By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senate Committee on Public Petitions, Ethics and Privileges yesterday grilled the nine candidates nominated by President Mohammadu Buhari for the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), even as the security report on the nominees was not available at the time of their screening as required by the Act establishing the Bureau.
However, two of the nominees were absent, while seven of them were led to the screening room by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.
The committee Chairman, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, in his opening address acknowledged that it was a tradition for political appointees facing National Assembly screening to have been firstly screened by the DSS and Police.
He therefore sought the consent of Committee members to lower the bar to enable screening to proceed.
“Distinguished Colleagues, we know we don’t screen nominees without receiving security reports on them, but in this case, we have not.”
“I wish to seek your consent as colleagues before we could proceed in anticipation of security report on the nominees”, Anyanwu said.
Meanwhile, Senator Ita Enang has assured the Committee that security reports would be made available as soon as they are ready.
He explained that nominees have fulfilled section (1) (122 & 4) of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act, adding that they have also consulted their individual Senators who represented their districts.
Responding to the question on the working relationship between the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the CCB, the Chairman nominee, Dr. Mohammed Isah, from Jigawa state, said, the two institutions are supposed to work on a separate ground, despite the fact that, they were established with the same law.
“Code Conduct Tribunal should be an independent body form the Code Conduct Bureau. The CCT can be said to be correct handling the same function of the CCB.
On the modality of restructuring of the CCB, the Chairman disclosed that, he will ensure that workers are check for proper access declarations, adding he will install ITC for effective declarations.
These nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to serve on the board of Code of Conduct Bureau are:
Dr. Mohammed Isah, Jigawa North West
Murtala Kankia, Katsina North West,
Emmanuel Attah, Cross River South South, Mr. Danjuma Sado, Edo South,
Mr. Ubolo I. Okpanachi, Kogi North Central, Ken Madaki Alkali, Nasarawa, North Central,
Prof. Ogundare Samuel Folorunsho, Oyo South West
Hon. Ganiyu Hamza, Gombe, North East, absent
Saad Abubakar, Ebonyi South East absent.