In order to save Nigerians from overzealous politicians, the Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, commenced moves to remove the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The move was sponsored by Senator Peter Nwaboshi (PDP Delta North), through a bill which passed its first reading on Tuesday, captioned: “Code of Conduct Act CAP, C15 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (SB248).
Nwaboshi, while speaking to newsmen said: “the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Code of Conduct Bureau, which are now under the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) who is a politician, can be used against political opponents or perceived political enemies.
“He (SGF) oversees the CCB and the CCT and they report to his office. So, since the Supreme Court Justices in their judgment have said that they (CCT and CCB) are a court of some sort, they must be seen to be neutral in nature and not to report to a politician.”
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According to him, the intention of the bill is to make the organizations completely neutral by either moving them to the judiciary or to the National Assembly that has the power to remove the chairman and members of the tribunal.
“They should not be reporting to a politician and being overseen by a politician; the CCT and CCB should be seen as an independent body, doing their jobs and we will give them what they are entitled to.
“Otherwise, one day, like we are seeing now, if you are an enemy to the SGF he will use the CCB to put you in trouble and charge you there like we are seeing now,” Nwaboshi said.
Recall that Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki is presently going through trial at the CCT for alleged false declaration of assets while he was governor of Kwara state.
When asked if the intent of the bill was informed by what is happening to Saraki, the lawmaker said, “It is because the legislature wants to save Nigerians. We want Nigerians to see; you cannot put a quasi-judicial arm under the control of the SGF who is a politician, appointed by the President and doing a political job.”