Don seeks special courts to handle anti-graft matters

Posted by News Express | 7 September 2015 | 3,244 times

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Prof. Sylvester Shikyit of the University of Jos has called for the establishment of special courts to handle anti-graft matters.

Shikyit, who is the Head of Department, Public Law, in the university, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday.

According to him, such special courts will expedite and fast-track the prosecution process of cases of corruption and other related matters.

“At the moment, corruption cases are being handled just like any other normal judicial matter, which to me, is archaic.

“I want a situation where by we will have special courts just like the tribunals hearing election petitions to handle corruption cases.

“The advantage is that it will lead to speedy disposal of such cases as against the longer period it takes to conclude other matters.”

The law teacher identified inadequate courtrooms, paucity of judges and other challenges as the rationale behind his call for the establishment of courts to handle solely anti-graft matters.

He asserted that the war against corruption of the present administration could be seen as a better strategy for attaining meaningful development in the country.

He added that the ongoing cleansing was a ‘right step in the right direction’, and urged all to support the administration to enable it succeed.

According to him, corruption has been the bane in the attainment of any meaningful growth and development in Nigeria, and so, fighting it to a standstill becomes imperative.

He further asserted that the constitution of Nigeria had granted a sitting president all the needed powers to fight corruption in its entirety.

“Corruption as we all know is one of the greatest challenges to all our developmental efforts in this country and any little attempt by government of the day to fight it is highly welcomed.

“Section 15 of Nigerian Constitution is very clear on this; that government should fight corruption in all ramifications.

“Once the government of the day has the political will to take this war to a certain level, and with little support from the public, it will wither the storm.

He, however, warned that the anti-graft war must be done within the context of the law, and that due processes should be strictly followed as stipulated in the constitution.

“There should be no victimisation, proper investigation and arraignment should be done, and let the law take its proper course in the matter, not minding the personality involve.”

Shikyit further said corruption was a criminal matter and those found guilty of the crime should be treated as such.

He explained that the idea of keeping corrupt offenders in a special prison was not ideal as that would mean that those found guilty of corruption charges were given special treatment.

“I do not subscribe to the idea of keeping corrupt offenders in a different prison. Corruption is a criminal case, and those found guilty should be treated just like other criminals.

“But when you begin to accord them some preferences, probably because they served in government at a point, then it is not a fair deal.”

He urged Nigerians to support the ongoing anti-corruption war because it would go a long way to salvage the country from the cankerworm of underdevelopment and total stagnation. (NAN)

Source: News Express

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