By Ebitonye Akpodigha
The National Assembly (NASS) has finally amended the Code of Conduct Act, taking over the power to appoint members of staff of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) from the President.
In the amended act, NASS is now the one to appoint members of staff of the Bureau and exercise disciplinary control over them, including the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) as against the President, which used to be the case.
This development came few minutes after the Court of Appeal on Thursday dismissed the request by the Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, to stop his trial at the CCT.
At the plenary today, Senators were divided along party lines, but at the end, few parts of the act was amended.
The amended act now requires the Bureau to first invite the person suspected to have falsely declared his asset for clarification before being taken to the CCT for trial.
Section 4 (2) was amended to substitute the word “President” with “the National Assembly” as the one to appoint members of staff of the Bureau and exercise disciplinary control over them.
However, 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 noncompliance or breaches to explain before any reference to the Tribunal.”
It would be recalled that the Senate had previously stepped down the consideration of the bill due to public outcry that followed the move.
The House of Representatives had before now amended the Act, but sent it to Senate for concurrence as required by the Constitution.
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