Published on Nov 01, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) who doubles as Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, has announced that the Council has so far received a total of 1, 124 corruption cases from the various jurisdictions across the country.
He said that this followed the Chief Judge’s directive to the Heads of Court to compile and submit a compendium of all corruption cases being handled by their various jurisdictions.
Justice Onnoghen, who spoke today, Wednesday, at the formal inauguration of the Corruption and other Financial Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) at the Complex of the National Judicial Council, said that the Committee was formed as part of the commitment of the Judiciary to lend support to the efforts of the present regime, to rid the nation of corruption.
He promised that all aspects of judicial duties would be scrutinised, improved and re-aligned towards reform.
He explained that all the institutions of the Judiciary and Heads of all the Courts have been advised to provide the Committee with all the necessary information and support to enable the Committee make decisions from informed perspective.
The Chief Judge said that Justice Ayo Salami should have headed the Committee but that he withdrew on personal ground. He hoped that the respected Judicial Officer will be available for other national judicial assignments in the near future.
He commended the Members for accepting to serve their fatherland through this assignment.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria said that the choice of the members was purely on merit and recognition of their track records of service to their fatherland, as well as contributions to the development of the country’s law and jurisprudence.
He appealed to them to come up with strategies that will help eliminate the delays and its attendant effects on the speedy disposal of corruption cases.
He advised the Committee to do all it can to justify the high level of public confidence reposed in it.
The Committee is expected to among other things propose Practice Direction, for consideration and approval of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, in order to compliment the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and serve as a guide to as well as applicable Rules in all Courts designated for corruption cases.
He advised the prosecution and defence counsel to shun all unethical antics employed to delay hearing and determination of corruption cases as Heads of Courts have been directed to report such counsel. He added that such counsel will be referred to the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (in the case of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria) or the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (in the case of other Legal Practitioners) for staff disciplinary measures.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Justice Suleiman Galadima, expressed appreciation to the Chief Justice of Nigeria for inviting them to serve the nation.
He assured him that the members would bring to bear their wealth of experiences to ensure the purpose for which the Committee was set up.
He pledged that the Committee would strictly adhere to the Terms of Reference.
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