The federal government is working towards enacting an act that will lead to the establishment of special courts to try cases bordering on financial crimes and kidnapping among others.
This is one of the major highlights of the Nigeria Economic and Growth plan 2017-2020 which was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
According to a copy of the document obtained by The PUNCH, the government is concerned that corruption remains an enormous challenge to the country. It said the government was committed to improving the transparency in the management of public resources and fighting corruption in all forms.
According to the document, the Special Crimes Act, as envisioned by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, will deal with financial crimes, kidnapping, cyber crime and drugs among others.
The document read, “The Ministry of Justice will continue the anti-corruption campaign incorporating structured programmes to encourage the use of hotlines, report incentives and offer whistle-blower protection.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission will prosecute corruption and other crimes more effectively
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), whose office received the Special Crimes Court Bill, 2016 from PACAC on behalf of the Federal Government, had told one of our correspondents in August 2016, that his office was reviewing the bill.
The Special Crimes Court Bill, 2016 proposes that the proposed special court will exclusively handle corruption cases, and others, including narcotic, human trafficking, kidnapping, cybercrime, money laundering and other related offences.
The offences under the existing legal framework are being prosecuted by some law enforcement agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission in Federal High Court, state High Courts, and the Federal Capital Territory High Court
The intention of the bill is to ensure speedy trial of the offences.
The title of the bill reads, “An Act to provide for the establishment of a Special Crimes Court as a superior court of record to allow for speedy trial of certain offences, including economic and financial crimes, terrorism, money laundering and corruption offences and for related matters.”
On public safety and security, the Federal Government is planning to promote the adoption of community policing strategies.
It is also planning to establish a National Criminal Records Registry to strengthen the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Prisons Service, Federal Fire Service and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
The government will also attempt to establish at least one Brigade of the Nigerian Armed Forces in every state capital across the country to fulfillthe fundamental demand of the National Security Strategy.
SOURCE; The Punchng