The training of top judicial officers in London, United Kingdom, funded by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), has sparked controversy within Nigeria. Sources have accused AMCON of incurring substantial expenses to fly judges to London for the training, even though most of the resource persons involved are from Nigeria.
Among those attending the training are Hon. Justice John T. Tsoho, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, and Justice A.O. Faji of the Federal High Court, along with other Federal High Court Judges from Nigeria. The training, which began on Monday, July 31, was opened by the High Commissioner for Nigeria in the UK, Sarafa Tunji Isola.
Critics have raised concerns that this extravagant training, sponsored by AMCON, comes at a time when Nigeria is facing economic challenges and job losses. They argue that AMCON’s actions appear wasteful, especially since most of the resource persons are based in Nigeria. Additionally, there are allegations that the training during the judges’ vacation is an attempt to bribe the judges and influence their decisions, with rumors of foreign currencies being provided to them.
Furthermore, sources revealed that AMCON may have used third parties to organize the training, raising questions about the statutory power to train judges, which is believed to lie solely with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
During the training, Ahmed Kuru, AMCON Managing Director, emphasized the importance of the judiciary’s collaboration in AMCON’s progress and its efforts in enforcing recoveries. However, there have been allegations against Kuru in the past, including accusations related to the sale of assets, asset diversion, and selling seized assets at below-value prices.
Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Modibbo Tukur, has also faced allegations. A recent investigation raised concerns about a report implicating the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in alleged money laundering activities. Modibbo was accused of suppressing the internal report, but the NFIU denied the allegations.
The controversy surrounding AMCON’s funding of judges’ training and the issues raised against AMCON’s management add further complexity to the situation, warranting careful attention and investigation from relevant authorities.