THE House of Representatives, on Tuesday, stripped the president of the powers to appoint members of staff of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting corrupt public officers.
Rather, the House empowered the National Assembly to now appoint members of the Bureau, as prescribed in amendment of section 4(2) of the CCB Principal Act, which was adopted and passed by the House at the Committee of the Whole.
The House also approved the new provisions in section 1(4) which provides that “the chairman and members shall serve for a term of five years subject to renewal for one further term only,” thereby deleting the initial provision that “the chairman and any member shall vacate office upon attaining the age of 70.”
The amendment also conferred the power on the National Assembly to exercise disciplinary control over the chairman of the Bureau.
The report, entitled “An Act to provide for the establishment of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal to deal with complaints of corruption by public servants for the breaches of its provisions,” also compelled the Bureau to give particulars of any areas of infringement (non-declaration of assets) to the public officer in question the privilege of responding.
According to the new provision in section 3(e): “Upon complaints of any breach or where it appears to the Bureau that there is a breach of the provisions or this Act, the person concerned shall be given particulars of such non-compliance or breaches to explain before any reference to the Tribunal.”
Also the House adopted the amendment of section 10(1) that a public officer “either by himself or through another person” shall not ask for or accept any property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties.
It will be recalled that the National Assembly had embarked on moves to amend the CCB/CCT Act, after the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, was arraigned at the CCT.