DAILY POST—–Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has lamented the delay in prosecuting high profile corrupt cases by the various anti-graft agencies in the country.
Osibanjo who noted that the figure showing that only seven high profile corrupt cases have been concluded since 1999 was insignificant, observed that the delay by the anti-graft agencies in prosecution was responsible.
Osinbajo, represented by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN, made this disclosure on Wednesday at a sensitisation workshop on sections 306 and 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and delay of high profile corruption cases in Nigeria.
The Vice President stated that though he was not an advocate of “conviction at all costs in high profile cases,” the delay tactics often deployed by defence lawyers to frustrate the course of justice in high profile corruption cases were unacceptable.
Osinbajo further noted that only about eight high profile cases had been concluded with the prosecution successfully securing convictions since 2002.
He added that only one of the eight convictions was reversed by the Supreme Court on technical grounds.
He however did not name the cases in which the eight convictions were secured but it will be recalled that the Supreme Court on December 13, 2013, discharged and acquitted a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State, Chief Bode George, of criminal charges on which he had earlier been convicted by the Lagos High Court and the judgment affirmed by the Court of Appeal.
“It is a sad truth that of all the high profile cases filed since 2002 when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was established and corruption was first actively identified then by the President, Olusegun Obasanjo, as the number one monster devouring Nigeria, only about eight high profile cases have been concluded with the prosecution successfully gaining convictions from the appropriate courts,” Osinbajo said