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Group expresses concern over Senate's handling of bills

18 April 2016, 21:12

Abuja - Friendship in the Gap Advocacy Initiative, a pro-democracy group, expressed concern at the Senate’s rushing in the conclusion of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Acts (CCT).

According to the Executive Director of the group, Gorge Oji, the amendment process fails all known basic moral test and it raises very worrisome suspicion.

“Fiends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative believes that the speed at which the senate wants to conclude the amendment process raises very worrisome suspicion,” he said.

He noted the first bill, which was just laid before the Senate on Tuesday, had by Thursday already passed the second reading and committed to the committee stage for public hearing.

Oji added that the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights, which is to handle the public hearing, was given two seeks to conclude its work and report back to the senate.

Also read: Senate passes CCB, CCT act for second reading

He said it was expected that when debate on the second bill commenced this week, the process would assume a similar accelerated approach.

“The intention of the two bills is to whittle down the powers of both the CCB and CCT,” said Oji.

“No doubt, coming at a time like this, when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is currently facing trial before the CCT over allegations of false assets declaration and money laundering, raises a lot of suspicion about the sincerity of the lawmakers that the amendment has nothing to do with the Senate President’s trial.”

He said it would be hard put for the Senate to explain to Nigerians that the amendment is not self-serving.

“It is wrong to legislate in anger,” said Oji.

 “Legislation must not only be altruistic but futuristic.”

Oji said it was unfortunate that the Senate had not accorded the same kind of urgency it was presently doing in the amendment of the CCB and CCT act to timely initiation of legislations to support the current administration’s resolve in stamping out corruption.

- CAJ News


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