The third annual capacity building workshop for justices and judges, organised by the National Judicial Institute, NJI, ended Thursday October 24, 2019 with a resolution for robust synergy and continued engagement among stakeholders and the anti-corruption agencies.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the programme which started on Tuesday October 22 at the National Judicial Institute, Jabi, Abuja, the participants made up of judges, justices, investigators and prosecutors agreed that there is need for justice sector stakeholders to collaboratively develop policies, practices and synergies that will result in the elimination or drastic reduction in the incidences of corruption and economic crimes in Nigeria.
“Sequel to the above, there is a need for the EFCC and NJI to sustain the collaborative effort to build the capacity of Judicial Officers to comprehend the current and emerging trends relating to the stemming of economic and financial crimes especially where cybercrime is concerned.
“It is further resolved that there should be a special sensitization of Judges on the emerging developments in cybercrime at the All Nigeria Judges Conference and across all the state and federal jurisdictions, while the Workshop members also identified the need for some judicial officers to attend the Cambridge Annual Symposium, which deals with such emerging issues in cybercrime.
“It is resolved that there is need for the designation of Anti-Corruption Courts in all jurisdictions, which are dedicated to expediting the hearing and determination of cases bordering on economic and financial crimes. Sequel to this, there is a need for the appointment of more Judges to adjudicate over cases in those Courts”, the communiqué stated.
The participants also advocated the improvement of the remuneration of Judges to ensure their independence is safeguarded and that they are made less susceptible to corrupt influences.
The stakeholders accepted that there was need for the legislature to strengthen the EFCC and the Judiciary in the performance of their duties by examining and introducing reforms to the Evidence Act, Administration of Criminal Justice Act, among other legislations; to reflect emerging economic and financial crimes, as well as the development of new technological phenomena such as block chain and crypto currencies.
It was particularly stressed that Courts need to be retrofitted to be able to handle the presentation of electronic evidence in complex cybercrime cases.