Buhari: Cor­rup­tion cases be­ing scut­tled

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

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.

Photo: NAN

Stu­dents of Garba Noma Ju­nior Sec­ondary School, Bauchi, in their class­room yes­ter­day

Photo: Felix Onig­binde

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.

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