Key Individual:
Abbas Inuwa


Who can benefit from this study?
Policy/decision-makers
Practitioners/professionals
Researchers


Organisation responsible for case study:
Name: TransparencIT

Org. type: Non-Profit



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Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases

Post Status: Complete
Main Project Location: Kaduna
Project country/countries: Nigeria
Project dates: 2016 –
Last updated: 9 Dec 2022


Brief overview of the Case Study   

Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases is an international award-winning civic tech initiative advocating courtroom openness, data transparency and judicial accountability. The initiative tracks and evaluates corruption cases in Nigerian courts to ensure stakeholders comply with the law to push cases at every hearing towards a speedy conclusion. It has created an online database of 3,000+ corruption cases (https://corruptioncases.ng/) and evaluated 325 high-profile cases by identifying challenges and causes of delays in trials and recommended ways to reduce delays, improve efficiency, and achieve speedy conclusions of trials without compromising fairness.

The challenge or problem

Nigeria ranks as one of the most corrupt countries globally, with high incidences of public sector corruption. Acts of corruption which deny citizens essential health, education, water, and social services often go unpunished due to corruption in the justice system or slow dispensation of justice. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index consistently ranks Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This is also evident in the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2021, where Nigeria was ranked 121 out of 139 countries in the world and 26 out of 33 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nigeria's anti-corruption agency, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in her 2020 National Corruption Index revealed that "the justice sector had the highest level of corruption with a score of 63. The level of corruption in the justice sector was heightened by stupendously high amounts of money offered as bribes to judges by lawyers…”

Corruption trials take an average of eight (8) years to be concluded by the courts – often due to corruption, abuse of power, etc. These acts of corruption are Nigeria’s greatest obstacle to economic development and a barrier to breaking the vicious circle of poverty which is exacerbated by the diversion of funds at the federal and state levels.

The solution that was implemented

In 2016, we started the Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases project to address the challenges in the trial of corruption cases lingering in the docket of the judiciary and respond to the gap in the judiciary in the fight against corruption in order to provide basic social amenities to the citizenry. The project tracks and evaluates corruption cases in Nigerian courts to ensure stakeholders comply with the law to push cases at every hearing towards a speedy conclusion. It monitors court cases in compliance with the law to reduce delays in trials and improve efficiency while fostering courtroom openness, data transparency, and citizens’ participation in the judicial processes.

Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases uses tech tools to improve the justice sector by assessing, analyzing and making the workings of the judiciary easier to understand and scrutinize. It is a means of ensuring transparency of proceedings, preserving fair trials and promoting the rule of law.

What results were achieved?

Within the first five years of the project, it has reduced the average years of corruption trials in Nigeria and demonstrated a key voice leading to the decision to designate special anti-corruption courts to exclusively handle corruption and other financial crime cases in the country.

The project has also developed the first central online database of corruption cases in Nigeria, with over 3,000 cases, which has opened trials of more than 2000 cases to the public with live updates. It has also provided over 170 researchers with data on corruption cases and prevented over 40 potential cybercrimes/fraud cases from taking place.

Lessons and recommendations

Over the years, we have learned that the innovative use of new technologies and strong commitment and partnership will help to address our most pressing social justice issues. These three key components are essential to achieving the desired results and impacts.

The intersectional use of data and tech at the centre of every challenge also supports informed decisions and the development of practical solutions to address the challenge.

Additionally, co-creation is critical in building civic tech solutions as its supports community participation and ownership.

Extra notes

Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases won the 2022 World Justice Challenge's Anti-Corruption and Open Government Award. The World Justice Challenge is a global competition to identify, recognize and promote good practices and high-impact projects and policies that protect and advance the rule of law. https://worldjusticeproject.org/world-justice-challenge-2022/transparency-information-technology-initiative-transparencit

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