…DGs CCB, CCT, others hail reform of CCB/T Act

Public servants in the country have been urged to support the Federal Government’s several initiatives to curb unethical conduct, abuse of office and other forms of corruption.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, Acting Chairman, Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC), Professor Jummai Audi and Director Generals Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Mohammed Isa, Danladi Umar and Professor Abubakar Suleiman made the call in Abuja on Tuesday.

They spoke at the national workshop on the reform of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal (CCB/T) Act and related provisions of the Constitution, organised by the NLRC.

Malami, represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes, Abiodun Aikomo noted that when completed the CCB/T Act will aid the capacities of the CCB and CCT to effectively carry out their tasks of enforcing code of conduct among public officer sand punishing infraction.

The AGF noted that the workshop is “aimed at harnessing relevant ideas through brainstorming together with stakeholders and participants in order to improve the legal framework that will empower important institutions such as the CCB and CCT to function in a manner is appropriate to address the current national endemic issue of corruption and abuse of public office by public officers.

“It is expected that those entrusted with public offices should discharge the functions of such offices with utmost regard to the ethics of transparency, accountability, decency, and good service to the nation.

“One major achievement of this administration is the successful prosecution of public officers for failure to comply with the codes of conduct enshrined in the Constitution and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act especially as regards non-declaration of assets and falsification of assets on declaration forms.

“Furthermore, it is the Federal Government’s believe that more successes will be attained by these institutions if their establishment Act is strengthened,” Malami said.

Audi identified the various aspects of the CCB/T Act identified for review, which included the need to move the CCT to be part of the Judiciary to guarantee its independence.

She said the review excise was mandated by the AGF in view of “the astronomical rise in cases of corruption and its pervasive negative effect on the social and economic development of Nigeria and being concerned with the urgent need to deal with the disturbing situation.”

The NLRC acting Chairman noted that after a closer look at the CCB/T Act and the Constitution, it was “observed that apart from the problem in the composition of the CCT, there are several other provisions of the Act that require reform in order to reposition the Bureau and the Tribunal for greater efficiency.”

Isa noted that corruption is more prevalent in the public service than the public sector.

He argued that public servants all agree to commit themselves to the code of conduct for public officers and shun all forms of corruption, the country will record a huge success in the fight against corruption.

Suleiman, represented by Professor Edoba Omoregie hailed the NLRC’s decision to reform the CCB/T Act and noted that if completed, the law will aid the CCB and CCT in the operations.

Umar spoke in similar vein and assured that the CCT will not relent in its commitment to the discharge of its responsibilities.

He said the review of the law has been long overdue and noted that past attempt at reform in CCB/CCT Act ,which came into operation in 1989, have been unsuccessful.