OrderPaperToday- Olu Onemola, Special Assistant on New Media to the President of the Senate, has reacted to statements made by the Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, that the executive initiated anti-corruption bills.
Mr. Shehu was responding to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s statements alleging that there is more corruption in the current administration.
Refuting the claim, Garba highlighted President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements in dealing with corruption.
Part of these achievements include introducing anti-corruption bills like the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and Proceeds of Crime as well as the Whistle blower protection bill.
However, in a series of tweets, Onemola informed the public that these bills were purely and “entirely” driven by the federal legislative chambers.
He explained: “The NFIU Act was introduced by the National Assembly, as an immediate response to Nigeria’s suspension from the EGMONT Group. This was done to ensure that Nigeria’s suspension from the EGMONT Group did not escalate into an outright expulsion.
“The NFIU Bill (SB 535) was sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) and also championed by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki — who worked to fast-track the passage of the Bill in March 2018 due to the reasons listed above.
“The Proceeds of Crime Bill (SB 376) was sponsored by Senator Mohammed Hassan and worked on by the Anti-Corruption + Judiciary Committees Chaired by Senators Umaru and Utazi respectively. It is not an Executive Bill. It was ‘initiated’ by legislators.”
He continued: “The Witness/Whistleblower Protection Bill (SB 158) was sponsored by Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi and merged with an earlier Bill (SB 157) sponsored by the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke. This was not initiated by the Executive. @GarShehu
“Fighting corruption requires institutional and legal restructuring to preventively and proactively remove opportunities for corruption and this requires laws.
“Legislators are aware that unless the war against corruption is focused more on the institutions we will not succeed. This is why, a majority of the #AntiCorruption Bills have been “initiated” by the National Assembly.”