The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) has held a 2-day capacity building workshop for Judges.
Speaking at the event, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, OFR stated that the event was organised to strengthen the synergy between anti-corruption agencies and the Judiciary and to address current challenges facing the country.
Owasanoye noted that the Judiciary plays a significant role in the fight against corruption, adding that the theme for this year’s workshop would provide judges an insight into the ICPC Establishment Act 2000 in addressing the challenges faced in interpretation of the law and equip the judges with global best practices provisions.
In his words, “This collaborative workshop falls under our enforcement mandate and its objective is to provide your Lordships with insights into the ICPC Establishment Act, 2000, including its seemingly contentious but global best practices provisions, such as the authority to direct a financial institution to ‘Post No Debit’ on suspected accounts implicated in malfeasance like money laundering pending investigation. The interaction will also throw up challenge faced by the courts and our operatives in the implementation of the law.”
Owasanoye further revealed that “ICPC is now an authority in investigating and prosecuting money laundering and proceeds of crime or terrorism related issue under the Money Laundering (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022 and Proceeds of Crime (Recovery & Management) Act, 2022, and Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022.
In his remarks at the workshop, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, GCON noted that the capacity building workshop would cement the laudable synergy between anti- corruption agencies and the judiciary.
Justice Ariwoola stressed the need for judges to be steadfast in their commitment towards making the country a corrupt free society and not allow sentiments to stand in the way in the discharge of their duties.
“I encourage you all to be steadfast in our commitment towards making our nation a corruption free society, which no doubt, will further create a synergy between anti- corruption agencies and the Judiciary. This dream and vision of strengthening the synergy between the judiciary and the ICPC in particular must continuously be nurtured if we are to succeed in the fight against this monster called corruption”. CJN Ariwoola stated.
While delivering his remarks, the Administrator of NJI, Hon. Justice Salisu Grabe Abdullahi urged the judges to equip themselves with modern techniques of investigation, knowledge of the regulations and skills.
“I will say for the judiciary to perform optimally, judicial officers must be kept abreast with current trends in jurisprudence relating to socio-legal issues in this special and important area of the law.”
The 2 – day workshop is expected to cover topics such as “Overview of the Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Act, 2000”, “Combating the abscondments of the Defendant”, “Overview of Seizure and Forfeiture of Assets under the Corrupt Practices and Other Anti-Corruption Legislations”, “Admissibility of Foreign and Electronic Evidence in Nigerian Court under the Evidence Act and Other Legislations”, “Strengthening the Synergy between the Anti- Corruption Agencies and Judiciary in the Trial of Corruption, Money Laundering and Other Related Offences.”