All is now set for the arraignment of public officers who breach the code of conducts Act while in office as the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has notified the relevant anti-corruption and prosecution agencies to prepare their cases against the officers. The newly inaugurated Code of Conducts Tribunal (CCT) has fixed July 26 and July 27, 2011 to hear the cases of corrupt practices against some public officers
from Plateau State and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at the Tribunal office in Abuja.
The Tribunal which has Justice Danladi Umar as Chairman and Retired Justice Robert I.E. Odu and Barrister Atedze W. Aguadza as members respectively had promised to facilitate the speedy trial of all cases brought before it against unnecessary delay and adjournment.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal has the power to impose punishments ranging from vacation of office and disqualification from holding any public office of elected or appointed officers found guilty of contravening any of the of the provisions of the Act, especially on misconduct and corrupt practices. It also has the power to seize and forfeit to the state of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of office.
The Economic Confidential gathered that what may likely delay the prosecution and eventual adjudication on the cases against the officers at the tribunal is if the investigating agencies refuse to file their cases, especially from Code of Conduct Bureau.
The tribunal had not been able to perform its responsibilities for more than a year because they could not form a quorum until their swearing-in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu early this month at the Supreme Court.
Many past governors, ministers, commissioners and chief executive officers of public institution may soon appear at the tribunal on various cases of corrupt practice and embezzlement of public fund.
The Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, chapter 56 LFN 1999 gave the Bureau the mandate to establish and maintain high standard of public morality in the conduct of government business to ensure that the actions and behaviours of public officers conform to the highest standard of public morality and accountability.
Section 3, part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution provided an enabling legal environment for the Bureau to, receive declarations by public officers under paragraph 11 of part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the 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 provisions of the Code of Conduct or any law in relation thereto, investigate the complaints and, where appropriate, refer such matters to the Code of Conduct Tribunal and 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.