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PACAC faults Supreme Court judgment on Orji Kalu, appointment of FCT judges



We have recovered over N1tn looted funds - Sagay

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has faulted the judgement of the Supreme Court that nullified the conviction of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.

In a statement by its Chairman, Prof Itse Sagay, on Wednesday, PACAC said the Supreme Court judgment is a cog in the fight against corruption.

The committee, which noted that the controversial judgment made politically-exposed persons appear to be above the law, also expressed sadness and shock about how sons and daughters of retired and serving judges and justices were nominated by the National Judicial Council for appointment as judges of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

The statement read in part: “The Supreme Court judgment on the Jones Udeogu (Orji Kalu) case shows the court’s reliance on technicalities rather than justice and public interest.

“Moreover and painfully, the provisions of ACJA 2015 have been ignored by the Supreme Court, even though they were tailor-made to solve a great problem in our criminal justice system.

“Clearly, these kinds of judgments pose a cog in the fight against corruption especially because high profile individuals and politically exposed persons already appear to be above the law.

According to the committee, “despite this major setback,” Nigerians and all other stakeholders in the fight against corruption “should partner the EFCC in the struggle against corruption.”

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Maintaining that “leaders must be held to account in Nigeria irrespective of their power and position.”

“PACAC will resist any special treatment for high profile Nigerians,” Sagay stated.

The committee further “notes, with sadness and amazement, how sons and daughters of retired and serving judges and justices are being nominated for appointment into sensitive judicial positions at the expense of more qualified candidates without privileged support and backing.

“This time around, it is emphasis on favouritism/nepotism over competence. This is a pathway to future judicial malfeasance and miscarriage of justice. Nigerians and other stakeholders in the fight against corruption should fight to halt this malpractice now so as to save the nation from grave deterioration in our judicial system”, PACAC said.

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