Corruption trial: Presidency to hire senior lawyers

The Presidency plans to hire senior lawyers of high integrity to lead prosecution of some corruption cases pending in courts.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement Saturday.

This came a day after the Federal High Court dismissed all the 13 counts of money laundering and passport fraud filed by the Federal Government against a judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, who was among the judicial officers whose houses were raided by the operatives of the Department of State Services in 2016. He was subsequently charged with various graft offences by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

But the vice president’s spokesman said the present administration would not relent in the pursuit of corruption cases as Nigerians expected those who had violated public trust to face consequences.

He said many corruption cases pending in courts, arising from the conduct of the past administration, would “hopefully benefit from establishment of special courts for the speedy trial of corruption and other criminal cases.”

Akande stated: “We have a number of lawyers, senior lawyers, people with solid reputations, who have volunteered to assist in prosecuting the cases and soon, the prosecuting agencies will be assigning specific cases to them.”

He said in spite of the concerns about the delay in the pursuit of some of the corruption cases, no one should underestimate the government’s resolve to push all the cases to a logical conclusion.

“To those who have asked what has happened to the several instances of corruption that we have spoken about, we say wait and see.

Sometimes, the wheels of justice may be slow, as it is often said, but they grind exceedingly fine. Let Nigerians know that justice will be served in the end, and the world will see it. We have a president and a vice president who will not take no for an answer on this matter,” he said.

Akande said Nigerians had not forgotten the severe damage “caused the economy by the rampant abuse of public trust and grand larceny that characterized the past administration.

“Those who are asking our people to simply forget the blatant violation of public trust and the pillaging of the nation’s commonwealth witnessed in the past, are saying wittingly or otherwise that we should forget where the shoe actually pinched and pretend as if the social raping of the nation never occurred.

“We have a situation where a former first lady came out openly to claim over $171m found in her accounts and you think Nigerians will simply overlook that. You have a situation where hundreds of billions have been recovered including the discovery of $43M cash in an apartment in Ikoyi, and you think Nigerians will simply forget that?”

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