Friday, 28 October 2016

NASS takes over control of CCB, CCT from Presidency

The National Assembly would take the controlling powers of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) from the Presidency. The Assembly had on Thursday, October 27, passed  the Code of Conduct (amendment) Bill 2016.

This would mean, if President Muhammadu Buhari assents it, the powers to make rules and regulations for the bodies will automatically be transferred from the Presidency to the National Assembly.

With this, the Assembly has taken over the powers that were until now vested in the President by the extant laws of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

Many Nigerians, including senior lawyers and leaders have condemned the amendment, accusing the legislators of carrying out the exercise in bad faith.

The bill was passed as the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday denied the bid by the Senate President Bukola Saraki to quash the 16-count charge pending against him before the CCT.

The Senate carried out an amendment of section 18(1) and (2) of the Act.

Section 18 (1) and (2) of the CCB/CCT Act under power of exemption state thus: "The President may by order exempt any cadre of public officers from the provisions of this Act if it appears to him that their position in public service is below the rank which he considers appropriate for the application of those provisions.

"The President may by order confer on the Bureau such additional powers as may appear to be necessary to enable it discharge more effectively the functions conferred upon it under this Act."

The Senate in its amendment of the Act, earlier passed by the House of Representatives substituted "President" with the "National Assembly" in section 18(2), reading "to enable the National Assembly do the conferment of additional powers (if need be) on the Bureau instead of the President" and "him" with "it" in section 18(1).

The President’s power on appointment of chairman and members of the tribunal as contained in Section 20 (4) of the Act, was also whittled down by the lawmakers by subjecting such appointments to the confirmation by the Senate.

With the passage, CCB and CCT heads will now be reporting to the National Assembly.

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