The National Judicial Council (NJC) under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen has approved the establishment of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) to be headed by retired president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami.
An NJC statement reads in part: The decision was taken on Wednesday at the 82nd meeting of the Council.
The body which has 15 members will operate from the Council Secretariat.
The other mbers include:-Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge, Borno State; Justice P.O. Nnadi, Chief Judge, Imo State; Justice Marsahal Umukoro, Chief Judge Delta State;Justice M. L. Abimbola, Chief Judge, Oyo State; Mr. A.B Mahmoud, President, Nigerian Bar Association; Chief Wole Olanipekun, Former NBA President; Mr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN; Mr. J.B Daudu SAN; Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN; Dr. Garba Tetengi SAN; Mrs. R.I Inga; Secretary NJC, Gambo Saleh Secretary, NJC.
The Committee’s primary functions include:
*Regular monitoring and evaluation of proceedings at designated courts for financial and economic crimes nationwide;
*Advising the Chief Justice of Nigeria on how to eliminate delay in the trial of alleged corruption cases;
*Giving feedback to the Council on progress of cases in the designated courts, conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts; and
*Evaluating the performance of the designated courts.
It will be recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria in his speech at the Special Session of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to mark the commencement of the 2017/2018 Legal Year, emphasized the concerns expressed by members of the public on the very slow speed with which corruption cases were being heard or determined by the courts.
Consequently, he directed all Heads of Courts to compile and forward to the Council, comprehensive lists of all corruption and financial crime cases being handled by their various Courts.
He also directed them to designate in their various jurisdictions one or more Courts, as Special Courts solely for the purpose of hearing and speedily determining corruption and financial crimes cases.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Court of Appeal were equally directed to fix special date in each week for hearing and determining appeals from such cases.
The Committee is expected to drive the Council’s new policy on anti-corruption war.