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20 Jun 2017

Weak Laws Affecting Nigeria’s Anti Corruption War, Says CISLAC

An anti-corruption group, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has declared that the fight against corruption in Nigeria is being hampered because the law favours accused persons.
Senior Programme Officer of CISLAC, Kolawole Banwo said this in an interview with DAILY POST.

Banwo’s reaction was coming on the backdrop of recent events that have seen high-profile corruption cases suffer in the judiciary.

He said laws in Nigeria were complicated, which allowed lawyers to take advantage of the loopholes.

He also said anti-graft agencies, including the EFCC, the ICPC and others should always carry-out thorough investigation before going to court, adding that media hypes also did a lot of damage to corruption cases.

Banwo said CISLAC is not surprised that the Code of Conduct Tribunal discharged Senate President Bukola Saraki, noting that the leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu got similar favour.

“Generally, the laws in our country favours accused persons. You are presumed innocent until you are proven guilty and the law is so complicated that leaves many loopholes and technicalities with which smart lawyers can get accused persons off the hook.

“Those laws were not made today. They have been there. That is why you see lawyers taking advantage of our week laws. So what we can do is to amend these laws.

“The situation with the Senate President is not so surprising because the same case Saraki was charged to court was the same case Bola Tinubu was also charged to court.

“If Tinubu was let off the hook based on some certain technicalities, why shouldn’t Saraki be discharged.

“In all, we expect the EFCC and other anti graft agencies to carry out more investigation before going to court because they seem to be in a hurry and they end up making mistakes.

“All these media trials when you do not have substantial evidence against a suspect should stop,” Banwo said.

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