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Special Anti-Corruption Courts deliver judgments in 324 cases in 6 months-NJC

The Special Anti-Corruption Courts have so far delivered judgments in 324 cases, striking out 12 and reserved 62 for judgment since it was designated in November 2017.

The Director, Information of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Mr Soji Oye disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that the special courts were established to assist the traditional courts in the speedy trial of corruption and financial crimes cases.

He said the figure formed parts of the report card of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trials Monitoring Committee, (COTRIMCO) made available to the council.

Oye said the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, had on November 2017 inaugurated the committee to determine the causes of slow pace of corruption and financial crimes cases.

He said the committee, headed by Justice Suleiman Galadima, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, had in the last six months toured the country to ensure courts complied with the directive of the council.

“Prior to the formation of the committee, the Chief Justice had directed the Heads of Court, at a Special Session of the Supreme Court to mark the commencement of the 2017/2018 Legal Year, to designate the special courts.

““These courts are solely for the purpose of hearing and speedy determination of corruption and financial crime cases.

“”Upon receipt of the lists, the committee divided itself into three sub-committees to cater for the easy monitoring and evaluation of the said cases in the different zones of the country.

“”They include Zone A: Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Zone B: Northern Zone, and Zone C: Southern Zone.

“”Of the total number of 324 judgments delivered, the Supreme Court, in Zone A, delivered 52 judgments and reserved seven cases for judgments from the list of 125 cases pending before it, leaving an outstanding number of 73 cases.

“”The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, within the period, also disposed of 74 appeals and reserved 11 for judgments from the list of 137 cases in its docket,’’ he said.

Oye further the Federal High Court had so far delivered two judgments from the 91 pending cases before it.

He also said the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory delivered three judgments and reserve one case for judgment leaving an outstanding 178 cases pending.

“In Zone B, Northern Zone, 62 judgments were delivered by the six Court of Appeal Divisions, 19 Federal High Court Divisions and 19 High Courts of various Northern States from the total number of 425 cases.

Oye said at total of 12 cases were struck out.

“”From the 12 cases struck out, five are from the Court of Appeal and seven from High Courts of three States,’’ he said.

“The designated courts in Zone C, (Southern Zone), have delivered judgments in 131 out of the 952 corruption and financial crime cases on-going at the various Courts and reserved 43 cases for judgments.

““From the total number of judgments delivered in the zone, the Federal High Court delivered seven judgments out of a total of 304 cases pending before it,’’ he said

Oye, however, said that the High Courts of 17 states within the jurisdiction had delivered 124 cases from the 524 on-going in their various courts.

According to him, the Court of Appeal in the zone has reserved 31 out of 121 appeals pending in the court for judgment.

He said the Federal High Court, on its part, reserved three cases for judgment while the various State High Courts in the Zone had reserved nine cases for judgments.

He said the committee would continue the exercise after the courts’ vacation.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.