The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has assured the judiciary that the National Assembly is determined to provide any possible support to enable it to discharge its mandate and tackle corruption in Nigeria.
This is as he also said that the National Assembly had been at the forefront in the fight against corruption in the country, adding that the 9th Senate particularly frowns at corruption.
Lawan stated these at a capacity-building workshop for Judges and Justices which was organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute in Abuja on Monday.
“We are determined in the National Assembly, even though we have only one year to go, to give you any possible support to ensure that you have the wherewithal to discharge your mandate,” Lawan told a gathering of judges and justices.
The Senate President told the judicial officers with emphasis that “we are determined as an Assembly to work with the Judicial arm of government just like we are working with the executive arm of government.
“What we need is a collaboration that will make the judicial arm of government stand on its feet. The resources so far given to this arm of government cannot be said to be sufficient but I believe that we can do better.
“I want a situation where in 2023, even before then, if the opportunity arises, that we make resources available to the judicial arm of government especially those courts that need the kind of support for them to prosecute those offenders who have taken our money.”
Lawan said the National Assembly, had been at the forefront in the fight against corruption in the country.
“This is because the laws have to be made before they are implemented or actualised by our anti-corruption agencies. So we are fully and completely involved in the fight against corruption in our country.
“And the ninth National Assembly particularly distinguishes itself by being anti-corruption. Recently, we passed two very important bills and I’m happy that Mr President signed them into law – The Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act and the Proceeds of Crimes, Prevention and Prohibition Act.
“We are determined in the National Assembly, even though we have only one year to go, let me assure the Judicial arm of government, that we are determined to give you any possible support to ensure that you have the wherewithal to discharge your mandate.
“I’m taking the opportunity here to charge the Attorney General of the Federation that, let make 2023 appropriation, a year for the judiciary in Nigeria to always remember.
“I want to make this promise here that we are going to make your budget better than 2022 and probably better than at any other time in 2023.
“One thing is clear if we are talking about the judiciary dynamism, the judiciary must have the resources to be that independent and efficient and effective.
“Without resources, no matter how hard we try, we cannot be at the best that we want to be. So it’s about getting more resources and using them judiciously and I’m sure that that is not the problem. The problem is, let’s have the resources and I’m giving you that promise.
“Taking those involved in financial crimes to the courts and prosecuting them and maybe jailing them is supposed to be the last resort.
“We need to do more in the areas of fighting against the causes of corruption. I will commend the EFCC especially the chairman for having a record of prosecution of over 2000 last year and already as you will even have a better outcome or result for 2022.