Senate Passed Whistleblowing Bill To Help Fight Corruption
The Senate has passed the whistleblowing bill to help in the fight against corruption, and prescribed imprisonment of not less than five years or N10 million fine against any person found guilty of false information.
The bill also seeks to encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct by persons, public officers and public bodies and ensures that matters disclosed are properly investigated and handled in accordance with the law. It further seeks to protect the whistleblower from reprisal, victimisation, job loss, humiliation and isolation, and financial reward for any disclosure that leads to discovery and recovery of funds and property.
The bill which was passed yesterday was sponsored by Biodun Olujimi from Ekiti senatorial district. Also yesterday, barely two weeks after it resolved to stop the consideration of requests for confirmation of nominees from the presidency, the Senate reversed itself and took a report from its committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding 12 screened Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
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The lawmakers had on July 4, 2017 vowed that requests from the presidency would not be considered until the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, withdrew a statement credited to him to the effect that some appointments from the president did not need Senate confirmation.
The position of the lawmakers, a fortnight ago, had followed the unveiling of a letter sent to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urging the upper chamber to confirm Lanre Gbajabiamila as the substantive Director-General of the National Lottery Commission (NLC).
Ahmed Yerima from Zamfara State raised Order 14 of the Senate Standing Rules and argued that since the acting president had already concluded that the Senate lacked the powers to confirm nominees, there was no need to acknowledge any letter from the executive on issues relating to confirmation.
The Senate accordingly resolved that it would suspend any confirmation of nominees from the executive until issues relating to the power of the Senate to confirm are resolved.
The lawmakers also passed a resolution re-enforcing earlier position that all nominees rejected by the Senate should be relieved of their duties, with a particular reference to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.