20 teams of prosecutors, comprising 80 lawyers, have been set up by the Federal Government to handle a number of high profile criminal cases investigated by law enforcement agencies.
Though the identity of the lawyers, who have been specially trained for the tasks ahead, have not been made known, each of the teams had four lawyers with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as the leader.
The training, which ended in June, lasted for over one month. PUNCH reports that Prof. Itse Sagay-led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption was involved in the training of the special prosecutors.
One of the team of prosecutors had been reportedly assigned the forgery case recently instituted against Senate President Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, and two others.
Sources confirm that the new prosecuting team will fully take over the forgery case from the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Diri, when the trial resumes on Monday.
The AGF and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, reportedly assigned the case instituted against Saraki to the special prosecution team for “efficient prosecution and management of the case”.
It was learnt that the team was given the liberty by the AGF to review the case file “and make necessary adjustments or amendments” where necessary to enhance the prospect of a successful prosecution of the case.
The AGF’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, has confirmed that the forgery case was one of the high-profile criminal cases that had been assigned to one of the special teams of prosecutors.
Isah said the prosecutors, 80 in all, are constituted into 20 teams. After they were trained, cases have been assigned to the first six and one of the cases is the Saraki’s case. He said the matters assigned to the various teams varied from terrorism to corruption cases, among others.
According to him, the National Prosecution Coordination Committee, inaugurated by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, would review some of the cases either being prosecuted or still being investigated by the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and others agencies.
The committee, he added, would also recommend the re-assignment of suitable cases among them to the teams of prosecutors.
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Isah also said the teams will take up cases investigated by the various law enforcement agencies – ICPC, EFCC, DSS – and even some criminal cases being handled by the ministry.