By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA — In a bid to further sanitize the Nigerian judiciary, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, weekend, vowed to prosecute any judge found to have compromised standard in the dispensation of justice.
Consequently, the commission has inaugurated an anti-corruption and transparency unit at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, which statutorily has the mandate to observe, train and inculcate desired jurisprudential value on judges, Kadis and Magistrates across the federation.
In a similar development, the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC, has banned four legal practitioners from plying their trade in Nigeria for life, just as it ordered the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court to strike off their names from the apex court’s scroll where names of every bonafide lawyer in the country must be found.
Inaugurating the anti-corruption unit of the NJI, ICPC chairman, Chief Ekpo Nta, decried the fact that Nigeria had been held hostage by a corrupt few who took delight in plundering the resources of our nation.
He said: “Nigeria is at a critical stage in her development as a nation state. As a people, we are at that point where good men and women must stand up and be counted.
“For too long, our country has been held hostage by a corrupt few who delight in plundering the resources of our nation. For too long, our people have suffered the consequences of corruption foisted on us by a powerful few.
“As we all know, corruption thrives most where there is lack of transparency and accountability. The importance of this occasion cannot be over emphasized. It is a very important aspect in the strategy of combating the menace of corruption in our dear country, Nigeria.
“I have always held the view that the ICPC Act, 2000, is one of the most beautiful and comprehensive piece of legislation on corruption in the world.
“One of the most significant provisions of the ICPC Act is to examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies, and where in the opinion of the Commission, such practices, systems and procedures aid or facilitate fraud or corruption, to direct and supervise a review.
“This provision is significant because it aims not only to combat corruption through enforcement alone, but also to prevent it.”