Farida Waziri calls for special courts to try corruption cases in Nigeria

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Farida Waziri

Farida Waziri

Farida Waziri, the head of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency EFCC, has called for special courts to try corruption cases and urged developed countries to assist Africa to recover its looted funds, her office said on Friday. ”Until this is done, anti-graft agencies on the continent will continue to complain about the slow pace of trial in corruption cases,” Economic and Financial Crimes Commission chairman Farida Waziri said in a paper at an international conference in Gaborone, Botswana, the EFCC said in a statement. She said although Nigeria was yet to have special courts, the drive for their creation which began in 2008 had continued to win support across the country.

She said despite the constraints of slow judicial process, the support and independence given the EFCC by the Nigerian government had helped its work since its establishment eight years ago. ”If without special courts we can secure over 600 convictions within this short time, you can imagine what we will do if we are to have dedicated judges or courts to hear only corruption cases,” she said. ”Today, our record of recovery is in excess of 11 billion dollars…What it means is that, with special courts and assets forfeiture law, the war against graft would have been taken to a different level,” she said. Farida also called on developed countries to assist Africa to recover embezzled money stashed in foreign accounts.

She said more than 148 billion dollars was being stolen from the continent annually and foreign countries were not doing enough to help repatriate the loot. She said the idea of holding on to stolen funds even after they had been traced and established as ill-gotten was a distortion in global macroeconomic indices ”Our experience with certain countries has not been palatable. Consistently some countries have not been too cooperative in retrieval of stolen funds and it will appear that peculiar national interest guides cooperation with us,” she added. ”We must understand that the ill effects of corruption does not only affect the origin of the illicit funds but also the receiving countries in the sense that in both locations, funds that have no bearing on productive ventures has either left the economy or has been injected into it,” she added.

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