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Reps probes legality of presidential panel over alleged usurpation of CCB duties

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House of Representatives of Nigeria PHOTO:Wikipedia

The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to probe the activities and legality of Special Presidential Investigative Panel (SPIP) accused of usurping the duties of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Kingsley Chinda, (PDP, Rivers), at plenary presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, it resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to probe the modus operandi and legality of the SPIP aimed at ensuring that it is in tandem with laid down rules.

The adhoc committee, which is yet to be constituted, is to turn in its report within four weeks.

Chinda claimed that the role assigned to SPIP was clearly a duplication of roles legally meant for agencies like the CCB under the Code of Conduct Tribunal Act CAP T 15, LFN 2004 which are a creation of law.

SPIP was inaugurated pursuant to the Public Property Special Provisions Act, CAP R4 LFN, 2004 otherwise known as Decree No 3, 1984 with the commencement date of December 31, 1983.

He said he was privy to the fact that the SPIP is already receiving petitions and calling on the citizenry to fill asset declaration in defiance to laid down rules.

This, he said calls for the attention of the house on the need to establish the legality of the SPIP. In view of the deluge of complaints from the citizenry.

He expressed concerns that there cannot be two parallel agencies of government no matter the manner of operation undertaking the same functions in whatever guise or form.

Justifying his initiative, he noted: “This is more so where the functions are so similar that the public are meant to go through repeated processes and procedures which may infringe on their rights and give rise to series of litigation and the consequential loss of revenue both in overheads and the execution of awards in the damages.”

Chinda further voiced concerns on the consequential economic implication of setting up multiple agencies with its ravaging effects on the revenue of government.

The lawmaker argued that Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution captures the Code of Conduct Bureau as a federal executive body and that the 5th Schedule to the 1999 Constitution provides greater details of the act amounting to a breach of the code of conduct of public officers and established the Code of Conduct Tribunal. “Part II of the Schedule defined a public officer in the context of the constitutional provision.”


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