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THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V. GEORGE OSAHON & ORS.

(2006) JELR 15197 (SC)

Supreme Court  •  SC.23/2004  •  17 Feb 2006  •  Nigeria

Coram
SALIHU MODIBBO ALFA BELGORE JSC; IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI JSC; ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU JSC; DAHIRU MUSDAPHER JSC; IGNATIUS CHUKWUDI PATS-ACHOLONU JSC; MAHMUD MOHAMMED JSC; WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN JSC;

Judgement

BELGORE, JSC (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The appellant by an amended charge was before Federal High Court, Lagos Division (Nwodo, J.), charging the respondents with various offences under Miscellaneous Offences Decree (Act) of 1984. The prosecutor was Nuhu Ribadu. By a motion on notice the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th defendants, now 1st-8th respondents) prayed for the charge to be quashed upon the following grounds:

(i) Under section 174(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, only the Attorney General of the Federation is empowered to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against the 2nd to the 9th accused persons in respect of offences created under the Miscellaneous Offences Decree (formerly Special Miscellaneous Offences Decree) No. 20 of 1984;

(ii) The powers conferred on the Attorney-General of the Federation under section 174(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution can only be exercised by him in person or through officers of his department; and

(iii) The prosecutor …

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