The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has charged University law teachers to find a solution to protracted litigations involving corruption cases in Nigeria.
Osinbajo spoke while declaring open the National Conference of Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka yesterday.
He said there was no reason why it should be easier to prove a case of a man who stole small amount of money than “the case of a civil servant who earns, say, N200,000.00 a month in whose account is found billions of Naira.”
“How does it take so long to convict a man in whose account as a civil servant is found billions of Naira in his account? We must redefine the offence of corruption because it is worse that homicide”, he said.
He argued that such cases must be time barred and should not take longer than six months.
He also lamented that the corruption cases which the Federal Government had been pursuing in the last two years, if concluded, will easily double the nation’s external reserve.
He lamented that the delay in concluding such cases were the handiwork of Nigerian lawyers and that such tactics was robbing the legal profession some measure of credibility.
The chairman of the occasion, and Chief Justice of the Federation, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was represented by Hon. Justice Amina Augie in his speech said that Law had a big role to play in achieving the highest level of security for in Nigeria and in the development of the nation as a whole.
Meanwhile, Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano has attributed the security being enjoyed in the State to rule of law.
The governor who commended NALT for choosing the topic; ‘Law, Security and National Development’ said the theme completely captured the lingering dilemma of Nigeria and that one puzzle that must be collectively solve to give Nigeria a fighting chance at national development.
Obiano said, “Anambra is also widely regarded as the safest state in Nigeria today. Anyone who is familiar with the Anambra narrative would remember that for decades, our beloved state was held down by lawlessness and insecurity which made all efforts at meaningful development totally impossible.
“At a point, Anambra could almost pass for a postcard of disorder and insecurity. But our story has changed in just three years. We have made rapid progress from being an address for lawlessness to an oasis of peace and a destination for wise investors.
“The very fact that this prestigious association chose to host the Golden Anniversary edition of its Annual Conference in Awka underscores the importance of what we have achieved in securing Anambra State.
“The idea of holding this conference in this state would have been inconceivable in the past. But we have changed our story, and we did it with the Law. If we can do it, then Nigeria can do it even better,” Obiano submitted.