The Corruption Financial Crimes Cases Trials Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) has resolved to actively engage prosecutorial bodies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in furtherance of its mandate.
Director of Information, National Judicial Council (NJC), Soji Oye, revealed this in a statement on Sunday.
He, however, said no date has been fixed for the planned interface with the anti-corruption bodies.
Mr Oye said the committee has received 2,306 ongoing alleged corruption cases that were already receiving attention from the four sub-committees it had been divided into.
The sub-committees COTRIMCO include practice directions, training, feedback, as well as engagement and awareness.
They were constituted at the meeting of the anti-graft panel, under the leadership of the Chairman of COTRIMCO, Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd).
For ease of monitoring and evaluation of the said cases, the committee also divided the country into three zones – Zone A (Abuja FCT), Zone B (Northern Zone), and Zone C (Southern Zone).
Chief Judges of State Divisions who were yet to submit the list of the alleged corruption cases to the committee have been reminded to do so without delay while COTRIMCO has directed its Secretary, Gambo Saleh, who is also the Council’s Secretary, to write the defaulting chief judges.
The statement read in part: “At the last count, Zone A in Abuja has 554 pending alleged cases, Zone B has 347 cases, with Zone C having 1,405 cases. The Committee, after brainstorming on all the pending alleged corruption and financial crime cases submitted to it by the Heads of Court that had complied, also indicated that a new ‘practice direction’ would be issued to judges handling the said cases.”
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, had directed the Heads of Court to designate courts and judges that would solely handle the ongoing trials on daily basis to fast-track all the pending alleged corruption cases.
Meanwhile, the Practice Directions sub-committee has commenced a review of various practice directions by leveraging both local and foreign comparative jurisdictions to meet global best practice.
According to the COTRIMCO, it is imperative that other critical stakeholders buy into the mission of the body.
To this end, the committee directed that regular updates and advocacy postings on sub-committees’ activities must be a permanent feature of the project.