Looters Trial: NJC Panel set to meet with EFCC, ICPC
The National Judicial Council (NJC) Committee on the monitoring of alleged corruption cases in court has resolved to meet with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the 2,306 on-going alleged corruption cases, receiving attention in various courts across the country.
A statement by the Director, Information of the NJC, Soji Oye on Sunday said the Committee, known as Corruption Financial Crimes Cases Trials Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) has been divided into four sub-committees, namely; Practice Directions, Training, Feedback and Engagement and Awareness.
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The subcommittees were constituted at the meeting of the anti-graft Panel, under the leadership of the COTRIMCO Chairman, Justice Suleiman Galadima.
Oye said the Justice Galadima led committee also divided the Country into three zones for easy monitoring and evaluation of the said cases.
The Zones he said are: Zone A, Abuja FCT, Zone B, Northern Zone and Zone C, Southern Zone and also added that Chief Judges of State Divisions who were yet to submit the list of the alleged corruption cases to the committee are also being reminded to do so without delay.
The Committee directed its Secretary, Gambo Saleh, who is also the Council’s Secretary, to write the defaulting Chief Judges.
According to the statement, Zone A in Abuja has 554 pending alleged cases, Zone B has 347 cases, with Zone C having 1, 405 cases.
The Committee, after brainstorming on all the pending alleged corruption and financial crime cases submitted to it by the Heads of Court that had complied, also indicated that a new Practice Direction would be issued to Judges handling the said cases.
Recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, had directed the Heads of Court to designate Courts and Judges that will solely handle the on-going trials on daily basis; to fast-track all the pending alleged corruption cases.
Oye said in the statement that the Practice Directions sub-committee has commenced a review of various practice directions by leveraging on both local and foreign comparative jurisdictions to meet global best practice.
The Committee said, it was imperative that other critical stakeholders buy into the mission of the body, directing that regular updates and advocacy postings on sub-committees’ activities must be a permanent feature of the project.
The NJC statement did not state the date for the planned interface with the anti-corruption bodies.
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