UNODC challenges Ghanaian, Liberian and Nigerian prosecutors to solve a fictitious organized crime and corruption case to strengthen their investigation management skills

CRIMJUST, the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP) and the UNODC Project “Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria” held a Workshop on Strengthening Integrity in Investigation and Prosecution of Complex Cases, on 19-20 July in Lagos, Nigeria.

For two days, the participants- 30 criminal justice practitioners, mainly prosecutors from Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria- had to review evidence and information provided as in a real-life situation. Mr. Jason Reichelt, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the UNODC Vienna, guided them in conducting a preliminary analysis, leading to the development of a comprehensive investigation plan.

The second day was devoted to discussing approaches and techniques when questioning witnesses who may become potential informants or cooperating offenders in the investigation. Practitioners had the opportunity to role-play as the witness and the interviewer, using different interviewing techniques (PEACE model, etc.) based on the level of cooperativeness of the witness.

Overall, participants put in practice their competences in investigation and prosecution of complex cases relating to corruption, drug trafficking and money laundering, among other offenses.

The workshop was designed based on the factual evidence of the crucial linkages of organised crime and corruption and was developed as an answer to the challenges posed by corruption.

Corruption continues to represent a major obstacle in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it hampers stability, rule of law and institutional integrity. Therefore, the UNODC considers it a priority to provide continuous support to develop national and regional capacities to prevent and effectively address this problem.