- Say, we won’t drop investigation against CCT chairman
One hundred and thirty bills, comprising of executive and private member bills yesterday, passed first reading at the House of Representatives. The exercise was the first singular legislative feat of the lower legislative chamber since the nascent democracy in 1999.
The House, in defiance of any underhand poly, also rejected the request of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Justice Danladi Umar that the corruption allegations against him be dropped by the lawmakers.
Prominent among the bills are: Corporate Manslaughter Bill, 2015; Medical and Dental Practitioners Act (Amendment)Bill, 2015; Psychiatric Hospitals Management Board Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Peoples’ Bank of Nigeria Act (Repeal) Bill, 2015; Marketing (Breast-Milk Substitute)Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; National Mathematical Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; National Eye Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Public Private Partnership Regulatory Commission Bill, 2015.
Other bills include: Extradition Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Treaty to Establish the African Union (Ratification and Enforcement) Bill, 2015; Workers Compensation Act (Repeal) Bill, 2015; Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Hire Purchase Act (Amendment) Bill 2015; Criminal Justice (Release from Custody) (Special Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015, Prevention of Crimes Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Dangerous Drugs Act (Amendment) Bill,2015 and Trade Malpractices (Miscellaneous Offences) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015 among others
The bills were read by Clerk of the House, Mr. Mohammed Sanni Omolori, after the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, approved the votes and proceedings of December 9, 2015.
Dogara assured that 20 out of the 130 bills would pass through second reading before the House embarks on Christmas/New Year recess on Thursday, December 17 while the rest would be passed before the end of the first quarter of 2016.
…Reject CCT Chairman’s request to drop investigation against him
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, also yesterday, rejected a request by Justice Danladi Umar, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT to drop corruption charges investigation against him.
The Anti-Corruption Network, a non-governmental organisation, had petitioned the House, alleging that the tribunal chairman was corrupt.
It cited instances of alleged corrupt practices against Danladi Umar, amounting to N10 million.
At the resumed sitting of the committee, Umar urged the Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta’s committee to drop the investigation as the petitioner, who was absent at the sitting, appeared to have abandoned the case.
He said: “As a matter of fact, we have great respect for this institution (and) that is why we have been here all these while.
“We do really have tight schedule of work in our office, including judgements and administrative works to do.
“So, we implore this honourable House to consider this petition abandoned because if they are serious they would have been here.”
Earlier, Olusegun Abereoran, the Director of Operations for Anti-Corruption Network, had pleaded for additional seven days to enable the Executive Secretary of the organisation to prepare the brief as demanded by the committee.
In his remarks, the chairman of the committee, who consulted with the members, deplored the failure of the petitioner to appear and present his brief.
Nkem-Abonta threatened to sanction the petitioner if he failed to appear at the next hearing, saying: “We seriously take exception to this attitude because justice delayed is justice denied.
“We have no reason to drag any man or group of individuals on frivolous excuses.
“We must all have regard for the people that appear. We should understand that others are busy and must be working.
“We are pursuing an era of change where impunity is no longer the order of the day; and people must take responsibility for their liability and actions.”
On Umar’s request to drop the probe, Nkem-Abonta said: “We reason with you.
“Ordinarily, it should be deemed abandoned if the anti-corruption group fails to appear. We cannot do that now.”