Politics

Senate puts CCB Act amendment Bill on fast track, passes 2nd reading

Non-passage oSenate in stormy session over moves to amend INEC Actf PIB may stall Niger Delta peace deal

The Senate seems to have put on a fast track, a bill to amend the Act establishing the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and its
tribunal.

The bill which was read for the first time on Tuesday, on Thursday passed a second reading, with the sponsor, Mr Peter
Nwaoboshi (PDP Delta North), saying the amendment would redraft section 3(d) of the Act.

According to him, the procedural codes that were being employed by the bureau’s tribunal were not provided for in the nation’s Constitution.

He said “It is clear that the Act does not contemplate criminal trial so the usage of Criminal Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Code should not be used as a procedural template in the Tribunal.

“In due course, I will present to this distinguished Senate a comprehensive amendment of the Third Schedule to the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Rules of procedure which should be distinct rules for proceedings in the Code of Conduct Tribunal,” he said.

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On his part, Sen. Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West) said that it had become clear that the CCT was delving into criminal trials,
urging all senators to support the amendment, stressing that it was justified.

But Sen. Yahaya Abdulahi (APC-Kebbi North) expressed reservations over the timing of the introduction of the bill in view of ongoing trial of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, at the CCT.

“What I am against is the timing; we must be wary about public perception about the position of the senate. The Nigerian people could perceive this to mean that we did not challenge this Act until now that our principal officer is standing trial.

He continued, “I have nothing against this amendment because it brings fairness; if I am being treated the way our principal officer is being treated it would not be good. But for the credibility of this senate I think we should re-examine the timing
of this,” he said.

Lawmakers voted for the passage of the bill for second reading and it was referred to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions and its Judiciary and Human Rights counterpart, which were directed to submit their reports in two weeks.

The CCB amendment bill was laid on Tuesday alongside seven other bills among which is the amendment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

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