Senior Advocates Sagay & Falana blast Senate's bid to amend CCT Law to cover Saraki


The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), have condemned the move by the Senate to amend the law setting up the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal, to reduce their powers.

The Senior Advocates of Nigeria said with the commencement of the amendment of the Act, establishing the CCB and CCT, the Senate had exposed their intention to encourage corrupt practices and shield corrupt leaders from prosecution, especially when such is one of them -  Bukola Saraki.

The Senate had, on Thursday, passed for second reading, a bill for to amend the CCB and Tribunal Act barely 48 hours after its presentation by the sponsor, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, (Peoples Democratic Party, Delta North), on the floor of the upper chamber.

It has also set Tuesday next week to begin deliberation on another bill meant to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act that will remove the powers of the CCT to try criminal cases.

Both bills were presented on the floor of the upper chamber and read for the first time on Tuesday.

Some observers wondered if the rush to pass the bill to amend the CCB Act was not a ploy by the red chamber to frustrate the current trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the CCT.

The Senate President is facing criminal prosecution for false and anticipatory asset declaration during his two terms tenure as the Kwara State governor between 2003 and 2011.

Saraki had instituted several suits at the Federal High Court, Appeal Court and Supreme Court all in a bid to stop his trial but he failed in all the tricks. Now the next step is to use Senate to frustrate CCT.

Reacting, Sagay said, “It’s a surprise to me, because I really don’t know that our mentality has degenerated to such a level of self-service that the people, who were sent to the National Assembly to make laws for the benefit of all Nigerians, have started a process that will allow a complete crisis; an Act that corruption cannot be prosecuted.

“To me, this is the highest level of shameless misconduct by the generality of the members of the red chamber. Obviously, there is no limit to the level of disgusting things they can do.”

On his part, Falana insisted that, “Any amendment of the law under the constitution cannot and will not have retrospective effect. The amendment will not have any effect on pending cases in court.

“The excuse being advanced for the devilish agenda is jejune because the CCT, whose members are screened for appointment by the Senate, cannot be said to be under the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“The proposed amendment also amounts to a conflict of interest because you cannot, because of one man [Saraki], amend the law of the land. It will amount to an exercise in futility.”

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