Posted by News Express | 21 January 2016 | 2,963 times
Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar, has cried out, lamenting the near total lack of adequate funding to enable the Tribunal effectively prosecute corruption cases brought before it.
Justice Umar poured out his heart to the Senate Committee Chairman on Anti-Corruption, which visited him. He told the Committee led by its Chairman, Senator Chukwuka G. Utazi: “The greatest challenge facing the Tribunal at a moment is the near total lack of adequate funding to cater for great deal of logistic to move the Tribunal from place to place to dispense justice.”
He added: “The Tribunal requires not less than N4 million for one itinerant session alone. Lack of funds especially from overheads is largely responsible for our inability to commence trial of quite a number of cases from states and local government councils pending before the Tribunal at the moment.”
The CCT Chairman noted that the Tribunal staff, files, vehicles and other items are required to physically move around from state to state for the exercise and that this is capital intensive.
He drew the attention of the Senate Committee on the placement of the Tribunal as a superior court of record and increase in the number of judges for swift adjudications via constitutional amendment.
Umar explained that the Code of Conduct Tribunal is presently under The Presidency. He maintained the Tribunal Carried out purely adjudicatory functions and the process of Chairman and Members is the same as that of Judges Superior Courts through the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) to National Judicial Committee (NJC) then to the President for approval.
The CCT Chairman suggested that the provision relating to the Tribunal be transferred from the 5th Schedule to chapter VII of the Constitution where other superior courts are listed.
He equally suggested for amendment of the constitution to allow increased in number of Judges of the Tribunal to reflect the six geo-political zones, to effectively and efficiently clear all cases with area of it jurisdiction, given the present composition with only three-man penal to cover political and carrier government functionaries across the entire tiers of governments.
In his remarks, Senator Utazi said the objective of the committee’s visit was to familiarise itself with problems hindering Tribunal’s performance before the actual budget defence at the National Assembly.
He said the Committee is interested in making the institution perform optimally not to witch-hunt anybody. He added the movement of the court for itinerant session has to be discontinued by the Tribunal establishing it presence across the geo-political zones of the country.
He called on the CCT’s management to give more attention to publicity for its activities to be heard all over the country via advocacy and media campaign to bring to the consciousness of the public of the consequence of Code of Conduct infractions.
He said emphasis should be given to prevention of crime, rather than punitive mechanism as the case in advance clans.
•Photo shows CCT Chairman, Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar.
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