Reps Okay Bill To Free CCT From Executive Control

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Reps okay bill to free CCT from executive control House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading a bill seeking to remove the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) from the control of the executive arm of government. The bill, sponsored by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Rivers State, Solomon Bob, seeks to alter sections 6, 84, 240, 243, 254, 294, 295, 316 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to make the CCT a superior court of records, under the judiciary. Bob, in his lead debate, said the CCT is a judicial body, with the responsibility of trying offences under the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and should not be under the control of the executive arm of government. According to him, failure to place the CCT under the judiciary runs contrary to the principle of separation of power in a presidential system of government, which is in operation in the country. “It is trite that in a presidential democracy such as ours, the three arms of government, legislature, executive and judiciary, are distinct and separate in functions, powers and composition. “This distinct separation of powers is intended to secure the independence of each arm and for each to act as a check on the exercise of power by the other, which ultimately enhances the 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 CCT – the 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 CCB and Tribunal Act. It is a statutory body saddled with the responsibility of trying offences under the CCB Act,” the lawmaker said.

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