Senate plans to amend CCT act, wants removal from control of SGF
The Senate yesterday introduced a Bill to amend the Act establishing the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) with the aim of guaranteeing its independence.
The Bill tagged “Code of Conduct Act Cap C15 LFN 2004 (amendment) Bill, 2016 (SB 248)” and sponsored by Senator Peter Nwaboshi (PDP, Delta State) might be passed for second reading before the end of the week.
In an interview, Nwaboshi said the main objective of the Bill was to save Nigerians from falling victims of political manipulation.
He said: “We want to save Nigerians from overzealous politicians.“The Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Code of Conduct Bureau now is under the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). The Secretary to the Government is a politician and can use it against political opponents or perceived political opponents.
“He oversees the CCB and the CCT, they report to his office.So, since the Supreme Court in its judgment has said that the CCT is a court of some sort, it must be seen to be neutral in nature and not to report to a politician.
“What we intend by the Bill is to make it completely neutral, either move it to the Judiciary or move it to the National Assembly that has the power to remove the chairman and members of the tribunal.
According to him: “The intent is not because of what is happening to the Senate President at the moment; it is because we want to save Nigerians, we want Nigerians to see: you cannot put a quasi judicial arm under the control of the SGF who is a politician, appointed by the President, doing political job, then you put him in charge.”
Nwaboshi, who stated that the second motive of the Bill was to put a time-frame to investigation and trial of public office holders on asset declaration, further said: “The CCB Act says you declare your asset upon assumption of office and when you are leaving office, you declare your asset.
“Within the time you came to office and the time you are leaving office, they must have investigated your asset. What is left is to investigate the asset declared when leaving office.
“You do not just leave it for 100 years, then all of a sudden, someone wakes up and says 56 years ago you did not declare your asset, that should not be so.
“You have been given a time-frame to declare at the beginning and at the end, but within the four years, the CCB does not conduct its investigations immediately but takes another 15 years.
“Who says that someone cannot stand up tomorrow when President Buhari leaves office and says that he did not declare his asset at a particular time?”
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