The National Judicial Council (NJC) under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, has established Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO).
The committee is to be headed by a retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami.
According to a statement from the NJC, the decision to establish Corruption trial monitoring committee was taken today, Wednesday at the 82nd meeting of the Council.
The statement said that the committee has 15 members and is expected to operate from the Council Secretariat.
Names of the members were given as Justice Isa Ayo Salami, as Chairman, while Justice Kashim Zannah (Chief Judge of Borno State), Justice P.O. Nnadi (Chief Judge of Imo State), Justice Marsahal Umukoro (Chief Judge of Delta State), Justice M. L. Abimbola (Chief Judge of Oyo State and Mr. A.B Mahmoud, SAN (President, Nigerian Bar Association) are members.
Others members are Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN (former NBA President), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, Mr. J.B Daudu SAN, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN, Dr. Garba Tetengi SAN and Mrs. R.I Inga.
Representative of Non-Governmental Organisations;
Representative of the Ministry of Justice; Representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) are also members while the
Secretary NJC, Gambo Saleh will serve as Secretary.
The statement by the BJC’s Director of information, Soji Oye, said that the Committee’s primary functions will 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 and giving feedback to the Council on progress of cases in the designated courts, conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts as well as valuating the performance of the designated courts.
The statement 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 on the concerns expressed by members of the public on the very slow speed with which corruption cases were being heard or determined by the Court.
“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.
“he 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.”