Falana calls for establishment of anti-corruption courts

Falana calls for establishment of anti-corruption courts
January 20 20:51 2016

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana has called on the Federal Government to sponsor a bill for the creation of special anti-corruption courts for speedy determination of graft cases.

Falana, who made the call at a lecture he delivered at the Faculty of Law, Osun State University, Ifetedo, said anti-graft war could not be won in the conventional courts.

He said the conventional courts have already been congested and prone to adjournment of corruption cases to the delight of the high profile suspects.

Falana, who disclosed that the Federal Government deserves commendation for its renewed fight against corruption in the country, said regular courts would not be able to cope with the number of cases that would likely be filed following the indictment and subsequent recommendation of suspects for prosecution.

The lecture titled “The Justiciability of Socio-economic Rights in Nigeria” reads in part: “With the ongoing investigations into serious allegations of massive corruption in the office of the National Security Adviser, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Ports Authority etc it is clear that the regular courts cannot cope with the trial of the many suspects that are likely to be indicted and recommended for prosecution.

“It is high time the Executive sponsored a bill for the establishment of an anti-corruption court. Otherwise, a decade from now the corruption cases which were commenced 17 years ago will remain in the docket! The proposed court will specifically handle cases of corruption, terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, advance fee fraud and other economic crimes. The proposed courts should be manned by judges of proven integrity.”

The legal luminary also called for the urgent reorganisation the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal to enable them function effectively.

He also called on the Army to court-martial military officers that were said to have diverted billions of dollars meant for procurement of arms for the Armed Forces.

“It is my submission that the military officers who diverted billions of dollars and naira earmarked for procurement of arms and armament are liable to be charged under section 45 for aiding the enemy and section 52 for mutiny by impeding or sabotaging the counter insurgency operations and thereby collaborating with the enemy, section 62 for failure to perform military duties and section 66 for stealing under the  Armed Forces Act.

“Although retired military officers cannot be subjected to trial after 3 months of retirement, the limitation does not apply to mutiny by virtue of section 169 (2) of the AFA.The proposed trial before military courts will meet the justice of the case and the expectations of the public. More so, that the Rules of Procedure applicable in courts-martial have no room for frivolous adjournments, motions for bail, interlocutory appeals, stay of proceedings of proceedings and interim or perpetual injunctions,” he said.