On the 5th January 2016, Elombah.com and other online dailies including News Day Newspapers alluded to Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Malam Abubakar Malami as constituting National Prosecution Coordination Committee to handle serious fraud, economic crimes, financial crimes, corruption related cases, crude oil theft, pipeline vandalization, terrorism and allied crimes.
The Hon AG was recited as saying ‘…the current government has the political will and capacity to wage a frontal confrontation against corruption and other national challenges confronting us as a nation…
“In this regards, and particularly in order to ensure that every citizen of this country, no matter how highly placed, accounts for his/her actions and inactions, my office is seriously working on the composition and inauguration of a NATIONAL LITIGATION TEAM (“NLT”) within the next few days to serve/act as a one – stop shop of seasoned, tested, trusted, focused, determined and patriotic Investigators and Prosecutors to rigorously coordinate and handle the investigation and prosecution of high profile cases of corruption, terrorism and general insecurity in Nigeria.’
THREE months down the line and the National Prosecution Coordination committee still not established in office, one then wonders why despite all such undertakings, yet, as we all know, there is no National Prosecution Committee in existence to light the directions of prosecuting and effectively securing appropriate convictions of those standing trials for serious crimes in Nigeria.
Although one is tempted to downplay on the loyalty of the present crop of hired private prosecutors in handling high profile cases on behalf of the federal government, it is worrisome to the public that most of private prosecutors were engaged by the past governments, whose members or cronies make up the bulk of accused persons under prosecution in courts for alleged crimes committed while in public offices.
Without mentioning names, it is common knowledge that the composition of the present private prosecuting lawyers at the national level particularly for EFCC and other like bodies is prominently made of private lawyers hired by the former PDP government, giving rise to public sense of betrayal on the part of the APC led government or at worst the impression that concrete actions have not followed inspirational words of this government to punish corruption to the letter.
I would therefore wish to advice the Hon Attorney General of the federation, to take immediate action in inaugurating a credible National Prosecution Committee towards stimulating the criminal prosecution machinery at the national level with efficient and unswerving men/women, rather than leaving it in the hands of the unchanged persons who have previously worked for the past inglorious PDP government in this respect; otherwise the effort of this government at combating corruption will be seen as mere SoundBits, no stroke.
Charles Okaka, Abuja; Charlesokaka66@gmail.com
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