Sep 22, 2015

WHY WE HAVE THE CODE OF CONDUCT BUREAU



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The CCB was established in Nigeria in 1979 during the Second Republic after 13 years of military rule by the founding fathers of the first post-military constitution. The 1979 Constitution provided a list of Codes of Conduct for public officers. In essence, the CCB was established for the purpose of addressing issues relating to the conduct of public officers during their tenure of holding office, also especially to fight corruption in the public service.

The Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Chapter 58 LFN 1990 gave the Bureau the mandate to establish and maintain a high standard of public morality in the conduct of government business and to ensure that the actions and behaviour of public officers conform to the highest standards of public morality and accountability. The Bureau’s constitutional mandate as provided for in the 1999 Constitution is to:

  • Receive declarations by public officers made under paragraph 12 of part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 constitution.
  • Examine the declarations in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct or any law.
  • Retain custody of such declarations and make them available for inspection by any citizen of Nigeria on such terms and conditions as the national assembly may prescribe.
  • Ensure compliance with and, where appropriate, enforce the provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law relating thereto.
  • Receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of the Code of Conduct or any law in relation thereto, investigate the complaint and, where appropriate, refer such matters to the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
  • Appoint, promote, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over the staff of the Code of Conduct Bureau in accordance with the provisions of an Act of the National Assembly enacted in that behalf.
  • Carry out such other functions as may be conferred upon it by the National Assembly.
The Bureau according to the constitution has powers over the following public officers:
1.     The President and the Vice- President.
2.     Senate President and Deputy Senate President
3.     Speakers of the house and Deputy Speaker of the House.
4.     Governors and Deputy- Governors
5.     Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justices of the Supreme Court, President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, all other judicial officers and all staff of courts of law.
6.     A.G. of Federation and each state.
7.     Ministers and Commissioners of the Federation.
8.     Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff and all numbers of the armed force of the federation.
9.     I. G of police, Deputy – Inspector General of police and all members of the police.
10.                        Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Head of Civil Service, Permanent Secretaries, D-G and all other persons in the civil service.
11.                        Ambassadors, High Commissioners and officers of Nigerian missions abroad.
12.                        Chairman, members and staff of the code of conduct bureau and code of conduct tribunal.
13.                        Chairman, members and staff of local government councils.
14.                        Chairman and members of the boards or other governing bodies and staff of statutory corporations and of companies in which the Federal or State govt. has controlling interest.
15.                        All staff of Universities, Colleges and institutions owned and financed by the Federal or State Government or local government councils.
16.                        Chairman, members and staff of permanent commissions or councils appointed on full time basis.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has the power to improve the following punishments including-
a)    Vacation of office or seat in any legislative house, as the case may be;
b)    Disqualification from membership of a legislative house and from the holding of any public office for a period not exceeding ten years; and
c)     Seizure and forfeiture to the state of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of office.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal is established by Section 15(1) of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers as contained in Part 1 of the 5th schedule of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it consists of a Chairman and two other persons. 

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According to the Constitution, the Chairman must be a person who has held or is qualified to hold office as a Judge of a superior court and shall be   appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council. Also, in other to remove the Chairman, the President must have the support of two-thirds majority of each house of the National Assembly and only on the charge that the Chairman is unable to discharge the functions of his office. Sam Saba became Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau on April 30, 2010.

It is important to note that an appeal from the decision of the Code of Conduct Tribunal goes to the Court of Appeal. Moreover, by virtue of Section 18(7) of the said schedule, anyone who has been found guilty by the code of conduct cannot be pardoned as the prerogative of mercy does not apply to it.

Adedunmade Onibokun
@adedunmade
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