Bukola Saraki, president of the Senate has said that the Senate under his leadership has recorded another feat with the passage of an anti-corruption bill for the protection of whistleblowers in the country.[powr-banner-slider id=f615b390_1500277847679]
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, representing Niger East.
The bill which is 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”, 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. The latter aspect of the law, protection of the persons likely to suffer reprisals, came under criticism.
The protection of whistleblower is not the only focus of the new law. It also prescribes, among other things, the procedure for making disclosures.
Under the newly passed Bill, a person who makes a disclosure shall not be subject to victimisation 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 victimised, dismissed, suspended, declared redundant, transferred against his or her will, harassed or intimidated in any manner.[powr-button id=c898e60f_1500116941462]
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