21 February 2012

Nigeria: Lawyers Back NBA's Call for Anti-Corruption Commission

Lawyers have expressed support for the anti-corruption commission proposed to be established within the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to fish out corrupt judicial and legal officials.

The President of the NBA, Joseph Daudu (SAN) had in a valedictory message in honour of late Justice Anthony Aniagolu on Friday in Abuja promised to set up an anti-corruption commission within the association.

Commenting on the development, Human Rights Lawyer Chief Nkereuwem Akpan said he supports the leadership's bid to end cash and carry justice delivery system in Nigeria.

He also commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Dahiru Musdapher for embarking on massive reforms in the judiciary with clear anti-corruption stance.

Also speaking, Dr Amaechi Nwaiwu said it is a bold and courageous move for the Bar to have taken up the challenge of corruption in the country, adding that the fight is for everybody.

"Everyone is now a stakeholder who needs to rise up to the occasion to fight against corruption. Though it is a Herculean task, we must start from somewhere," he said.

While announcing the proposal, Daudu said the NBA commission will identify corrupt practitioners in both the legal profession and justice system and forward their names and evidence of corruption to relevant agencies for prompt action and prosecution where possible.

He also accused retired judges of corruption: "We are no doubt aware that some of our colleagues and very senior counsels and at times eminent retired judicial officers go about offering their services as 'consultants' particularly in election cases for incredible sums of money so as to act as conduit between his client and the election court."

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