EFCC boss urges judiciary’s support for anti-graft fight

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, on Thursday urged the judiciary to support the fight against corruption and promote the country’s justice system.
Describing corruption as a colossal threat to the survival of a country, Magu said the judiciary was key in the successful prosecution of graft cases.

Magu stated this in a paper at the 2016 lecture and awards of the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC)

The theme of the lecture is “The judiciary, media, anti-graft agencies and the fight against corruption.”
Magu, who was represented by an EFCC official, Mr Samin Amadin, noted that Nigeria’s rating by the international community had become so low as they see corruption as an industry in the country.

He underscored the need for the judiciary to be effective in its role of justice delivery and urged it to ensure that culprits were brought to book.

“The fight against corruption is multi-pronged; the underlying motive of the fight is to eradicate the problems of corruption and approaches required to achieve this, are multi-sided.

“The judiciary is one of the pedestals on which the fight rest, the criminal justice system in our jurisprudence is effective and robust enough to help in this fight.
“Today in Nigeria, the judiciary determines to a large extent, the direction and destiny of the anti-graft war,” he said.

On the issue of questionable bail administration, the EFCC boss said except otherwise stated, all corruption offences were bailable, adding that the discretion of judges was required in situations where a suspect ought to be denied bail.

He said such situations included where a suspect was perceived to be capable of frustrating his trial, adding that some judges even when presented with such facts were still inclined to grant bail.

He noted that a major delay in the resolution of many graft related cases was the issue of delay in the trial of high profile cases at various levels of courts.

He also noted that issues of stay of proceedings, trial-within-trial, lengthy adjournments, and vacation of judges were also handicaps which required redress.

He urged the judiciary to ensure a religious enforcement of the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in a bid to fast track the justice system.

Other dignitaries at the event include Prof. Itse Sagay, the Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) and Mr Richard Nwakwor, founder, Crusade for Justice.

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