The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya, has backed the call by the Federal Government for the establishment of a Special Court on corruption.
Gaya gave this backing on Friday while speaking with State House correspondents shortly after he led members of the National Planning and Implementation Committee of the first National Youth Open Water Swimming Competition tagged Youth Unity Cup 2016 to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the reason he decided to sponsor a bill for the establishment of special courts to try corruption and money laundering cases was because of the delay in regular courts.
According to him some corruption cases last up to eight or 10 years, adding that the delay being experienced in the corruption cases was also hindering the Federal Government from accessing and utilising monies seized from corrupt persons standing trials.
He said: “You will find out that court cases on corruption have been lasting for years. Some have lasted for 10 years and for eight years.
“For those monies that the government has seized, some of these monies the people are in court, and there is court process in those areas. So, those funds that have been recovered cannot be utilised because they have caveat on them.
“These court cases can drag on for a long time which means that monies recovered by this government can not be utilised. It is in view of that that I brought up a bill to set up special courts on anti-money laundering and corruption.”
Speaking further, Gaya said should the proposal scale through, the special courts would would reduce the time such cases take and trashing them.
He said the courts would be expected to complete corruption cases within a period ranging from three months to nine months or maximum of one year.
Gaya said once the cases are dispensed with, the recovered funds would go back to the treasury and the funds recovered channeled to other use.
“We have courts on industrial cases and I don’t see the reason why since this government is fighting corruption, we should not have this special court for corruption cases,” he said.
Gaya said the bill had gone through the first reading and that as soon as senators return from break, it would go into second reading and thereafter go for public hearing.
He expressed hope that the bill would be sent to the President early next year for signing.
Gaya also faulted claims that the Senate is foot dragging on the screening of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
“I believe that very soon, the Senate will go into the screening of this gentleman and find a way out because the Senate is committed to fighting corruption.
“We are committed because we believe that unless we resolve the issue of corruption in this country, it will be very difficult for us to go forward because corruption is dragging us two steps backwards when we make one step forward,” he said.