20170918

CJN Creates Corruption & Financial Crimes Court

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen has directed heads of the divisions of courts to establish a special court for corruption and financial crimes cases.

This, he explained will curb the unnecessary delay associated with the prosecution of looters.

In addition, the CJN has directed heads of courts to compile and forward to the National Judicial Council (NJC), comprehensive lists of all corruption and financial crime cases with them.

Justice Onnoghen disclosed the measures Monday at the special session of the Supreme Court where he administered oath on 29 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).

Speaking in the presence of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and other dignitaries including state governors and past Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justice Onnoghen said they were aimed at supporting the fight against corruption of the present administration.

In order for the National Judicial Council (NJC) to monitor and effectively enforce the foregoing Policy, the CJN announced that an Anti-Corruption Cases Trial Monitoring Committee will be constituted at the next Council meeting.

The committee, he explained, “would be saddled with, among other things the responsibility of ensuring that both Trial and Appellate Courts handling corruption and financial crime cases key into and abide by our renewed efforts at ridding our country of the cankerworm.”

Onnoghen further directed Heads of Courts to clamp down on both Prosecution and Defence Counsel who indulge in the unethical practice of deploying delay tactics to stall criminal trials.

He said; “Heads of Courts are now to report such cases to the NJC which in turn, would transmit them to the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, in the case of Senior Advocates, and Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee in the case of other Legal Practitioners.

“Heads of Courts have been directed to designate in their various jurisdictions, one or more Courts, depending on the volume of such cases, as Special Courts solely for the purpose of hearing and speedily determining corruption and financial crime cases.

“Where such cases come on appeal, to either the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, Special Dates on each week, shall be fixed solely for hearing and determining such appeals."