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CORRUPTION: SERAP writes CJN to revisit Justice Salami’s committee

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Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Water Onnoghen, has been urged to use his “good offices and position to urgently revisit and review the composition of Justice Ayo Isa Salami’s Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) made the appeal in an open letter to the CJN and chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC) Onnoghen.

The organisation said the move was necessary to remove the risk of apparent and potential conflicts between the work of the committee and the private practice of some of its members who are handling high-profile cases of corruption involving politically exposed persons (PEPs).

In the letter dated October 3, 2017 and signed by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said that for COTRIMCO led by Salami to perform its tasks effectively and with propriety that “it should preferably be composed entirely of members of the judiciary, particularly drawn from available pool of brilliant and incorruptible retired judges.”

According to SERAP, “It is important for the Salami committee to function in a way that could preserve judicial independence, provide information for judges to improve their performance, and increase the public’s confidence in the courts.”

The letter reads in part: “SERAP urges your Lordship to urgently revisit, review, and reconsider the membership of the Salami committee to ensure that members currently handling high-profile corruption cases involving PEPs are removed. This proposal aims solely to remove the risk of apparent and potential conflicts between the work of the committee and the private practice of some of its members who are handling high-profile cases of corruption involving PEPs and to ensure the independence, impartiality, integrity and accountability of the judiciary.

“SERAP believes that judicial accountability should be secured in a way that is harmonious with, and not damaging to, the essential character and functions of the judicial office. A system of fair, effective and trustworthy judicial performance evaluation promotes public confidence in the judiciary, which, in turn, is essential to judicial independence.

“SERAP also urges your Lordship to ensure that the Salami committee can manage its own budget and has enough human and financial resources to properly function with independence. The Salami committee should also be accountable for its activities, to avoid the possible public perception of bias and conflict of interest.

“SERAP welcomes the commitment by your Lordship to promote judicial accountability and combat corruption in the judiciary. We understand that accountability mechanism would encourage justice operators to behave with integrity and in line with their code of ethics and conduct.

“We share your Lordship’s vision of a judiciary that is corruption-free, and demonstrates the fundamental principles of independence, impartiality and integrity. An independent and impartial judiciary is indeed essential for the enjoyment of the right to a fair trial and effective and efficient administration of justice, as well as the credibility of the entire justice system.

“However, SERAP is seriously concerned that rather than promoting judicial accountability, the committee as presently constituted could be used to interfere with the independence, impartiality, and integrity of the judiciary. SERAP notes that the Preamble to the Bangalore Principles states that judges are accountable for their conduct to appropriate institutions established to maintain judicial standards, which must themselves independent and impartial.

“Similarly, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers has stated that bodies responsible for evaluating the performance of judges should be composed either entirely or with a majority of judges, including brilliant and incorruptible retired judges.

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“The OECD Guidelines for Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service provides that, “A conflict of interest involves a conflict between the public duty and private interests of a public official, in which the public official has private-capacity interests which could improperly influence the performance of [his/her] official duties and responsibilities.

“In SERAP’s view, ‘conflict of interest’ is a situation in which a person, such as a public official, employee, or a professional, has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of his or her official duties. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

“Accountability and independence are two sides of the same coin: accountability ensures that judges perform their constitutional role, and judicial independence protects judges from pressures that would pull them out of that role. True judicial accountability furthers another necessary characteristic of a functioning judiciary: judicial integrity. Judicial independence means that judicial officers, in performing their duty, should be free of inappropriate governmental or private influences.

 

“According to our information, the National Judicial Council (NJC) headed by your Lordship has approved the appointment of retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami as appointed chairman, Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO). The 15-man committee, which is expected to operate within the council, also has some judges and senior lawyers as members.”

The recently constituted COTRIMCO, which is to be led by Salami, has Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah; Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice P.O. Nnadi; Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Umukoro and Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice M. L. Abimbola as members.

Other members are representative of NJC; representative of non-governmental organisations, representative of Ministry of Justice; representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN); Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN); Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); Mr. J.B Daudu (SAN); Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) and Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN).

The committee is to regulate and monitor proceedings at designated courts for financial and economic crimes nationwide; advise on how to eliminate delay in the trial of alleged corruption cases; give feedback to the NJC on the progress of cases in the designated courts and conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts. The committee is also expected to evaluate the performance of the designated courts.

 

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Marcus ViewStaff, writes books, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. He’s best known for writing science fiction, including the related news on bestseller Redshirts, which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. He enjoys pie, as should all right thinking people. You can get to his blog by typing the word “View Nigeria” into Google. No, seriously, try it.

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Entertainment

I Go Dye Received UK DFID and Youth Alive Foundation Ambassador award to tackle Corruption in Nigeria

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United nation world habitat ambassador Francis Agoda (I Go Dye) received UK DFID and youth alive foundation  ambassador award to tackle Corruption in Nigeria.

on 9th Saturday in Abuja.  Making A Different Against Corruption Today Award was presented to I Go Dye by Uk’s DFID and youth alive foundation to tackle Corruption in Nigeria and enlighten youths about corruption  Nigeria.When received the award I Go Dye then dedicate Award to pensioner and their  children, he said I  want to once again remind us, that the issue of corruption witnessed against pensioners is the highest form of ill treatment against humanity,denying them their benefits is unimaginable in a society like ours that has no social welfare package for elderly people.

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We all should speak now for their comfort,because this is part of the reasons why young people hate public service and when they often get employment they see it as a means to steal public funds to preserve them against foreseeable  situations facing pensioners across the nation.
May God bless Nigeria and keep all the pensioners alive to eat the fruits of their labour

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Bobrisky Blasts MC Galaxy For “Turning Ex-Gateman Jacob Against Him” (Photos)

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Popular Nigerian male barbie doll, Bobrisky has come for MC- Gallazy,Yesterday JoelsBlog shared a video of Jacob his gateman claiming Bob Risky owed him for six month,it however turned out to be false and a plan by MC- Galaxy,see bobriskys part of the story.

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Politics

There Is No Way Atiku Can Defeat President Buhari In 2019

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Prince Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday said Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President cannot defeat President Muhammadu Buhari square up in the 2019 presidential election.

Speaking in a chat with INDEPENDENT, Momoh also said Atiku dumped the APC because he wanted to pursue his presidential ambition and not because of the reasons he stated in his letter announcing his exit from the party.

“A politician has his own agenda when he enters politics. Atiku joined a political organisation called PDM. But it became a political party as at the time APC also became a political party.

“But since that PDM could not meet his aspirations, he joined APC to pursue his dream of becoming President. Consistent with that, he asked for the ticket of APC which he did not get.

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“Now 2019 is coming and since he wants to be President and he feels his chances in APC are not bright, he moved to another party – PDP.

But all I know is if Atiku and President Buhari square up together in 2019, there is no way anybody can stop Buhari,” he said.

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