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Published On: Fri, May 6th, 2016

Nigeria to Establish Special Courts For Corruption Cases

Itse Sagay

Itse Sagay


LAGOS MAY 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), highlighted on Thursday that a special court for trying special offences like corruption would soon be established. Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN ) is the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), said on Thursday that a special court to try special offences, including corruption, would soon be established.
Sagay while pointing out the roles of the PCAC and its mandate in the anti-corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, said his committee had completed a draft for the establishment of special court.
He also said had the former President Goodluck Jonathan been re-elected last year, Nigeria could have either been facing the economic crisis similar to that of Zimbabwe or disintegrated.
He spoke at the Abuja Anti-Corruption Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Justice in conjunction with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and ONE Africa.
The summit was organised to propose and harmonise various anti-corruption positions which the Nigerian delegation to be led by President Buhari should canvass at the forthcoming 2016 International Anti-Corruption Conference billed to hold in London on May 12.
The conference which is to be attended by some world leaders is to be hosted by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Speaking at the pre-conference summit held in Abuja on Thursday, Sagay said the draft for the establishment of special court to try special offences such as corruption and kidnapping had been completed but still needed to pass through the required legal processes.
According to Sagay, after the draft is subjected to all the legal processes, the courts that will be established will deal with the special cases speedily.
He said, “Also we have completed a draft on special crimes court. It is very comprehensive. These courts, when finally the draft goes through all the legal processes, will have jurisdiction over economic and financial crimes, corruption cases, narcotic drug cases, money laundering cases and cybercrime cases. That is the proposal.
“There will be special courts and they will have advantage of speed in dealing with cases. So all together, as a committee, our aim, target and objective is to create institutions in which all corruption cases will see effective investigation, effective prosecution, speedy adjudication and effective sanctions and we hope that at the end of our work long after we have left the scene result of what we have done will be permanent and will be positive in the whole administration of criminal justice system.”
He said the call for return of corruption which he associated with the Jonathan administration smacked of a “perverse mentality.”
He said with “the unrestrained level of looting and brigandage” that occurred under the Jonathan administration and the “sharp drop in petroleum prices from $140 at one stage to $30 per barrel as it is now, it is no surprise that the Nigerian economy lies completely prostrate…”
In his presentation, the representative of the British government at the event, who is also the Head of the Department of International Development in Nigeria, Mr. Ben Mellor, urged Nigerians to “have high ambition” at the conference, adding that the United Kingdom was already making efforts to ensure that it no longer served as a safe haven for looters.
“Just recently a coalition of Nigerian civil society organisations had written to our Prime Minister, calling on us to take serious action to make the UK less attractive for looters. My government does not take this challenge lightly. It gives extra motivation to continue to put our own house in order.
“We will commit to further improve our domestic anti-corruption efforts to ensure that the UK is not a safe haven for looters.”

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