Retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, has been named by the National Judicial Council as the head of the committee to try looters in the country.
The information was contained in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by the spokesman of NJC, Soji Oye.
Justice Salami was suspended on August 18, 2011 for nine months by the NJC after he refused to apologise to the council and the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, after a panel of the council found him to have lied against the CJN.
Justice Dalhatu Adamu was appointed immediately to take over as President of the Court of Appeal, being the most senior justice of the court.
On Wednesday, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, approved the establishment of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee and named Salami as the head.
Oye explained that the decision was taken yesterday at the 82nd meeting of the Council.
The body, which has 15 members, will operate from the Council Secretariat.
Member of the committee include Justice Kashim Zannah, the Chief Judge of Borno State; Justice P.O. Nnadi, Chief Judge, Imo State; Justice Marsahal Umukoro, Chief Judge Delta State; Justice M. L. Abimbola, Chief Judge, Oyo State; and A.B, Mahmoud, the President, Nigerian Bar Association.
Others are Chief Wole Olanipekun, former NBA President; Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); J.B Daudu (SAN); Augustine Alegeh (SAN); Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN) and a member of the NJC, R.I. Inga.
Others include a representative of Non-Governmental Organisations; representative, Ministry of Justice; representative, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; and the Secretary of the NJC, Gambo Saleh.
The Committee’s primary functions include: regular monitoring and evaluation of proceedings at designated courts for financial and economic crimes nationwide; advising the Chief Justice of Nigeria on how to eliminate delay in the trial of alleged corruption cases; giving feedback to the Council on progress of cases in the designated courts, conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts; and evaluating the performance of the designated courts.
It will be recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria in his speech at the Special Session of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to mark the commencement of the 2017/2018 Legal Year, emphasised on the concerns expressed by members of the public on the very slow speed with which corruption cases were being heard or determined by the Court.
He thus directed all Heads of Courts to compile and forward to the Council a comprehensive list of all corruption and financial crime cases being handled by their various Courts.
He also directed them to designate in their various jurisdictions one or more Courts, as Special Courts solely for the purpose of hearing and speedily determining corruption and financial crimes cases. The Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Court of Appeal were equally directed to fix special date in each week for hearing and determining appeals from such cases. The Committee is expected to drive the Council’s new policy on anti-corruption war.