Saturday, November 16, 2013

CSNAC Calls On Nigeria Judges To Declare Their Assets In Accordance With The Law

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a coalition of
over 150 anti-corruption organizations, today urged judicial officers
in the country to declare their assets with evidence of legitimate
means of acquisition.
In a statement, the group commended the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) for the "historic investigation" into the assets,
investments and leadership of some of the judges, as disclosed
recently by an online report. It noted that its own independent
investigations and complaints from the public have revealed the
opulent lives of many judicial officers and huge amount of monies in
banks and personal properties both in and outside the country.
"While they are not prohibited from doing do so, it has become
necessary, in the face of overwhelming allegations of corruption and
compromise in the judiciary, for these judicial officers to declare
their assets with evidence of legitimate means of acquisition."
CSNAC noted that in the 2012 Country reports on Human rights practices
(www. H submitted to the United States Congress in
April 2013 the Nigerian Judiciary was clearly implicated in a review
of the state of corruption in Nigeria.
"The report further posited that Nigerian Judiciary appears to be an
accessory to systemic problem of corruption facing the country. It,
rightly so, opined that there is a widespread perception that judges
are easily bribed and litigants hardly rely on the courts to render
impartial judgments. Citizens are said to encounter delays and alleged
demand for bribe from judicial officials, to expedite cases or obtain
favourable rulings," it recalled
CSNAC described the consistent implication and involvement of judges
in acts of corruption as marking the beginning of a doomed society.
"The Code of Conduct ActFor Public Officers, fifth schedule,
constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, undersection 11
(1-3)provides that all public officers immediately after taking office
and thereafter at the end of every four years and at their retirement
make declaration of their assets," it reminded. "In addition Rule
3E(2)(a)-(c) of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers, laws of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for the prohibition of otherwise
permissible investments or business activities of Judicial officers
where they tend to reflect adversely to judicial impartiality."

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