House of Representatives yesterday considered and adopted 10 proposed amendments to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Tribunal Act, including a new clause that gives power to appoint personnel of the Bureau to the National Assembly, instead of the President.

The Senate was earlier forced to step down the amendment due to the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over alleged false asset declaration by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The Senate had, on April 20, suspended further action on the amendment Bill due to public outcry by Civil Society Organisations on the belief that it was attempt at weakening and gagging the CCT just because of Saraki’s trial, an assertion the Senate, however, denied.

The controversial part had been the proposed amendment to Section 3 of the Act by adding paragraph (e) which read: “upon complaint(s) of any breach or where it appears to the Bureau that there is a breach of the provision or this Act, the person concerned shall be given particulars of such non compliance or breaches to explain before any reference to the tribunal,” meaning that the CCB would not have powers to immediately refer a matter to the CCT as is the case with the extant Act.
The House in the new proposal deleted section 1(4) which and replaced same with a clause that “the Chairman and members shall serve for a term of five years subject to renewal for one further term only.”

—- Okorochukwu Ikechukwu ( Correspondent)