Saraki Won’t Benefit From Amendment Of Ccb/cct Law – Senate
SAN FRANCISCO, April 19 (THEWILL) – The Senate has declared that its President, Bukola Saraki, will not benefit from the proposed amendment of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act as the proposed amendment will not affect his ongoing case before the tribunal.
This was revealed by Aliyu Abdullahi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs on Tuesday, in Abuja who suggested that many of the comments on the amendments were made by those who have neither read the bill nor sought to understand the principles behind it.
Abdullahi said since the Saraki case commenced in 2015, any amendment of the law in 2016 cannot retroactively affect an ongoing case.
“The proposed amendment would still take a minimum of six months given the long process that law-making requires,” he said.
“This process includes committee hearing, public hearing, reporting back to senate committee of the whole, the concurrence in the house of representatives and assent by the president as the final stage.
“There is no way we will even complete the process of finally effecting the amendments before the completion of the Saraki case. So, those who read selfish or ulterior motives to this ordinary legislative activity are either mischievous or ignorant of legislative procedures.
“The amendment only affects section 3 and paragraph 17 of the third schedule of the current law.
“The sub-sections in section 3 were re-arranged in such a way that it will reflect elegance in legal drafting.
“Also, the proviso in sub-section 3 (d) was removed since it has also been removed in the constitution. To give fair hearing to the defendants in cases involving the bureau, sub-sections 3 (c) was enlarged to ensure that the person concerned was invited to state his own case, after which the CCB can still refer the matter to the tribunal for trial.
“This eliminates the constant complaint that a defendant was not given the opportunity to make explanation on the inconsistencies alleged to have been found in his asset declaration form. This is bringing the law in compliance with the judicial principle of Audi Alterem Partem (hear from both sides to a case before taking a decision).
“The proposed deletion of paragraph 17 in the third schedule of the law is to ensure that the court does not assume a procedure for which the drafters of the law and the law makers did not intend.
“The penal and criminal codes mentioned in the paragraph are no longer relevant. The CCT was not created to be a court with criminal jurisdiction and that is why the law provides for the defendant to be referred to another court if criminal issues emanates from any matter.
“We have found this amendment necessary so as to cure the inconsistencies and mischief arising from the operation and interpretations of the present law. Unfortunately, this ordinary act of legislation has been caught in a conspiracy theory beyond the wildest imagination of lawmakers.”
He urged the public to always seek to have full information about anything that goes on in the senate before making comments against the legislators.
Story by David Oputah