Home News Reps move to remove CCT from executive control

Reps move to remove CCT from executive control


The House of Representatives has taken steps to remove Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) from control of the executive arm of Government and domicile it in the Judiciary.

This is, as the House passed through second reading, a bill to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 with a view to removing the CCT, an adjudicatory body, from the Executive Arm and placing it under the judiciary as a superior court of record.

Sponsored by Solomon Bob (PDP, Rivers State) and Olajide Olatunbosun (APC, Oyo State) the bill proposes to amend principally sections 6, 84, 240, 243, 254, 294, 295, 316 of the constitution among others that deal with superior courts of record.

Leading debate on the bill, Thursday at plenary, Bob said in a presidential democracy such as Nigeria, the three arms of government, Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are distinct and separate in functions, powers and composition.

He said the distinct separation of powers is intended to secure independence of each arm and to act as a check on the exercise of power by the other, which ultimately enhances effective discharge of their respective constitutional responsibilities.

“It is not, therefore, by accident that the constitution specifically sets out the powers of each of the three arms as spelt out in sections 4, 5 & 6 for the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary respectively.

“The Code of Conduct Tribunal, focal point of this Bill is undoubtedly a judicial body created by paragraph 15 of the 5th schedule to the constitution and section 20 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

“It is statutory body saddled with the responsibility of trying offences under the Code of Conduct Bureau Act.

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“However, it is absurd and indeed confounding that a judicial tribunal clothed with enormous powers to sanction public officers found guilty of violating the Code of Conduct Act, including the power to order forfeiture and bar offenders from holding public office, placed under the Executive,” he said.

The lawmaker said these provisions clearly clothe the Tribunal as a judicial body with the powers of a competent court of record, adding that the failure to situate it under the judicial arm of government is contrary to the principle of separation of powers

“To illustrate this point, Mr. Speaker, Honourable colleagues, it is noteworthy to point here that the highest court of this land has held in the case of Saraki vs FRN (2016) LPELR 46013 SC that the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal are not judicial officers.

“Furthermore, the offices of the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal are clearly omitted in the judicial oath contained in the 7th schedule to the constitution.

“Honourable colleagues, giving effect to this amendment will, therefore, make members of the Tribunal judicial officers with the attendant protection and privileges which it will afford, besides securing the funding of the Tribunal as its funding will be charged on the consolidated revenue of the federation and released directly to the head as statutory transfers.

“History beckons once again and such legislative intervention is just as desirable, if not more, in the present case in order to fully realize the objectives for which the tribunal was established, enhance its capacity to deliver on those objectives, maintain the very important division of functions among the three arms of government and further entrench and strengthen our democracy.

“Under presidential democracy, one single arm of government ought not exercise executive and judicial powers such as is the case, presently. The horrifying consequences or dangers of placing the Tribunal under the Executive as it is today are clear for us all to see. Its independence is non-existent and its instrumentalization by the executive as a weapon against the legislature and the judiciary is evident and undeniable,” he added.

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