There is no doubt that 2020 ended with some yet-to-be-concluded corruption cases involving prominent former Nigerian public servants, leaving a lot of citizens in the country in long suspense.
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Some of the cases were adjourned till 2021 following bail applications, insufficiency of evidence, and in other stances, complicated court processes.
It is crucial to note that the verdicts on these rather prolonged cases will either rekindle or dash the hope of Nigerians in the competence, fairness, and uprightness of the judiciary.
Moreover, the various rulings and procedures that lead to them will indirectly speak volume about the administration of not just the federal government but more specifically, that of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad.
Below is a list of the said cases and a brief look at how far they have been handled in court:
Orji Uzor Kalu
Having been found guilty of stealing the sum of N7.1 billion while in office as the governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, who is currently the chief whip of the Senate, was sentenced to 12 years in prison by the Federal High Court in Abuja in December 2019.
However, the verdict was nullified in May 2020 by the Supreme Court which went ahead to order a retrial. The dismissal of the ruling was delivered by a seven-man panel led by Justice Amina Augie.
The former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, was sentenced to seven years in prison in February 2020, following many count charges bordering on money laundering.
Luckily for Metuh, his conviction was voided by the Court of Appeal in December the same year on the basis of the claim that the ruling of the court was born out of bias.
Consequently, the Justice Stephen Adah-led panel ordered that the case be sent back to the chief judge of the Federal High Court so as to be presided over by another judge.
Most Nigerians are not ignorant of the melodrama that has characterised the trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, the former chairman of the Pension Reform Taskforce.
From claiming to be ill on many occasions in both 20119 and 2020 to being on the run and finally taking refuge in the Niger Republic where he was extradited to face justice, Maina became one of the household names when it comes to corruption in high places.
Due to his dramatic collapse in court when his trial resumed in late 2020, Justice Abang of the Federal High Court adjourned the trial to Tuesday, January 26, and Wednesday, January 27.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is bent on seeing Maina behind bars after heaping allegations related to embezzling of public funds on him.
Mohammed Bello Adoke
Mohammed Bello Adoke, a former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), is a wanted man for alleged financial corruption.
Adoke has been on trial for a considerable period of time but is presently stuck in Dubai because he recently tested positive for COVID-19 at a time when his trial was about to resume.
Ibrahim Magu used to be the acting chairman of the EFCC until he was suspended as a result of theft and misappropriation of funds claims made against him by the current AGF, Abubakar Malami.
Although the Ayo Salami-led panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari has concluded and forwarded its findings on Magu’s case, the presidency is yet to act on the report.
Wayo too much for Nigeria – Corruption in Nigeria must end | Legit TV