Issued on Friday 17th May, 2019
Office Address: NUJ Secretariat Complexs, Opposite Reinsurance House, Ahmadu
Bello Way, New GRABauchi, Bauchi state.
Ladies andÂ gentlemen of the Â press, Â we would like to welcome you to Â this press conference Â and to addressÂ you on an important issue that Â has to do with public expenditure management.
The Centre forÂ Information Technology and Â Development (CITAD) Â received with shock the Â decision of the Â Bauchi State House of Assembly toÂ repeal a law that provides Â for the Â investigation Â of public officers who might Â have misappropriated stateÂ funds entrusted Â in their hands. The House in its meeting on Wednesday 15th May, 2017 passed three bills, among which is â€œBill for a Law to Repeal Bauchi State Public Property Â and Funds Â Recovery Tribunal Â Law Â 2017â€ repealing Â an earlier Â law thatÂ provides the investigation and prosecution of those suspected Â to have looted public funds in the state.
In an unprecedented fashion, the Â three Â bills were Â introduced that Â day andÂ were subjected Â to first, second and third readings theÂ same day after Â which they were passed. Of concern to us is the bill that Â cancels another Â Law enacted Â by the State House of Assembly in 2017 which made Â provision for State Public PropertyÂ and Recovery Tribunal of 2017.
By this new bill passed by the state house of assembly, if allowed to be assented Â in the state, it will cancel the initial Law that provides ground for the investigation and prosecution of anybody that Â is found wanting in misappropriating the state Â funds. We suspect Â that Â their Â rationale Â for such unpatriotic Â bill is a ploy for people Â who might have looted the Â state Â funds in the Â outgoing government Â toÂ cover up and protect themselves from investigation with the hope of getting away unpunished.
It is for this reason that we strongly condemn this bill and call on the State Governor
Barr. M.A Abubakar not to assent to it for the following reasons:
- That a sensitive issue that Â affects theÂ lives and theÂ economy of the people in theÂ state Â should not be passed Â without been Â subjected Â to public hearing.
- AsÂ a person Â with high position in the Â Law Profession, the Â governor knows the implications of such counter bills to repeal an existing law made to safeguard the property of the state.
- That this bill is to the detriment of good citizens of the state therefore, repugnant to natural justice.
While we at Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) say no to the bill, we also call on all reasonable and responsible stakeholders in the stateÂ to equally do the same by openly condemning the bill.
Mohammed Chiroma Hassan
Programmes Officer, CITAD Bauchi