The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has decried the poor handling of high profile corruption cases in Nigeria. The group, which was reacting to the recent acquittal of former Minister Of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, recalled the reinstatement of Justice Adeniyi Ademola by the National Judicial Commission (NJC) amid pending allegations of corruption.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, the civil society group wondered why these highly publicised cases were being lost after the preference of grave charges against these dignitaries.
It noted that over the years, Nigerians have witnessed a lot of political leaders going scot free on allegations of corruption due to lack of diligent prosecution and loopholes in the nation’s justice system, adding that judicial malfeasances have remained a major hindrance to the successful execution of the anti-graft crusade nationwide.
Musa remarked that the absence of synergy among anti-corruption agencies and international bodies had slowed down the crusade, stressing that ill- preparation and untimely prosecution of some of these cases resulted in the acquittals.
His words: “We call for an urgent and expedient judicial reform if the fight against corruption is to have any effect in the country. Special courts to handle corruption cases should be created as a matter of urgency.
“We further urge the Federal Government to be proactive, thorough in its investigation and fact gathering before going to court in order to avoid loopholes through which these corrupt individuals can meander their way.”
CISLAC noted that there was the need for highly experienced lawyers to be recruited to handle these cases in court.
“We observe that there is need for anti-corruption agencies to be adequately funded in order to aid their work. Hence, a collaborative effort on the part of the judiciary, executive and legislature in fighting corruption is expedient. “We also call on the government to adopt the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and network with relevant anti-corruption agencies, the media and individuals, both local and international, who can support the fight,” he added.