three months earlier on April 3, 2017, requested for and obtained a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr. khilnani and Sushil who, in the two years since the case commenced, had never once appeared in court for their arraignment.
“On the day the court granted the Nolle Prosequi, there was widespread public protest in the court premises by workers of Green Fuels Limited,” he said, adding that 28 lawyers appeared in court as amici curiae (friends of court) and vigorously argued that the power of the AG to discontinue a criminal case midway under section 211 of the 1999 constitution, requires him in sub-section 3 of the same section to do so with the public interest foremost in mind and without compromising justice.
“The AG’s actions appears to have tipped the judiciary process in favour of the two defendants and disregarded public interest through the hasty reversal of the prosecution’s actions since the case commenced.
“Secondly, the power of the State Attorney General to discontinue pending criminal actions under Section 211 should not be in the hands of a political office holder so as to protect the integrity of the of the judicial system,” he emphasised, adding that such is the basis of the nationwide call for the separation of the judicial office of Attorney-General from that of the political office of Commissioner for Justice.
He also stated that despite the protest, Justice Atinuke Ipaye ruled and said she was compelled by law to accept the AG’s application and she duly discontinued the case on the same day of July 13, 2017.
No comments yet