Duplication of anti-corruption bills worry stakeholders
The nation’s legislative and executive arms of government have been urged to scrutinize all the anti-corruption bills before them with the aim of addressing areas of duplication of functions.
Stakeholders comprising some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and media representatives rose with the resolution at a roundtable on advocacy on increased attention to the anti-corruption bills.
The European Union (EU), through the Rule of Law and Anti -Corruption (RoLAC) and the British Council in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Justice organized the event jointly.
They advised the lawmakers at the National Assembly to give attention to either passed or yet– to-be passed bills such as the Proceeds of Crime Agency (POCA), the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) amendment bills.
Others are money laundering bill; whistle blowers protection bill; witness protection bill; and mutual legal assistance bill.
The stakeholders appealed to the present lawmakers to complete all necessary legislative work and pass them before the expiration of their legislative tenure.
They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to assent to any anti-corruption bill before him, resolving that if fight against graft must be achieved, lawmakers must pay attention to the bills pending before them to accelerate the processes of making them laws.
They commended the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) for clearing the Federal Audit bill sent to him for advise by the president. The bill on the independence of the Auditor General was passed last year.
They also commended the minister for steering the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS 2017- 2021), which was recently adopted, and the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee chaired by Mr. Gandu Andrew.
In his contribution, a State Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Alhassan Mohammed, said the Federal Audit Bill has been cleared by the office of the AGF and sent to the president for his assent.
His words: “The Federal Audit Bill which was passed by the National Assembly is ready for the president’s assent. After the bill was sent to the presidency, it was sent to the Federal Ministry of Justice for advice and clearance. The bill has been cleared and Mr. President can now assent to it.”
Speaking, the Anti-Corruption Component Manager of the RoLAC, Emma Uche, represented by the Programme Officer of the outfit, Pwanakei Dala, said RoLAC had a five-year mandate of operation focusing on thematic areas of anti-corruption such as Criminal Justice, Access to Justice, Citizens Engagement with particular synergy with the Civil Society Organizations and governments, having pilot areas in Lagos, Kano, Anambra and Adamawa.
On her contribution, a RoLAC’s consultant Adebola Thomas spoke on the need to ensure harmonious relations in the processes and stages of legislations.
The participants resolved that more advocacy works need to be done by Nigerians to find out statuses of all the anti -corruption bills.
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