The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has condemned the attempt by the Senate to amend the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. The TUC described the planned amendment as a plot to seize controlling powers of the bureau and the tribunal from the President. This, said the TUC, is to shield themselves from prosecution when they engage in acts of misconduct. The TUC's position was made in a statement it issued on Sunday.
Jointly signed by Comrade Boboi Bala Kaigama and Comrade Simeso Amachree, President and acting General Secretary respectively, the statement said the mission and vision of the 8th National Assembly have become clearer and do not include pressing national issues, but parochial and self-serving ones.
"It is our belief that if the people in authority do the right thing, there would be no need trying to circumvent statutory laws and acts.
"For us at the congress, allowing the President to maintain his power of appointment into the CCB only is not enough if the war against corruption must be won.
"In the last one and half years, the lawmakers have given the country cause to worry, to say the least," TUC said in the statement.
The congress observed that the lawmakers are paid humongous wages and allowances for doing nothing at a time when workers earn very little.
It argued that the act that regulates the activities of CCB was not conceived to serve a specific individual, but to ensure that people in authority become responsible.
The TUC commended the Federal Court of Appeal for its dismissal of Senate President Bukola Saraki's legal challenge to his prosecution for false assets declaration.
"We salute the courage of the Appeal Court on its declaration on the case involving the Senate president Dr. Bukola Saraki, on charges of false assets declaration brought against him by the Federal Government. We are aware of certain moves by some senators to frustrate the effort of the Federal Government as far as the corruption fight is concerned. If it were in some Asian countries, people who support such moves by now will be in jail or probably awaiting execution," added the TUC.
The congress recalled that the Senate introduced a similar amendment bill earlier in the year, a development that sparked outrage, forcing the lawmakers to suspend the process. The TUC reckoned that the fact that another attempt at amendment has been made shows that the legislators are insensitive and greedy.
"We wonder how seeking to amend the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap. C15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2014 that takes cares of the entry age of the chairman and members of the bureau will put food on the tables of the masses that will warrant our 'hallowed' Senate giving it such attention. Their motive is wrong, and we would mobilize to checkmate every enemy of our nascent democracy," it added.
The TUC also warned that there should be no more attempts at fiddling with the laws of the country and urged the Federal Government, Code of Conduct Tribunal and other agencies of government to investigate treasury looters, irrespective of party affiliation, and bring all those who have acquired properties all over the world with stolen money to book.