29th February, 2012
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Tuesday said that the conviction of former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, for money laundering by a UK court was a warning to other corrupt Nigerian politicians.
Mr. Adebamigbe Omole, Chairman, NBA, Ikeja Branch stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Omole said: “The take of the NBA on Ibori’s conviction is that many politicians, especially governors, who are in the habit of plundering the peoples’ wealth, will also face justice someday.
“Ibori’s conviction has reinforced what the NBA has been saying that some of our political office holders are just there to steal and loot.”
He said that corruption was a contributory factor to Nigeria’s underdevelopment, adding that there was the need to intensify the war against it.
“ A lot of money that could have been used to benefit Nigerians is being siphoned away by our leaders.
“There is a need for us to review our statute books to ensure that those who steal public funds receive capital punishment.
“That is the only way to solve this problem in Nigeria otherwise it would continue to be the same story,” Omole added.
He, therefore, called for the establishment of a separate court to try corruption cases, noting that the present system was being used to frustrate prosecution of offenders.
The NBA chairman said: “The system now is that those defending these politicians and governors in corruption trials try to delay the matter as much as possible.
“They keep bringing frivolous applications before the court to stall the matter and make sure it does not go to trial.”
According to him, a special court, dedicated to prosecuting those accused of corruption, would ensure that they are brought to justice.