Emmanuel Ukudolo l Monday, February 12, 2018
IKEJA, Lagos, Nigeria – One of the judges of the Special Offences Courts, created specifically to speed up trial of corruption cases in Ikeja, Lagos has threatened to commence striking out cases brought before it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) for want of diligent prosecution.
Her lordship, Justice Sherifat Solebo, a very diligent judge who has proved herself to be up to the task voiced her frustrations following records of repeated excuses by prosecutors of the EFCC who are fond of making excuses for failure to arraign suspects and seeking for long adjournments which defeats the essence of the special courts.
At today’s sitting, when her registrar read the charge in FG Vs Olayinka Sanni and Oyebode Atoyebi, the EFCC counsel, Samuel Daji and Mrs. Giwa told the court that the suspects who are on administrative bail by the EFCC jumped bail and that the EFCC will move against the surety to show cause before the next adjournment.
Miffed by the development, Justice Solebo reiterated her statement in earlier sitting, stating that she has already written to Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu on the failings of its officials in prosecuting corruption cases and that she wrote that with effect from this week, she will commence striking out EFCC cases based on their failings in carrying out diligent prosecution.
She added that she will strike out the cases to avoid waste of time so that EFCC will relist them when it is ready to prosecute.
Solebo had in the past lambasted EFCC officials for their tardiness in handling the cases warning that she cannot be withdrawn from her regular court to special court only to contend with EFCC officials who are not serious.
Solebo is not the only judge speaking out against attitude of some of the EFCC prosecutors. At today’s sitting, Hon Justice O. A Williams struck out one case in ID/0722/17 cited as FRN Vs Nkeodi Godwin, Tunde Jabita, Akai Egwungwu, Albert Blessing, Charlse Okebamama and Chester Ukandu.