The Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trial Monitoring Committee, COTRIMCO, Sub-Committee of Zone ‘C,’ says sanctions await judges in Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, and Ondo states who fail to submit quarterly returns.
Following repeated public complaints that the judiciary is to blame for delays in the trial of corruption and financial crimes cases, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria established the COTRIMCO to monitor cases in court and interact with the designated judges handling corruption and financial crimes cases.
This is contained in a statement signed on Wednesday in Ibadan by Zone ‘C,’ which is made up of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, and Ondo sub-committees.
The subcommittee informed judges that they needed to submit their returns quarterly, adhering strictly to the template provided to them, as the submitted returns would be assessed quarterly by the committee at the plenary.
Justice Munta Abimbola (chairman), Onah Owoka (secretary), Dr Garba Tetengi, SAN, Mr A. Mahmoud, Soyi Oye, and the NJC make up the sub-committee.
The committee visited the zone’s states in response to public accusations that the judiciary was to blame for delays in the prosecution of corruption and financial crimes cases.
The committee discussed the reasons for the delays with designated judges handling corruption and financial crimes cases.
According to their findings, the panel members received complaints from the EFCC about insufficient Prosecution Counsel as 10 prosecutors covered the Five States in the zone.
The panel also stated that it discovered a scarcity of handwriting experts.
“The judges also complained that witnesses, exhibits, and the number of SANs who are typically briefed to represent the accused in corruption and financial crimes cases do not help matters,” the report said.
The panel urged collaboration among parties.
The panel assured the judges that the issues they raised would be considered by the plenary.