By Kehinde Osasona, Abuja
Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ilorin branch, Barr Manzuma Issa, has lauded the federal government on the establishment of special courts for corruption and fi nancial crimes, describing it as a welcome development.
Issa, who spoke in a telephone interview with Blueprint yesterday in Abuja, added that, designation of special courts for the trial of corrupt Nigerians would not only boost the country’s image among the community of nations but will also strengthen the judiciary.
He said with the new development, foreign investors would be ever-willing to transact business with Nigerians and urged the federal government to carry out a holistic reform of the judicial system, in order for the judges to perform optimally.
Meanwhile, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Barr Kingsley Nyesom Chinda, has described the establishment of special courts for trial of looters as mere ‘fast tracking’ court, arguing that section 6 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) empowers only the National Assembly and the state Houses of Assembly to set up such courts.
“Are they now saying that these anti-corruption courts should have a new set of rules apart from the one that are provided for in the rules of court, civil procedure and criminal new acts? Will its rules be diff erent? If the rules will not be diff erent, can you call it a court? I think they should have just called it a fast tracking court,” he querried.
Blueprint recalls that the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen, recently directed heads of various courts in the country to create special courts for corruption cases in order to ensure speedy determination of such cases.