President Muhammadu Buhari says every corruption case lost on technical grounds raises questions about judiciary’s commitment to the fight against corruption.
He said perpetrators of corruption, economic and financial crimes should not be allowed to escape justice on grounds of technicalities and conservatism.
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He spoke in Abuja yesterday at the opening of a three-day capacity building workshop organised for judicial officers, corruption investigators and prosecutors, with the theme ‘Judicial Dynamism: A Key Factor in the Fight against Economic and Financial Crimes.’
Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said judicial officers should “consciously aim to plug loopholes being exploited in our laws by criminal elements in our midst”.
He warned: “The judiciary should not see itself or act as mere spectators or bystanders whilst criminals exploit mere technicalities to escape with our commonwealth, get bolder and embolden others to continue in the unwholesome act of corruption”.
Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said the EFCC was worried that corruption cases were lost on technical grounds.
“As a commission, we do not expect every judicial decision to go our way, but there are instances the EFCC and many Nigerians have been left at a loss about certain judicial decisions where defendants, who obviously have stolen our commonwealth and those who have aided and abetted them, have been allowed to go home to enjoy their proceeds of crime on technical grounds.
“This has the tendency of negatively affecting the cherished image of and confidence in the Nigerian judiciary both locally and internationally,” Bawa said.