CCB, CCT Amendment Bill: President won’t sign – Gbajabiamila

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Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader, Nigeria's House of Representatives.

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“The powers to appoint CCB/CCT heads is vested squarely in the President and any move to tamper with it without amending the constitution would be unconstitutional,” Gbajabiamila said.

 

Majority Leader of the Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the controversial Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) amendment Bill passed recently by the Senate and House of Representatives would not be signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gbajabiamila said the bill, which usurped the power of the executive to appoint members of the two bodies, was erroneously and unconstitutionally passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.

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The ever consistent, resilient and focused lawmaker spoke while giving the summary of the activities of the House from January to date in Abuja at the weekend.

The amendment, which seeks to remove the power to appoint the heads of CCB/CCT from the President, came against the backdrop of the ongoing trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the CCT.

It would be recalled that Gbajabiamila on November 1 raised a point of order calling on the House to rescind its decision on the matter, but he was blocked by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, after some lawmakers argued that such action could only be taken via a substantive motion on notice.

But when eventually Gbajabiamila’s substantive motion came up for debate, it was stepped down. The motion did not come up again up to last week when the House proceeded on the end of year break.

Asked why the motion did not come up, the House leader said: “Sometimes some things slip through the crack. I still believe the bill was erroneous and unconstitutional. My motion was supposed to come for debate, but timing matters in legislation. I believe it won’t get presidential assent,” he said.

He said the powers to appoint CCB/CCT heads is vested squarely in the President and any move to tamper with it without amending the constitution would be unconstitutional.

The House leader also said that the House would work towards the passage of the constitutional amendment bill in the first quarter of next year.

Key areas amended was section 18(1,2) of the Act by substituting the President with the National Assembly.  The section provided that the CCB, CCT be controlled by the President.

The section now reads, 18 (1)” The National Assembly may by order exempt any cadre of public officers from the provisions of this Act if it appears to him that their position in the public service is below the rank which it considers appropriate for the application of those provisions.”

Section 18 (2) was amended to read thus, “The National Assembly may by order confer on the Bureau such additional powers as may appear to it to be necessary to enable it to discharge more effectively the functions conferred upon it under this Act.”


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