File photo: Walter Onnoghen
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has appealed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Water Onnoghen, to urgently revisit and review the composition of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) headed by Justice Ayo Salami.
In an open letter sent to the CJN, who is Chairman of the National Judicial Council, SERAP said the review would help to “remove the risk of apparent and potential conflicts between the work of the Committee and the private practice of some of its members who are handling high-profile cases of corruption involving politically exposed persons (PEPs).”
The organisation proposed that for the Committee to perform its tasks effectively and with propriety, it should preferably be composed entirely of members of the judiciary, particularly drawn from available pool of brilliant and incorruptible retired judges.
In the letter dated October 3 and signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said, “While international law does not prohibit some representation of the legal profession or academics, we urge your Lordship to select candidates from these fields to the Salami committee based on their demonstrable commitment to the fight against corruption, and after extensive consultation, and a thorough scrutiny of the candidates’ past record of legal practice, to eliminate all possibilities of bias and conflict of interest.”
more to follow…