Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 19 April 2016 | 1,863 times
Friends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative (FGAI) has decried the sudden stance of the Nigerian Senate over its rush in a bid to amend the Code of Conduct Bureau and its Tribunal Act law, saying it is ill-timed and absolutely ill-motivated.
In a statement signed by the Executive Director of the group, George Oji and made available to News Express, the group believed that “the speed at which the senate wants to conclude the amendment process raises very worrisome suspicion. The amendment fails all known basic moral test.”
According to the statement, “it is unfortunate that the senate has not accorded the same kind of urgency it is currently doing in the amendment of the CCB and CCT act to timely initiation of legislations to support the Buhari administrations resolve in stamping out corruption in the country.
“Nigerians expect the National Assembly, which is dominated by members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), to be in the same front seat to drive the current war against corruption with the executive.
“It is the position of FGAI that amending the CCB and CCT Act to serve the interest of the leadership of the senate now will not augur well, but will be a dangerous precedence in Nigeria in the future.”
The statement further made it crystal clear that “the second bill, which is sponsored by Senator Isah Misau (Bauchi Central) and tagged, a bill for and Act to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and other related matters, seeks to remove the CCT from the list of courts, statutorily empowered to initiate criminal proceedings against accused persons.”
However, debate on the second bill has been slated to commence this week, Tuesday, on the floor of the Senate.
Recall that the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights, which is to handle the public hearing was given just two seeks to conclude its work and report back to the senate. It is also expected that when debate on the second bill commences this week, the process will not assume no less an accelerated approach.
“Clearly, the intention of the two bills is to whittle down the powers of both the CCB and CCT. No doubt, coming at a time like this, when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is currently facing trial before the CCT over allegations of false assets declaration and money laundering, raises a lot of suspicion about the sincerity of the lawmakers that the amendment has nothing to do with the Senate Presidents trial.
“Considering their antecedence in lawmaking, it will be hard put for the senate to explain to Nigerians that the amendment is not self-serving. It is wrong to legislate in anger. Legislations must not only be altruistic but futuristic.
“Considering the negative impacts and consequences of corruption in our society, the lawmakers are expected to be allies and not foes in the current Federal Governments war against corruption. Instead of making laws that would hamstring the fight against corruption, Nigerians expect the lawmakers to initiate legislations that will compliment Federal Governments resolve to nip the malfeasance called corruption in the bud.
“What the senators have unfortunately demonstrated so far is that they are not in sync with the executive in the current war against corruption.”
•Photo shows Senate President Saraki.
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