Former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has accused the Delta State Attorney General, Peter Mrakpor, of using his office to secure the release of suspected notorious kidnappers, assassins already apprehended by the police in Delta State.
The allegation was contained in a petition dated 5th October, 2020, and addressed to the Secretary, Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, Supreme Court of Nigeria.
According to Gbagi, the Attorney General through a Nolle Prosecui – No case submission – was alleged to have released a total of 150 criminals in the custody of the Police after receiving various sums of money.
The former Minister also alleged in the petition that the Attorney General had severally used his Law firm to defend the notorious criminals, thereby acting in dual capacity as the prosecuting counsel and defence counsel.
Lamenting the release of the suspects, Gbagi added that the Attorney General’s action was largely responsible for the rise in crime across Delta State, and the collapse of its economic and social life.
“My attention has been drawn to your Notice/Press Release of 24th day of September, 2020. It is on that premise that I write to intimate you on the unprecedented display of impunity, corruption and administrative rascality by Barr. Peter Mrakpor, the Delta State Attorney-General.
“While it is not in doubt that, the powers granted to the Attorney General of the state by section 211 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended are not without limits, such powers must be exercised in line with the overall good of the public.
“It is however my utmost dismay to discover that the A. G of Delta State aforementioned has colluded and connived with Armed Robbers, murderers, assassins and kidnappers on numerous occasions to terrorize the entire Delta State populace.
“As written and published in ECONOMIC CONFIDENTIAL of May 4, 2020 in an article titled “a cry for help; why Federal Government must intervene to rescue Delta State from Kidnappers” by Omatsola Tosan, an activist, between 2015 and 2020 Peter Mrakpor is alleged to have relied on Nolle Prosequi to effect the release of 150 suspected criminals apprehended for serious crimes ranging from murder to kidnapping. The number remains the highest in Nigeria as a whole.
“It is a fact on record that the Delta State Attorney General has released armed robbers, kidnappers, assassins, murderers with the use of his powers conferred by the constitution for sums of money ranging from N2,000,000 (Two Million Naira) to N30,000,000 (Thirty Million Naira) depending on the gravity of the offence. The said article is herein attached and marked as Annexure I. “In the case of State V Stella Odozi which was pending at the High Court Umunede Delta State before Hon. Justice Celestina Dafe, a group of hardened armed robbers who had been terrorizing the community, killing several persons and carting away valuable properties met their waterloo and were apprehended by the Police and eventually arraigned in court.
“Upon arraignment, the Delta State Attorney-General upon receipt of an undisclosed amount of money wrote an opinion stating that these hardened criminals who were well known as such had no case to answer thereby exonerating them.
“This was particularly troubling as several of the culprits had confessed to various crimes in their statements to the Police. Despite the above, the Attorney-General (Peter Mrakpor) instructed their release. “Their release did not go down well with the complainant in that case who wrote a petition as to why the culprits cannot be left unpunished.
“It was on this premise that the same Delta State Attorney-General (Peter Mrakpor) turned, somersaulted and wrote another opinion stating that the suspects had a case to answer.
“Unfortunately, the suspects had been released and absconded. All efforts by the Police to apprehend these criminals thereafter proved abortive till date.
“It is a notorious fact that Delta State as result of the acts of Peter Mrakpor with regards to his association with criminals has lost its glory as investors have left the state and everybody going about sleeping with one eye open.
“This is the reason for the collapse in the economic and social life in Delta State as evident to the world hence my interest as the most prominent investor in the State.
“Mrakpo uses his Law firm to defend these notorious criminals thereby acting in dual capacity as the prosecuting counsel and defence counsel,” Gbagi said.