CJN’s position is contained in a statement issued by the Special Media Assistant on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the position of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) that the Judiciary is responsible for the delays in the trial and the issuance of sentences in corruption cases involving politically exposed persons seems to be one-sided
“Nigeria’s judiciary is not here to pretend to be perfect, but when the political and economic conditions in which it operates are compared to its counterparts in other climates, it would be given a model award.
“The position of the Judicial Branch does not have a criminal investigations unit or Fraud Detective Brigade to detect and investigate the criminal participation of any person, nor does it have a garrison command to fight for their cause or enforce their orders and decisions.
“Most of the time, the prosecution sector of the Federal Government files more charges than it can prove or provide witnesses, sometimes as a result, the prosecution even fails.”
He said that the Criminal Justice Administration Law (2015) in reference is infected with sores in some parts, making it impossible to speed up adjudications in some cases.
“In some cases, high case volumes, limited number of judges, poor infrastructure, or archaic equipment also contribute to challenges.”
Noting that the federal government had given the reasons for its underfunding of the Judiciary, on January 26, at the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Justice Sector Summit in Abuja, he said that the Judiciary did not has been transparent in spending its annual allocations
“The Judiciary has refrained all this time from adding to issues but from exposing the facts in accordance with the circular of budget announcement and ceiling that the Federal Government sent to the Judiciary before the beginning of the fiscal year.
”The Judiciary prepares its budget estimates for capital, general expenses and personnel according to the ceiling, needs and priority.
“The Judicial Power defends its budget before the Commissions of the Judicial Power of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the National Assembly, in addition to the initial investigation.
“It also has an internal mechanism for budget control and execution. Each Court and judicial body has a budget unit, the accounting department, internal audit, Due Process Unit, as well as a Departmental Bidding Board.
“There is also a Due Process Committee in the NJC and the Judicial Bidding Board that award contracts on expenses above the approval limit of the accountants of the Courts and judicial bodies,” he added.
He said the layers of control were put in place to ensure transparency, accountability and effective implementation of the budget.
“In the same way, articles 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution, the National Assembly makes control visits to the Judicial Power to monitor the execution of its budget.
“Section 88(2)(b) also directs the National Assembly to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it .
“The Executive also established some mechanism to monitor budget execution and accountability in the Judiciary through its bodies such as the office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Auditor General of the Federation, and other agencies where the need arises. need”.
According to him, in addition to the internal audit units of the Judiciary, the Federal Audit maintains offices in all courts and judicial bodies that control the expenses of the Judiciary.
“If the Federal Audit Office raises a query about a transaction and it is not well defended, it sends the report to the Public Accounts Commissions of the National Assembly and the officials of the Judiciary would be invited to explain themselves.
“The question that must be asked is, to whom else should the Judiciary open its account books, and who of those bodies had raised exceptions that were not defended? The answer is none.
“One only hopes that these complaints against the Judicial Government are not just a way to give a dog a bad name to hang it,” he concluded. (www.ews.ng)
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