Ensure judicious use of $150m Abacha loot, Group tells Tinubu
By Matthew Atungwu
The Coalition for Democracy in Nigeria (CODIN) has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make sure that the wealth taken from the late General Sanni Abacha is appropriately reported.
The pro-democracy group made the call by its President, Mr Mashood Erubami while addressing members at the end of an emergency meeting in Ibadan yesterday.
He said this following the decision of France to return another $150m Abacha loot noting that” recovery of such loots by corrupt leaders must continue to be accounted for while informing the people of the innovative and lasting projects being targeted for the people’s welfare”.
Besides, he calls for a working synergy between FG and stakeholders in the criminal justice system, particularly the Judiciary.
Comrade Erubami reminded President Tinubu of the earlier calls by former President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 2019 biennial All Nigeria Judges Conference of Superior Courts where he advised that “the conference should, in its deliberations, consider how to create an efficient structure for the proposed Special Crimes Courts or the urgent designation of existing courts as Special Courts with competent and seasoned credible judicial officers in order to remove administrative bottlenecks in the judicial process.”
“All stakeholders in the justice reform sectors and the criminal justice system to be headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria should move beyond the current challenges facing the judiciary and rise firmly to resolve these problems that have served as obstacles against the strong fights against corruption in the land”.
Read Also: France to return $150m Abacha loot
The activist advised that the stakeholders forum should fashion out new measures to show commitment to a number of justice sector reforms such as a review of extant laws and enactment of new laws that will improve the lives of Nigerians if corruption is fought to its knees.
According to him, “the Tinubu Administration must not be merely committed to the judiciary reforms in isolation of its supportive economic revival through the incorruptible attraction of foreign direct investments into the country as well as fighting corruption and insecurity”.
“Gainful foreign investments can only be successful in an atmosphere of ease of doing businesses and subjection of the business processes to the global best practices where the law rules,” he said.
He therefore called the attention of the bar and the bench to be abreast of the anti-corruption project models of government by joining hands to propel and strengthen the articulation of new judicial devices from government to improve transparency, security, and the expeditious adjudication of corruption-related crimes.
The group stressed that the constitutional provisions and justices in the various anti-corruption laws designed already and new laws that could be reenacted to fight those exposed for corruption from across the three arms of government must be judicially interpreted upon which substantive justice must be made against just giving judgment.
“The leadership of the country’s judiciary must not allow the people to conclude that the judiciary was responsible for the prevalent corruption fightback by renewing measures to discourage the trend that will engage the judicial institution to help in ensuring that corruption impunities are fought to its logical conclusion.”
“Those who offer themselves to be “go-between, either individuals, police or lawyers should be treated as criminals and must be arraigned before the courts for appropriate incorruptible judicial treatment”, he concluded.