2 February 2013

Nigeria: Pension Thief Verdict - Blame Weak Laws, Not Judge - NBA

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has stated that the country's weak laws and not Justice AbubakarTalbashould be blamed for the controversial judgment against a former Director in the Police Pension Office, John YakubuYusufu, for stealing of N23.3billion from the Pension funds.

According to him, if the law under which the convict was charged imposed the maximum punishment of two years with an option of fine, then it must be amended by the National Assembly.

The President of the NBA, Chief OkeyWali (SAN), stated this yesterday while addressing journalists in Abuja after the end of a two-day summit on peace and security, organised by the NBA.

According to NBA boss, the federal government lacks the strong will to fight corruption, saying that the weak laws should be blamed for the light sentence of Yusufu and not Justice Talba.

Commenting on delay trials, Wali said, "Trials are bound to delay when Judges still take notes in long hand, yes, yes, writing from morningtill evening. Technologically speaking, our courts do not belong to this century".

Reading from a communiqué issued after the summit, Wali said "the police force should be re-trained and re-equipped to be able to confront the criminal menaces. It is becoming more evident with each passing day that the present military or armed approach at solving the problem of insecurity is not enough.

Wali further decried the lack of police's investigative skills, saying that it was regrettable that the police rely on confessional statement to prosecute over 90 per cent of criminal cases.

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