Saraki’s trial: Senate moves to curb executive influence over CCT

Saraki’s trial: Senate moves to curb executive influence over CCT
April 13 10:03 2016

In an apparent reaction to the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false asset decaration, the Senate has begun moves to reduce the influence of the executive arm of government on the Trinunal and the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Senators loyal to Saraki have often accused the exevutive of being behind Saraki’s travails and this according to them is not unconnected with the jostle for the leadership of the National Assembly which the ruling party candidate, Senator Ahmed Lawan lost to Saraki.

The Senators have therefore begun moves to amend the Code of Conduct Act, with the objective of removing the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, from the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and the Presidency.

With the fresh move, the Senate is out to whittle down the powers of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, and CCT. The Code of Conduct Act CAP C15 LFN 2004 bill, which was sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North, passed first reading.

In the bill, entitled Code of Conduct Act Cap C15 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016, the Senate is seeking to transfer the control of CCT and CCB from the Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, to National Assembly or the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF.

Prior to the reading of the Bill for the first time, there was, however, a mild drama when the first Order Paper for Tuesday, which was circulated to journalists, was withdrawn.

In the withdrawn Order Paper, the Code of Conduct Bill was omitted, but included in the copy distributed to lawmakers.

The second Order Paper was distributed to journalists few minutes after the lawmakers concluded a closed-door session, where the Bill ought to have been read for the first time without journalists knowing.

It was gathered that some lawmakers protested against the move, after which the Senate President, ruled that it should be made open.

In an interaction with journalists after Tuesday’s plenary, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi noted that the bill was to save Nigerians from the antics of desperate politicians, who will always want to use CCT to hound perceived enemies and settle political scores.