Buhari: Corruption cases being scuttled
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the prosecution of corruption cases is not going well.
He said in spite of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 the courts allowed some lawyers to frustrate the reforms.
President Buhari made the remark in Abuja yesterday at the opening of the international workshop on the Role of the Judiciary in the Fight against Corruption.
The president demanded a change of attitude to the fight against corruption for desired effects.
He said eradicating corruption was a collective task that should involve the judges, members of the legal profession, all branches of government, the media and the civil society.
He charged the judiciary to keep its house in order to serve the public well.
“Thus, we cannot expect to make any gains in the war against corruption in our society when the judiciary is seen as being distant from the crusade. This will not augur well and its negative effect will impact all sectors of society,” he said.
The president also stated that a well-functioning criminal justice system was imperative to address corruption effectively as his government sought to move Nigeria towards greater growth and development.
President Buhari also warned that in carrying out its role in the fight against corruption, the judiciary must remain impartial and be seen to be so.
“The judiciary must take steps to ensure that it is not seen as being partisan. As such, it must be aware of the sensitivities of the public
and take steps towards avoiding even the shred of a doubt as regards its independence.
“In justice, integrity is a necessity. Hence, judicial officers and all other members of this sector must always demonstrate manifest integrity,” he said, adding “we expect to see less tolerance to delay tactics used by defence lawyers or even the prosecution in taking cases to conclusion.”
He said he was worried that “the expectation of the public is yet to be met by the judiciary with regard to the removal of delay and the toleration of delay tactics by lawyers. When cases are not concluded the negative impression is given that crime pays.”
He said that the future of anti-graft efforts in Nigeria rest not only on well-functioning, preventive systems, but also an effective sanctions and enforcement regime in accordance with the laws.
Buhari said his administration was counting on the judiciary to assist in this regard, reiterating his commitment to promoting and supporting the institution to achieve a well-staffed and well-resourced judicial system.
“The judiciary can count on me for this so that together we can rid our nation of the cancer of corruption,” the president said.
President Buhari also stated that “A corruption-free Nigeria is possible. Therefore, let every arm of government be the change we want to see in our country.” the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
Students of Garba Noma Junior Secondary School, Bauchi, in their classroom yesterday
President Muhammadu Buhari; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed and others during the International workshop on Criminal Justice Administration, development at the National Judicial Institute Abuja yesterday.