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Senate Passes Code of Conduct Amendment Bill
The Senate has passed the Code of Conduct amendment bill, 2016, stripping the presidency of the powers to appoint members of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB as well as the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
In the amended bill, the powers to appoint members of the CCB/CCT were vested on the National assembly.
The decision of the Senate came just moments after the Appeal Court struck out the appeal by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging his trial at the CCT over alleged false assets declaration.
Saraki had suggested that before filing charges against him, the CCB should have invited him to come and clarify his assets declaration.
The actual amendments to the Act were done by the House of Representatives and passed on May 31, the Senate only concurred with the House and passed the bill on Thursday.
According to the amended bill, the CCB will first invite the person suspected of falsely declaring his asset for clarification before taking the person to the Tribunal.
In Section 4 (2) of the amended act, the word “President” was substituted with “the National Assembly”, as the one to appoint members of staff of the Bureau and exercise disciplinary control over them.
Section 1 (4) was deleted and replaced with: “The Chairman and members shall serve for a term of five years subject to renewal for one further term only.
“(E) upon complaint(s) of any breach or where it appears to the Bureau that there is a breach of the provision of this Act, any person concerned shall be given particulars of such non-compliance or breaches to explain before any reference to the Tribunal.”
Recall that the Senate had initially stepped down the consideration of the bill due to opposition and protests by civil society organisations.