Two separate bills seeking to amend the Code of Conduct Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act yesterday passed the first reading at the Senate, after the upper legislative chamber resumed from two weeks recess.
While Senator Peter Nwaboshi (PDP Delta North) sponsored the ‘Code of Conduct Act CAP C15 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (SB 248),’ Senator Isah Misau (APC Bauchi Central) presented the ‘Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (Amendment) Bill 2016 (SB 249).’
Amendments to the bills, according to sources, may not be unconnected to the alleged politics involved in the ongoing trial of the Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for alleged false assets declaration while he was the governor of Kwara State.
The suspicion was rife when the issue of 2016 controversial budget was not on the day’s Order Paper, even though the Senate president said it formed part of the senators’ discussions during over an hour closed door executive session at the plenary.
Saraki had announced at the commencement of the plenary that the Senate discussed the 2016 budget and the smooth operations of the National Assembly which he put to vote.
“Is it a true reflection of the Senate that 2016 appropriation and the smooth running of the National Assembly were discussed at closed door session?” he asked.
It would be recalled that the seventh Senate passed the Code of Conduct Bureau and Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 under which the incumbent Senate president is being tried for alleged false assets declaration.
Indications that the two bills would be amended emerged during the last appearance of Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal where one of his colleagues, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South) vowed that the National Assembly would amend those Acts which he described as fatal to the nation’s judicial system.
It is expected that the bills would be given accelerated reading for quick passage by the eighth Senate if the overwhelming support they received from the senators is anything to go by.

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