Reps pass for 2nd reading bill to stop public servants from declaring spouse’s assets

Leah TwakiMay 22, 20244 min

Leading the debate on the bill, Raji said the Code of Conduct Act requires every public officer to declare the assets of the spouse, pointing out that this is not in line with the principles of fairness.

Reps on WAEC

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed for a second reading a bill seeking to stop the tradition of public servants declaring the assets of their spouses while declaring theirs.

The Bill titled “A Bill for an Amend the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act to Remove Spouses from the List of Persons Required to Declare their Assets and for Related Matters (HB. 769),” was sponsored by Rep. Tasir Olawale Raji (APC Lagos).

The bill also seeks to delete section 23(7) of the Code of Conduct Act saying the provision contravenes the provisions of the Constitution which gives the President power of Prerogative of Mercy.

Leading the debate on the bill, Raji said the Code of Conduct Act requires every public officer to declare the assets of the spouse, pointing out that this is not in line with the principles of fairness. He argued that anybody who declares the assets of the spouse can be liable to prosecution if the information so declared is found to be false.

He also argued that the 1999 constitution gives the President the power to grant amnesty to anybody under the prerogative of mercy policy, adding that section 23(7) conflicts with the provisions of the Constitution.

On his part, the Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Kingsley Chinda ( PDP Rivers) said “The provision requiring the declaration of assets of the spouse was made in good faith and aimed at addressing the situation where public officers hide stolen assets in the name of their spouse” adding that what should be of concern to the members should be the age limit of children of public servants which should be reduced from 21 to 18.

Meanwhile, the House also passed for second reading a bill seeking to increase the retirement age of Nigeria Police officers from 35 to 40 years of service and from 60 to 65 years of age depending on which comes first.

The Police Act Amendment Bill is titled ‘A Bill for an Act to amend the Nigeria Police Act 2020 to review the service years of police personnel to improve the experience and expertise of the police workforce, to retain experienced personnel, and reduce the cost of training and recruiting new officers, improve the morale performance and job satisfaction, and to address the shortage of experienced police personnel and related matters,’ was co-sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, and the Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, Rep. Abubakar Yalleman.

In a brief debate on the bill on Tuesday, Yalleman said the amendment is essential “given the need to apply the experience of officers who have been trained and have served for considerable years.”

He added, “This experience is needed especially at this time of insecurity when experienced police officers are needed to help tackle insecurity in the country.”

Following the House resolution, the bill to amend the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act was referred to the Committee on Anti-Corruption while the bill on the amendment of the Police Act was referred to the Committee on Police Affairs for further legislative actions.

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

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