Senate Bows To Pressure, Suspends CCT Act Amendment

Senate

Owing to public outcry and criticism, the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday suspended the controversial proposed amendments to the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal acts and Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The bills proposing the amendments were sponsored by senators Peter Nwaoboshi from Delta State and Isah Hamma Misau from Bauchi State.

The move drew the ire of the public and anti-corruption campaigners, who questioned the Senate’s timing, especially with Senate President Bukola Saraki facing trial at the CCT for false assets declaration.

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, recently called on the House of Representatives not to join their Senate counterparts in amending the laws.

“In view of the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal over the alleged failure to declare his assets the hasty move to amend the Act is insensitive, suspicious, self serving and opportunistic. It is also illegal and unconstitutional in several respects,” he wrote in a letter addressed to House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

Also, on Tuesday, Transparency International, in conjunction with Socio-Economic and Accountability Project, SERAP, and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to veto any such amendment.

To try to amend legislation to protect the Senate President is a blatant attempt to manipulate the rule of law,” a statement quoting chairman of Transparency International, Jose Ugaz, said.

Consequently, the Senate allowed public perception to sway it into abandoning the change.




     

     

    Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over proceedings on Wednesday due to Senate President Bukola Saraki’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, announced the suspension. This came after the Senate went into a closed-door meeting that ended with members resolving to bury their differences and work as a body.

    They also agreed to do away with a committee report that might have led to the suspension of a strong opponent of Saraki, Kabiru Marafa, who had constantly attacked the Senate President for going against the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.

    All aggrieved senators who had one court case or the other were asked to withdraw them for the newfound peace to prevail while a committee was set up to further resolve all lingering issues.

    The committee is made up of two senators from each geopolitical zone.

     

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