BY AHURAKA ISAH, ABUJA –
The European Union (EU) yesterday announced that it has budgeted €23.3 million (about N10 billion) to fund a four-year Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme in Nigeria
Accordingly, it has launched a four-year programme focused on supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards justice sector reforms and anti-corruption war in the country.
The EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS), Kurt Cornelis, who disclosed this said the programme will enhance good governance in Nigeria by contributing to strengthening of the rule of law and curbing corruption.
This is coming within the backdrop of the judicial reforms being carried out by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen and the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The NJC had set up the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) on September 26, 2017, mandating it to ensure that the judiciary dispenses justice promptly on corruption cases in compliance with the letter and spirit of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Cornelis further disclosed that the British Council office in Nigeria will implement the programme, even as he said the EU has affirmed its commitment to supporting Nigeria to improve the justice sector and strengthen the fight against corruption through the financing of a Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme.
He said, “The RoLAC Programme, which will be funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), is targeted at supporting Nigeria’s effort at reforms in the criminal justice system and the fight against corruption. The European Union is providing €23.3m for the initiative, to be implemented at the federal level and in four states of Adamawa; Anambra; Kano; and Lagos.
“Corruption and an ineffective justice system undermine Nigeria’s effort at economic and social development and fighting poverty”.
He further said: “Criminal justice reform and the fight against corruption are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Corruption is both a cause and driver of poor governance and performance of the criminal justice system. At the same time, a strong Nigerian criminal justice sector, able to dispense timely and effective justice would strengthen the fight against corruption, as incentives to engage incorrupt practices are reduced.
“The overall objective is to enhance good governance in Nigeria by contributing to the strengthening of the rule of law and curbing corruption. More specifically, it will target and support the implementation of the Nigerian Criminal Justice Reform agenda to improve on the timeliness, effectiveness and transparency of the system.
“Increasing access to justice for women, children and persons with disabilities strengthening the fight against corruption in the criminal justice sector, public procurement and the extractive industries Enhance citizens’ civic and public engagement in criminal justice sector reforms and the fight against corruption’’.
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