The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has called upon all Prosecutors in the country to always follow the known guidelines wherever conducting their work to avoid punishing or hurting innocent individuals.
While launching the “Decision to Charge Guildelines” a set of rules to guide officers in the ODPP, Abodo noted that charging and prosecution of a suspect is a serious step in Criminal justice system which may end up affecting several stakeholders if not properly handled.
“it is the duty of the prosecutor to ensure that right person is prosecuted for the right offence , properly apply the law and ensuring that relevant evidence is produced in court. Never be tired to read the file because its somebody life that you’re handling , when your tired put the files aside because you may end up making decisions that may be so unfortunate.”
She therefore asked prosecutors to ensure that they follow up with police on the advise they always give them for proper case management.
“Don’t let your ink and signature be put to waste, always findout how far the Police has gone as far as your advise is concerned. At ACD we had an officer in charge of following up , every two weeks we could write letters reminding them that you were asked to bring this person in court and you didn’t what happened?”
On withdrawing cases , Abodo revealed that they don’t just wake up and enter Nolle Prosequis but its a ling process which involves analysis and consultations from several key stakeholders.
” One officer writes to me and say there is no evidence , i forward it to another officer for a legal opinion, if he/she also accepts, i also forward it to another senior officer for an opinion or if its a public interest case , i read it myself.”
More About Decision to Charge Guidelines 2023:
It is the duty of the prosecutor to ensure that right person is prosecuted for the right offence , properly apply the law and ensuring that relevant evidence is produced in court.
Prosecutors must make assessment about whether it is appropriate to present charges criminal charges for court’s consideration.
They have an obligation of conducting objective and independent analysis on every single file that is presented to them , failure of which it carries high burden to the society.
In every case where the evidential sufficiency test has been passed, the prosecutor must go on to asses whether the Prosecution is in public interest. A case that doesnot pass the evidential test must not proceed , no matter how serious the case may be . The only option is when a threshold is applied.