We Previously Spent N500m To Prosecute Cases Annually – Bauchi Attorney General

The Bauchi State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Hassan El-Yakub, disclosed that the state government previously spent an average of N500 million annually on prosecuting criminal cases. This information was shared during a state ministerial briefing on Friday.

El-Yakub detailed that between January 2023 and June 2024, the state recorded 557 criminal cases, including armed robbery, culpable homicide, rape, kidnapping, and other minor offences.

Discussing the financial implications of these prosecutions before his tenure, El-Yakub revealed that high-profile cases were outsourced to external solicitors, particularly Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), with an annual expenditure of N500 million for their fees. However, he noted that this practice has been halted under his administration, with all such cases now being managed internally, thereby saving the state a substantial amount of money.

“We have also successfully defended most of the garnishee proceedings and cases that have hitherto held the state to ransom and we have made it a policy in the ministry not to allow, under any circumstances, such cases to reoccur in the future.

“We have, from just three cases, between 2023 to date, saved the state the sum of N1,858,412,289.”

He added that the ministry, being a service-rendering ministry, was able to generate the sum of N236,618,298 from drafting agreements and other legal instruments from 2023 to date.

“Upon assumption of duty, I identified some of the challenges bedevilling the ministry, which are responsible for the low rate of productivity and the negative perception of the ministry, which mainly include the following: lack of sufficient manpower, and lack of basic working materials,” he said.

Speaking on the challenges faced by the ministry so far, the Commissioner disclosed that Governor Mohammed Bala has approved the hiring of 20 state counsels—10 in 2023 and an additional 10 in 2024—which has significantly addressed the manpower issue in the ministry.

According to him, the governor has also reconstituted the Advisory Council on Preoperative of Mercy in accordance with Section 3 (1) and (2) of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy (Establishment) Law, Bauchi State Law No. 10 of 2001, Cap. 114, via a letter dated December 6, 2023, with reference No. GO/GS/S/CMT/24/T.I.

El-Yakub further stated that the governor had also approved and directed the release of N308,690,880 for the settlement of judgement debts inherited from the previous administration, to be paid in instalments.