President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the national assembly to fast-track the passage of the special crimes court bill.
The executive bill was submitted to the legislature in 2016 as part of Buhari’s anti-corruption policy.
Also in 2017, Walter Onnoghen, former chief justice of Nigeria, issued a directive to all heads of courts to create special courts to handle corruption cases.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja during the national summit on ‘Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service’ organised by the ICPC in collaboration with the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, the president asked the judiciary to support the creation of special crimes court.
He said the passage of the bill was a ‘‘specific priority’’ of the administration’s economic recovery & growth plan 2017-2020.
Buhari said corruption is the cause of many problems in the country, adding that, ‘‘it is a catalyst for poverty, insecurity, weak educational system, poor health facilities and services and many other ills of our society”.
“The fight against corruption is of course not only for government and anti-corruption agencies alone. All arms and tiers of government must develop and implement the anti-corruption measures,” he said.
“I invite the legislative and judicial arms of government to embrace and support the creation of special crimes court that Nigerians have been agitating to handle corruption cases.
‘‘This government is working hard to overcome such ills. Corruption generally and public sector corruption in particular, inhibits the ability of government to deliver infrastructure and basic services to the people.
“That is why I have reiterated on many occasions that corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria.
“Corruption is furthermore, a major threat to the attainment of the sustainable development goals and the socio-economic transformation we are all working hard to bring about in Nigeria.”