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General News of Thursday, 20 January 2022


Buhari begs National Assembly to pass anti-loot, whistleblower, witness bills

President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has written to the National Assembly to seek timely passage of three bills – the Proceeds of Crime Bill, Whistle-Blower Bill and the Witness Protection Bill.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, read Buhari’s letter at the plenary on Wednesday in the respective chambers.

The President wrote, “I write to inform you that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria participated in the 9th Session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption held from December 13 to 17, 2021, at the International Conference Centre in Egypt.

“At the session, the international community expressed appreciation for Nigeria’s efforts in the fight against corruption; reaffirming Nigeria’s rating as a leader in Africa in the areas of developing structures for recovery, repatriation and disposal of proceeds of crime.  

“In the light of this, and the need to continue to increase Nigeria’s global profile, I hereby request that the National Assembly kindly consider and eventually pass the best possible version of the following bills: the Proceeds of Crime Bill, the Whistle Blower Bill and the Witness Protection Bill. 

“Whilst anticipating the House of Representatives’ expeditious consideration of these submissions, please accept, Honourable Speaker, the assurances of my highest consideration.” 

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, forwarded two executive communications from President Buhari for the confirmation of Nnamonso Ekanem (Akwa-Ibom, South-South) and Mahmud Abubakar Magaji (Niger, North-Central) as Members of the Federal Judicial Service Commission to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

Also forwarded was the nomination of Prof Mansur Bindawa for appointment as Non-Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission to the Committee on Communications.

Both committees were given two weeks to screen the nominees and report back to the Senate in plenary.

In addition, two bills seeking to establish the Federal University of Medical Sciences and Biomedical Technology in six geo-political zones and for the Regulation of Health Education Practitioners scaled second reading in the Senate.

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