By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Department of Public Prosecution of the Bauchi State Ministry of Justice has between last year and May this year handled 361 robbery and kidnapping cases in the state.
Other cases handled by the department during the period, according to the state Commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Yakubu Umar, are homicide 39 cases; rape and assault, 62 cases; bail and fundamental rights, 235; and other offences, 23 cases.
The commissioner, at the state ministerial press briefing in Bauchi Thursday, said that from 2016 to date, judgment was delivered in about 103 cases across the offences in favour of the state, while 37 were against the state, with others still pending.
Umar said that the department has advised, prosecuted and terminated a total of 372 case diaries in 2015.
The commissioner, who described the department as the largest in the ministry, is saddled with the responsibility of advising the Nigeria police in criminal cases, as it also prosecutes all types of criminal offences in all courts, save court martial as part of its routine duties.
“In 2016 a total number of 225 cases were handled, 2017 from January to date a total number of 115 were handled which include high profile cases”, he said.
He cited example of the high profile cases as G.T.B Plc Vs Bauchi state Government and 12 others, recovery of trucks (loan) case from the ministry of agriculture, and Unicontractors whose matter started from 1999 on the issue of Gombe town water works, among others.
The commissioner outlined some of the challenges facing the courts that include most of magistrate courts holding sessions in either uncompleted building or rented apartment which, he observed,ought not to be, among others.
He said however that under the present administration in the state, the ministry has undergone various changes that include offices renovation, creation and furnishing of conference rooms, as well as building of new court rooms, among others.
The ministry, he said, is also facing challenges which ranges from release of inadequate funds, lack of office accommodation and accessories, mobility to and from courts, manpower shortage and lack of E – library.