By Ese Awhotu with agency report
A retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Suleiman Galadima, has emerged as the new chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee.
Justice Galadima replaces Ayo Salami, the retired president of the Court of Appeal who stood down from the committee as the chairman, after initially accepting to serve.
This was disclosed in a statement by Director of Information of the NJC, Soyi Oje, said the committee will be inaugurated today by the Chairman of the National Judicial Council and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, at the Council’s Conference Hall by 2pm,
Galadima was born in October 1946 in Nasarawa State. He attended Government College Keffi where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1965 before he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law in 1977 and was called to the Bar after he graduated from the Nigerian Law School in 1978.
He later received a master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos in 1985.
He joined the Anambra State Judiciary as Magistrate on July 1988 and in 1990, he was appointed Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, Plateau state.
On May 1991, he became the High Court Judge of Plateau State. At the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996, he was appointed as its pioneer Chief Judge of the State.
On December 9, 1998, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal and on August 2010, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He retired on October 10, 2016, at the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
Galadima is famous for his leading judgement in Shina Oketaolegun Vs. State, SC. 334A/2012, where he held that the Court of Appeal correctly reviewed the evidence led by both the prosecution and the defence in which he agreed that the evidence of one credible witness can justify conviction.
Reports say the Chief Justice of Nigeria had in response to the concern expressed by members of the public on the very slow pace with which corruption cases were being heard and disposed of by Courts, and the need to fast track the administration of Criminal Justice, directed the Heads of Court to set up Special Courts to speedily hear and determine corruption and financial crime cases and forward the comprehensive list to the Council.
The council approved the constitution of the Committee at its 82nd Meeting of 27th September, 2017 with the following Terms of Reference:- To monitor and regularly evaluate the progress and activities of courts designated to try corruption and financial/economic crime cases.
It is also to advise on Practice Directions for approval by the Chief Justice of Nigeria to be applicable in all such courts across the country with a view to eliminating procedural and administrative bottlenecks militating against speedy disposal of such cases; the trainings, re-trainings and other refresher programmes for Judges and staff of the designated courts aimed at enhancing their capacities to function effectively; Come up with an effective feedback mechanism from Heads of Courts to the Council on the activities and progress of cases before designated courts.
It will also generally advise Council on the day-to-day strategies for the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the designated courts and on strategies for improvement in performance.