Thursday, November 25, 2021

NJC meets over CJN’s anti-corruption orders

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Segun Adeyemi
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The National Judicial Council is set to meet between Wednesday and Friday on matters of importance to help foster the progress of the nation’s judicial system.

According to reports, the meeting would commence this month with a follow-up deliberations on some of the new policies and reforms recently announced by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

“The NJC’s meeting will help to deepen the reform embarked on by the CJN,” said a report.

CJN’s directive for the designation of courts for corruption and financial crimes cases and the proposal for the constitution of committee to monitor corruption cases and the implementation of some new policies in courts are part of issues to be deliberated upon.

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The CJN raised the issues on September 18, during the special court session marking the new 2017/2018 legal year.

“Although, the council will still deliberate on its routine business including discipline of judicial officers, some of the issues raised by the CJN during the new legal year commencement ceremony which requires the council to act on will be addressed,” said a source.

“Don’t forget that the new policies announced by the CJN were directed at various heads of courts who are well represented in the council. So, there will be follow-up deliberation on the issues.”

According to the source one of such major issues is the constitution of an Anti-Corruption Cases Trial Monitoring Committee of the NJC.

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The CJN had on September 18 announced sweeping reforms to fight corruption on the bench and to better position the judiciary to fairly and expeditiously determine corruption and financial crime cases in the various courts.

One of such mechanisms which Justice Onnoghen said would be put in place included an Anti-Corruption Cases Trial Monitoring Committee to be constituted to monitor and effectively enforce the new policies announced by CJN.

One of such the new policies announced by CJN was the designation of special courts for corruption and financial crimes.

The CJN also directed all heads of courts to compile and forward to the NJC, comprehensive lists of all corruption and financial crime cases being handled by their various courts.

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He added that heads of various courts, including the Supreme Court as well as the Supreme Court had also been directed to “clamp down” on both prosecution and defence lawyers who tried to stall criminal cases.

The CJN also directed heads of court were to report such cases to the NJC which would in turn, report it to the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, in the case of Senior Advocates, and the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee in the case of other legal practitioners.

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