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8th Senate Passes another Anti-Graft (Whistleblower’s) Bill; moves to Strengthen Financial Intelligence Unit – Saraki

 

 

The 8th Senate on Wednesday passed the Whistleblower Protection Bill. 

 

The Bill, which seeks to encourage and facilitate the disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies, was presented by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, chaired by Senator David Umaru, the member representing Niger East in the 8th National Assembly.

 

Otherwise known as “An Act to Protect Persons Making Disclosures for the Public Interest and Others from Reprisals, to Provide for the Matters Disclosed to be Properly Investigated and Dealt with and for other Purposes Related Therewith”.

 

The Bill also seeks to ensure that persons who make disclosures and persons who may suffer reprisals in relation to such disclosures are protected under the law.

 

Furthermore, the Bill specifies who is qualified to make disclosure of improper conduct; the procedure for making disclosures; and the protection due to ‘whistleblowers.’ 

 

A statement from the Senate President’s office said, “Under the newly passed Bill, a person who makes a disclosure shall no​t be subject to victimization by his or her employers or by fellow employees.

 

“Additionally, a person who makes a disclosure has the right to take legal action if he or she is victimized, dismissed, suspended, declared redundant, transferred against his or her will, harassed or intimidated in any manner”.

 

Speaking on the passage of the Bill, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said, “This is a promise kept. Today, we have passed a landmark piece of legislation to fight corruption and protect patriotic Nigerians who are fighting corruption”.

 

“This Bill will protect the lives of those who risk themselves to expose corrupt practices in Nigeria.”

 

“With the passage of this Bill, the Senate has concluded work on three anti-corruption Bills”.

 

In May 2017, it passed the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, while in June 2017 it passed the Witness Protection Bill.

 

The Bill to establish Special Anti-Corruption Courts has been sent to the Constitution Amendment Committee.

 

The Proceeds of Crime Bill has been sent to the Senate Joint Committee on Anti-Corruption and Judiciary

 

​Meanwhile, in-line with its commitment to support the anti-corruption agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, the senate on Wednesday, resolved to pass a law to establish a substantive and autonomous Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

 

This followed the suspension of Nigeria from the EGMONT Group.

 

The EGMONT Group is a network of 152 Member Countries that share information relating to criminal intelligence and financial investigations that deal with money laundering, terrorism financing, proliferation of arms, corruption, financial crimes and economic crimes.

 

Several news reports have stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war has suffered a massive set-back with the suspension of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) from the EGMONT Group.

 

In the event of an eventual expulsion, following its current suspension, Nigeria will no longer be able to benefit from the financial intelligence shared by the other 152 member countries of the group, which includes the United States and the United Kingdom, which will significantly hamper its abilities to recover stolen funds that are stashed abroad.

 

This is why in a quick reaction today, the Senate adopted a multiple point resolution that called for the establishment of an independent NFIU, and the empowerment of the unit to be able to exchange and relate with all countries on the issues within its mandate at bilateral and multi-lateral meetings.

 

Additionally, the Senate’s resolution called on the Ministries of Justice, Finance and Interior to work to ensure that Nigeria’s suspension is immediately reversed and ensure that all the conditions set by the EGMONT Group are met to re-admit and improve Nigeria’s standing within the Group.

 

The Senate also called on the Executive branch to ensure that it includes a separate budget for the NFIU in any supplementary budget that it sends to the National Assembly before the end of the year, stating that this will ensure that Nigeria’s suspension is lifted as soon as possible.

 

Commenting on the development, Senate President Dr. Abubakar Saraki noted that separating the NFIU from the EFCC will show that we are serious about this anti-corruption fight.

 

The Senate President further called on the Senate to begin the process of enacting the law.

 

“We must make sure that the suspension is lifted,” Saraki said, “The earlier we get it lifted the better it is for our image and the sooner we can restore our standing internationally.”

 

Senator Foster Ogala (Bayelsa West) had disclosed that the expulsion of Nigeria from the UN-backed EGMONT Group would spell doom for Nigeria.

 

He urged the Senate to initiate the passage of the NFIU Establishment Act in order to ensure that it contributes its own significant quota to fighting corruption in Nigeria.

 

The Senate further directed that its Committee on Anti-Corruption should begin working on a Bill and present it to the full plenary within 4-weeks.

 

Signed:

 

Media Office of the Senate President

 

 

 

 

The 8th Senate on Wednesday passed the Whistleblower Protection Bill. 

 

The Bill, which seeks to encourage and facilitate the disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies, was presented by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, chaired by Senator David Umaru, the member representing Niger East in the 8th National Assembly.

 

Otherwise known as “An Act to Protect Persons Making Disclosures for the Public Interest and Others from Reprisals, to Provide for the Matters Disclosed to be Properly Investigated and Dealt with and for other Purposes Related Therewith”.

 

The Bill also seeks to ensure that persons who make disclosures and persons who may suffer reprisals in relation to such disclosures are protected under the law.

 

Furthermore, the Bill specifies who is qualified to make disclosure of improper conduct; the procedure for making disclosures; and the protection due to ‘whistleblowers.’ 

 

A statement from the Senate President’s office said, “Under the newly passed Bill, a person who makes a disclosure shall no​t be subject to victimization by his or her employers or by fellow employees.

 

“Additionally, a person who makes a disclosure has the right to take legal action if he or she is victimized, dismissed, suspended, declared redundant, transferred against his or her will, harassed or intimidated in any manner”.

 

Speaking on the passage of the Bill, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said, “This is a promise kept. Today, we have passed a landmark piece of legislation to fight corruption and protect patriotic Nigerians who are fighting corruption”.

 

“This Bill will protect the lives of those who risk themselves to expose corrupt practices in Nigeria.”

 

“With the passage of this Bill, the Senate has concluded work on three anti-corruption Bills”.

 

In May 2017, it passed the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, while in June 2017 it passed the Witness Protection Bill.

 

The Bill to establish Special Anti-Corruption Courts has been sent to the Constitution Amendment Committee.

 

The Proceeds of Crime Bill has been sent to the Senate Joint Committee on Anti-Corruption and Judiciary

 

​Meanwhile, in-line with its commitment to support the anti-corruption agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, the senate on Wednesday, resolved to pass a law to establish a substantive and autonomous Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

 

This followed the suspension of Nigeria from the EGMONT Group.

 

The EGMONT Group is a network of 152 Member Countries that share information relating to criminal intelligence and financial investigations that deal with money laundering, terrorism financing, proliferation of arms, corruption, financial crimes and economic crimes.

 

Several news reports have stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war has suffered a massive set-back with the suspension of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) from the EGMONT Group.

 

In the event of an eventual expulsion, following its current suspension, Nigeria will no longer be able to benefit from the financial intelligence shared by the other 152 member countries of the group, which includes the United States and the United Kingdom, which will significantly hamper its abilities to recover stolen funds that are stashed abroad.

 

This is why in a quick reaction today, the Senate adopted a multiple point resolution that called for the establishment of an independent NFIU, and the empowerment of the unit to be able to exchange and relate with all countries on the issues within its mandate at bilateral and multi-lateral meetings.

 

Additionally, the Senate’s resolution called on the Ministries of Justice, Finance and Interior to work to ensure that Nigeria’s suspension is immediately reversed and ensure that all the conditions set by the EGMONT Group are met to re-admit and improve Nigeria’s standing within the Group.

 

The Senate also called on the Executive branch to ensure that it includes a separate budget for the NFIU in any supplementary budget that it sends to the National Assembly before the end of the year, stating that this will ensure that Nigeria’s suspension is lifted as soon as possible.

 

Commenting on the development, Senate President Dr. Abubakar Saraki noted that separating the NFIU from the EFCC will show that we are serious about this anti-corruption fight.

 

The Senate President further called on the Senate to begin the process of enacting the law.

 

“We must make sure that the suspension is lifted,” Saraki said, “The earlier we get it lifted the better it is for our image and the sooner we can restore our standing internationally.”

 

Senator Foster Ogala (Bayelsa West) had disclosed that the expulsion of Nigeria from the UN-backed EGMONT Group would spell doom for Nigeria.

 

He urged the Senate to initiate the passage of the NFIU Establishment Act in order to ensure that it contributes its own significant quota to fighting corruption in Nigeria.

 

The Senate further directed that its Committee on Anti-Corruption should begin working on a Bill and present it to the full plenary within 4-weeks.

 

Signed:

 

Media Office of the Senate President

 

 

 

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