Wednesday, September 27, 2017 9:04 pm
A former President of Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, has been appointed as the head of a 15-member committee to monitor handling of corruption cases in courts across Nigeria by the National Judicial Commission, NJC.
NJC’s Director, Information, Soji Oye, in a statement said the committee named: The Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) will be saddled with the task of driving NJC’s” new policy on anti-corruption war.”
He added that the decision on the committee’s composition was taken yesterday at the NJC’s 82th meeting held in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, the NJC has directed all heads of courts to cooperate with the committee and funish it with information about all corruption cases pending before them.
The NJC, according to Oye, has also asked the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to set aside a date every week for the hearing of appeals relating to corruption cases.
He said the committee’s primary functions include:
*Regular monitoring and evaluation of proceedings at designated courts for financial and economic crimes nationwide;
*Advising the Chief Justice of Nigeria on how to eliminate delay in the trial of alleged corruption cases;
*Giving feedback to the Council on progress of cases in the designated courts, conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts; and
*Evaluating the performance of the designated courts
Other members of the committee are Justice Kashim Zannah (Chief Judge of Borno State), Justice P. O. Nnadi (CJ, Imo), Justice Marshal Umukoro (CJ, Delta), Justice M. L. Abimbola (CJ, Oyo State), President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) and four former NBA Presidents – Wole Olanipekun, Olisa Agbakoba, Joseph Daudu and Augustine Alegeh (all Senior Advocates).
Others are Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN), Mrs. R. I. Inga, representative of some non-government organisations, representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and NJC’s Secretary, Gambo Saleh.
The statement reads in part: “It will be recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria in his speech at the Special Session of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to mark the commencement of the 2017/2018 Legal Year, emphasized on the concerns expressed by members of the public on the very slow speed with which corruption cases were being heard or determined by the Court.
“Consequently, he directed all Heads of Courts to compile and forward to the Council, comprehensive lists of all corruption and financial crime cases being handled by their various Courts.
“He also directed them to designate in their various jurisdictions one or more Courts, as Special Courts solely for the purpose of hearing and speedily determining corruption and financial crimes cases.
“The Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Court of Appeal were equally directed to fix special date in each week for hearing and determining appeals from such cases.
“The Committee is expected to drive the Council’s new policy on anti-corruption war.”