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EFCC offers more appointed judges solution to delay trials

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EFCC offers more appointed judges solution to delay trials

By Cecilia Ologunagba
The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, said appointing more judges for corruption cases will reduce delays in prosecution.

Bawa, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York City, said many corruption cases were under investigation while others were in different stages of prosecution.

He noted, however, that certain factors had hampered the speedy resolution of cases.

The wave of frivolous and unjustified adjournments to defense bodies in an attempt to block proceedings had been a concern in some quarters.

Bawa said some of the factors hampering the speedy resolution of corruption cases included the high volume of cases attributed to clearly inadequate judges.

The EFCC boss also said there were issues with procedural laws that needed to be rectified.

He stressed the need to have more appointed judges as provided for in the EFCC Establishment Act and the need for the bar to improve the way it punishes offending members.

He said current procedural laws, the Evidence Law and the EFCC Establishment Law already provide for the appointment of special judges to deal with cases.

“What we are asking for within the same judicial system is more judges; let’s have more judges appointed to handle EFCC cases, ”Bawa suggested.

The EFCC president denounced the difficulties faced by the judges, saying that some of them had a heavy workload which prevented the trials from proceeding in a timely manner.

“Some judges deal with so many cases; some judges have 500 cases; how do you expect them to do day to day testing?

He assured that there are no sacred cows when it comes to the anti-graft war in Nigeria.

The EFCC under former interim president lbrahim Magu had welcomed the directive from former Nigeria Chief Justice (CJN), retired Judge Walter Onnoghen, to division heads of courts to establish anti -special corruption across the country.

The commission then described the development as a step in the right direction, “with the potential to reduce unnecessary delays in prosecuting corruption cases”. (NAA)

(NAN)

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