Nigerian Senate Bows to Social Media Pressure, Suspends Amendment of Code of Conduct Law




Report hitting our news desk has it that the Nigerian Senate has stopped the ongoing amendment of the Code of Conduct Act that was initiated and referred to its committees on Judiciary and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions last week.

The Upper Chamber also announced that they have suspended the amendment of Administration of Criminal Justice Acts (ACJA) which according to social media reports by Nigerians are said to be in favour of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.

In a similar manner, available report of the Ethics Committee on Kabiru Marafa, a senator known to be opposed to embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki, was also stepped down.

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These decisions were taken during the Senate’s closed door session on Wednesday.

It is on record that the lawmakers had on 14th April, 2016 introduced a bill seeking for amendment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and Bureau Act. In fact, they hurriedly rushed it through second reading just within 48 hours after it was first read in a bid to favour Senator Bukola Saraki.

Nigerians who opposed this aforementioned decision of the Senate to amend such bill said that rarely do Nigeria’s lawmaking processes get such an accelerated legislative action.

The bill, sponsored by Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta State), passed second reading and was subsequently referred to the committees on Judiciary and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
The committees were to report back in two weeks.

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THE AMENDMENT

The bill seeks to amend Section 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act “to give every public officer appearing before the Bureau fair hearing as provided for under Section 36 (2)(a) of the CFRN 1999 which provides:

“For an opportunity for the person whose rights and obligations may be affected to make representations to the administering authority before that authority makes the decision affecting that person.”

The existing law, Mr. Nwaoboshi said in his lead argument, does not provide for the Bureau (CCB)to take written statement from concerned public officers before referring a matter of alleged non-compliance to the Tribunal (the CCT).