Code Of Conduct Bureau Still Independent – Chairman
Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Prof. Mohammed Isah, says the bureau remains independent and not under government's interference in its anti-corruption crusade.
Isah said this when he featured on News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
According to him, for any anti-corruption agency to curb the menace of corruption in the country, such an agency must be neutral with no interference from the government.
"CCB is very much independent as section 158 subsection one of the 1999 Constitution is very clear on this, that CCB is not subject to any power or authority in discharging its mandate.
"This is the decision reached by the Supreme Court in 2018 in the case of Bukola Saraki versus FIN, so, we are independent, we are neutral.
"But, if you mean watertight independence, CCB is away from government, we receive subvention from the government, our staff members are paid salaries by the government, and we don’t have any independence of our own money.
“But I am not trying to tell you that he who pays the piper dictates the tune, it is not like that.
“The independence is there for us to discharge our duty; nobody interferes, there is no pressure at all from anybody.’’
Meanwhile, The CCB boss also decried the level of compliance with the declaration of assets by public office holders saying “ it is not encouraging at all”.
According to him, even though there is an improvement from what it used to be in time past, there is a need for all public officers to know that they are duty-bound to declare their assets.
“What we met that used to be the level of compliance has now risen to a certain level, the nature of the subject that we are expected to cover is too wide.
“Under part two of the fifth schedule of the 1999 constitution provides that from the President, Vice President, Governors, Deputy Governors, members of the National Assembly, members of House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners and all Chairmen of all Parastatals and Agencies of Federal and State governments, Military, Police, Immigration, Customs, Prisons, Political Office Holders and all Federal, States and Local Government civil servants all of them are public officers.
“And, our main predicament is the issue of enlightenment people have little or no knowledge about their obligations or relations to compliance with the Code of Conduct for public officers".