The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has secured support of the Office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria to curb incessant fraud in the nation’s payments system with particular interest focus on electronic fraud (e-fraud).
Alhaji Suleiman Barau, Deputy Governor of Operations at CBN who lead members of the Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) and some members of the Bank to the CJN’s office recently said the forum recognized the judiciary as a strategic partner in stemming e-fraud.
Barau who noted the enactment of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015, solicited the partnership of the judiciary in setting up of a platform of engagement between judges and the financial industry to identify skill gaps.
The apex bank’s Deputy Governor also sought for collaboration in working on an action plan to address identified skill gaps, building knowledge and deepening capacity of the judiciary as well as setting-up of dedicated courts that will adjudicate on banking and financial matters.
Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, while responding said that although the focus has shifted towards a more conciliatory approach to dispute resolution, most superior courts in Nigeria, including the Supreme Court, had enacted practice directions on serious crimes, including money laundering and fraud. This should see cases being fast-tracked for trial and determination.
According to Mohammed, as part of their contribution to check fraud, the Supreme Court had given directives for priority to criminal matters especially at the Appeal and the Supreme courts, an action which translates to speedy adjudication of such cases.
Also contributing, a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Walter Adoghe, observed that problems with fraud cases mainly arose outside the courts. Prosecutors in particular needed to do their work well by helping to tender impeccable evidences and presenting materials that would lead to conviction, he adds.
Adoghe attributed the delays in dispensation of justice to high number of counts of charges for, noting that too many counts often sent bad signals as they often took months to resolve.
The Justices of the Supreme Court also took advantage of the meeting to seek clarifications on some of the Bank’s policies and initiatives including the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) for Federal Government’s revenue generating agencies; the Bank Verification Number (BVN); Naira devaluation, among others.
Some members of Barau’s team included the Director, Banking and Payments System of the Bank, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, who is also the Chairman Steering Committee of the NeFF; Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, Director, Corporate Communications, and Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, Director, Banking Supervision at the CBN.
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