he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has commended recent move by the judiciary to prioritise corruption and financial crime cases brought before it.
The commendation is in a statement by spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mr Uwujaren quoted the commission’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, as saying the development was right step in the right direction.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, announced the initiative at the opening of the 2017/2018 Legal Year in Abuja on Monday.
Mr Onnoghen directed all heads of courts to compile and forward comprehensive lists of corruption and financial crime cases before them to National Judicial Council, NJC.
He said where such cases came on appeal to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, special dates should be fixed for them every week.
“In order for the NJC to monitor and effectively enforce the foregoing policy, anti-corruption cases trial monitoring committee will be constituted at the next council meeting.
“This committee would be saddled with, among other things, the responsibility of ensuring that both trial and appellate courts handling corruption and financial crime cases key into and abide by our renewed efforts at ridding our country of the cankerworm,” the CJN had said.
He also directed heads of courts to clamp down on both prosecution and defence counsel who indulged in delay tactics to stall criminal trials.
The EFCC boss lauded the initiative, which he said would curtail “unnecessary delays in prosecution of corruption cases.”
Mr Uwujaren stated that Mr Magu had expressed optimism that the innovation would strengthen the fight against economic and financial crimes in the country.
He quoted the EFCC boss as saying “the spate of frivolous and unwarranted adjournments at instances of defence for the purpose of stalling proceedings is over.
“With special courts, cases stand great chance of being disposed of quickly.
“We had clamoured for the creation of special or dedicated courts for over six years.
“So, the action of the CJN is commendable.”