An anti-corruption group has thrown weight behind the bill presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking law for setting up of special courts to try corruption cases in the country.
To this end, it appealed to the Senate to give an accelerated passage of the bill, saying such action would “boost the anti-corruption agenda of Mr President.”
The group under the aegis of Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption,at a press conference, Wednesday, in Abuja, advocated denial of politicians standing criminal trial of participating in elections into public office in Nigeria even as it noted that the 1999 Constitution presumes suspects innocent until however proven guilty.
Director-General of the Global Centre for Conscious Living,Dr Nwambu Gabriel,briefing the media,Wednesday,in Abuja,said the group “believe that the N7.6billion fraud case levelled against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and many others standing trial for similar offences would not have taken this long if we have a special court specifically created to handle corruption cases.”
“The long delay in the trial of Chief Kalu and many others standing trial over similar offences call for urgent review of our judicial process (criminal proceedings).
“Let us at this juncture salute President Mohammed Buhari for presenting a bill asking for the creation of a special court that would handle corruption cases in the land.
“We urge the Senate to give an accelerated passage of the bill to boost the anti-corruption agenda of Mr President . We advocate that in future no politician standing trial of such crime should be cleared to contest election into any public office,” he said.
Even as he noted that “the 1999 constitution presumes a suspect to innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction,” he said,”We are however worried over the long period of time some of these cases take in our court.”
Dr Nwambu added:”We as anti-corruption crusaders, had also noted with dismay the desperate attempts by the former governor to frustrate his trial , deploying his antics, and his alleged questionable resources to delay judicial proceedings.”
In a prepared text presented to newsmen, the group said,”We are glad the court had fixed December 2, 2019 for judgement. We salute the courage of the court to have brushed aside the notorious antics of the former governor and his obvious bid to scuttle his trial here.
“As Nigerians, we are not only excited about the December 2 date for judgement, but we insist here that justice should be seen to have been done in the end in the N7.6billion fraud case against Kalu.”
Recall that the former governor is standing trial alongside his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo, and a company, Slok Nigeria Limited, on an amended 39-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N7.6 billion.