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Corruption US partners Nigeria on handbook for complex financial crimes

250 copies of the handbook will be printed and delivered to every FCT High Court Justice and Magistrate.

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Six Nigerian judges and four magistrates partnered with the United States government to compile a guide on how to deliver justice in cases of complex financial crimes.

Entitled, 'The FCT High Court Judicial Benchbook of Best Practices for Processing and Trial of Complex Economic and Financial Crimes', the handbook was presented to the FCT High Court in Abuja at a public ceremony on Monday, October 24, 2017.

The presentation was the culmination of nine months of hard work to draft a best practices handbook to guide the handling of complex financial crimes by FCT high courts.

According to a report by Vanguard, the U.S. Embassy's Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and the Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) announced that 250 copies of the handbook will be printed and delivered to every FCT High Court Justice and Magistrate.

In a statement by the US Embassy, it stressed that the collaborative effort is part of aiding President Muhammadu Buhari's fight against corruption in the country.

The statement read, "As conceived by Chief Judge Bello and the Embassy's RLA, the Best Practices Benchbook will be a living document that will be regularly updated, revised, and expanded to meet the evolving needs of the Court.

"When Chief Judge Bello and the RLA, Scott Thorley, met nine months ago, they conceived a project to capture the wisdom and experience of the Justices and Magistrates of the High Court relating to the handling of the complex financial crimes which lie at the heart of corruption.

"The goal was to establish a group of Nigerian judicial experts who would draft an easy-access guide for their judicial colleagues which would provide readily available answers to a variety of the issues that arise in complex financial cases.

"Chief Judge Bello appointed a panel of ten of the FCT High Court's most experienced Justices and Magistrates to collaborate on the project and over the ensuing months, Justice Salisu Garba led the panel through a series of drafting and research conferences to identify and document the best judicial practices being employed by Nigerian judges.

"The focus of the Buhari Administration has been to fight corruption, and U.S. assistance has sought to aid the courts and the legal officials that deal with these crimes."

Appointed by Chief Judge Ishaq Bello, and led by Justice Salisu Garba, members of the panel that contributed to the handbook are Justice O.O. Goodluck, Justice A.I. Kutigi, Justice P.O. Affen, Justice A.S. Adepoju, Justice A.O. Ebong, Magistrate A.O. Oyeyepo, Magistrate Samuel Ebiye Khimi Idhiarhi, Magistrate Mohammed Zubairu, and Magistrate Sadia Muazu Mayana.

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