The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has joined the growing number of those opposed to moves by the Senate to amend the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Act.
In a statement signed by its President, Ayuba Wabarakatu, the NLC said irrespective of the reasons given by the Senate, where the bill scaled two readings in 48hours, its timing is suspect and carries a lot of danger for the country.
"It is quite intriguing that it took the trial of the Senate President for the Senate to discover these flaws in the law(s). Putting it bluntly, in spite of the spirited defences by the Deputy Senate President to the contrary , not a few believe that this legislative move is a desperate attempt to scuttle the trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, at CCT," the statement said.
The NLC said it was for this objective that he Senate accelerated the process of the amendment via the first and second readings within 48hours. The labour body also pointed to the fact that the Senate has set in motion the process for stripping the CCT of jurisdictional powers on criminal matters via the amendment of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, a development it plainly disagrees with.
"On our part, we do not think the privileges of the Senate President extend to exemptions from civil or criminal trials. "At the moment, only the President and his Vice, the Governor and his Deputy enjoy this rare privilege.
"Thus, what the Senate is trying to do is no more than a legislative ambush.
"We need not remind the Senate that we are all equal or ought to be equal before the law, in spite of our stations in life.
"We similarly believe that the fight against corruption should be total and not selective. If this amendment, therefore, is allowed to scale through, it would have set a dangerous precedent," added the statement.