The National Assembly, on Thursday, passed a bill amending the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act.
The bill transfers the controlling powers over the bureau and the tribunal from the President to the National Assembly.
This development comes amidst the trial of the Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for false asset declaration.
As part of the amendment, the CCT shall be made up of the chairman and four other members, with three of the five forming the quorum on every sitting.
Although the President maintains his appointment powers over the CCB, the appointment of the chairman and members of the bureau and the tribunal will be subject to Senate’s approval.
The appointment of those in the bureau will also be limited to a tenure of five years, while the second term will be subject to legislative approval, if the amendment is passed into law.
The House of Representatives had passed the amendment bill in May 2016 and sent it to the Senate for concurrence.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, while laying a report on the concurrence amendment bill on the floor of the chamber during Thursday’s plenary, recalled that the Senate referred the bill to the committee on October 13, 2016, “for critical examination.”
He admitted a similar amendment bill was introduced in the Senate earlier in the year, which generated a political tension that forced the lawmakers to suspend the process.
The report read in part, “The bill originated from the House of Representatives. After passage, it was sent to the Senate for concurrence and was read the first time in the Senate on October 5, 2016. You would probably recall also that on April 14, 2016, a similar bill was initiated in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions but the political situation of that time was not conducive for continued processing of the bill, and was subsequently suspended.”
The amendment, the report include “altering the tenure of the Office of the Chairman and members of the bureau; amending the entry age of the chairman and members of the bureau; relocating the power to exercise authority over the bureau from Mr. President to the National Assembly; extending (the) power of the Attorney-General of the Federation to prosecute to private legal practitioners to enable the bureau prosecute its cases; and making certain provisions clearer and more elaborate.”