Deputy Senate President calls for anti-corruption Special Courts

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has called for the establishment of Special Anti-Corruption Courts to reduce the burden on regular courts and fast-track trial of corruption cases.

He made the call in his office, while playing host to a team from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, led by its National Assembly Liason Officer, Suleiman Bakari.

According to Senator Ekweremadu, who was decorated by the EFCC on the occasion, as an Anti-Corruption Ambassador, setting up Special Courts, was one of the surest ways to help the fight against corruption, as it would ensure speedy adjudication of corruption cases.  

He further said: “I have been an advocate of special courts for the trial of corruption cases and I believe that other countries, who have enacted laws establishing such, are not fools because there are benefits to be derived therefrom.  The idea is to expedite trial to make sure that those who are involved in corruption matters will have their day in court.

When we have special courts, just as we have the National Industrial Court, such courts will do better than they are doing now. The establishment of special courts is not just something that will be done by an Act of the National Assembly. We have to amend the constitution to bring it about under section 6, for the purpose of trying corruption cases.”

While advocating for value reorientation of Nigerians at all levels, with a view to returning to values of the good old days, the Deputy President of the Senate also cautioned the EFCC to ensure that in fighting corruption, it must respect the rule of law and ensure that the provisions of the constitution regarding fair hearing and treatment of an accused are also respected.

 He further said that the National Assembly would do everything within its powers to ensure that the Bills before it, aimed at strengthening the fight against corruption, got speedy attention.

 Earlier, leader of the EFCC delegation, Suleiman Bakari, appealed to the National Assembly to ensure adequate funding for the agency and advocated speedy passage of all the anti-corruption Bills before it.

 In decorating Senator Ekweremadu as an Anti-Corruption Ambassador, Bakari stressed: “It is therefore my honour, Your Excellency, to on behalf of my Acting Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu and the entire management and staff of the EFCC, decorate you as an Anti-Corruption Ambassador and formally present this frame, as a token of our appreciation to your person and office, and as a symbol of institutional partnership between the EFCC and the National Assembly.”