Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria 12th-Oct-2017 - Page 37

LAW DIGEST THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2017 • CASE REvIEW • COURT/LAW DIARY • BAR/BEnCH nEWS... 37 0800073900 Twists of come-back battle at CCB Some of the members of the recently dissolved members of the Code of Conduct Bureau still want to be reinstated to office; they filed a suit to block the constitution and the confirmation of a new board, ADE ADESOMOJU reports T WO conflicting letters of advice were issued by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice concerning the tenure of the chairman and other members of the Code of Conduct Bureau during the time that Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) held sway as the nation’s chief law officer. The first letter of advice, dated March 5, 2012 and issued by the AGF office, indicated that, based on the provisions of the Constitution, the chairman and members of the CCB were to hold the office for a five- year tenure. Later, another letter, dated May 13, 2014, emanated from the same office, indicating that the tenure of the CCB members would end upon their attaining the age of 70 years. The beneficiaries of the latest letter of advice were appointed in June 2010. They were the then Chairman of the board, Mr. Sam Saba, and members comprising, Dr. Ademola Adebo, Chief Stephen Festus Bekefula, Alhaji Disina Mohammed, Dr. Christy Ekoja, Alhaji Ibrahim Manzo, and Mr. Okechukwu Ikechi Nwadinobi. But two civil society groups - Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International and the Save Nigeria Group – were dissatisfied that members of the board were still in office as of June 2016, contending that board’s tenure ought to have ended in 2015. So, in June 2016, the two groups, through their lawyer, Mr. Okere Nnamdi, filed a suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/411/17, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the board members’ continued stay in office. President Muhammadu Buhari, the AGF, and the Chairman of the CCB were the three defendants. On April 28, 2017, Justice Binta Nyako delivered judgment in the suit, declaring that the tenure of the board members appointed in 2010 had since expired in 2015. Interpreting sections 153 and 155 of the Constitution, Justice Nyako explained the various statutory categories of members of the board and the manner of their tenures. According to the judge, the first category covers persons, including a chairman, who is are ex-officio member. She explained that a member of the board under such category “will remain a member as long as he is still in the office that made him a member.” Another category, according to the judge, covers a person who is a member of the CCB because he or she held a particular office before. Such member, the judge said, would be a member of the board for his or her lifetime. The third category has to do with members who are to remain in office until they attain the age of 70 years. But the judge explained that those in the last category must not be less than 50 years of age at the time of their appointment and they must vacate office once they attain the age of 70 years. She said, “It is not in dispute that the Code of Conduct Bureau is a creation of the Constitution by virtue of section 153. “Section 155 provides for the tenure of chairman and members of the bodies created under section 153 including the Code of Conduct Bureau. “Sub-section 1, paragraph (a) provides that where a person is a member (including a chairman) who is an ex-officio member will remain a member as long as he is still in the office that made him a member. “Once he is no longer in that office, he will stop being a member of the Code of Conduct Bureau. “Paragraph (b) provides for a member that is a member because he held a particular office before, he shall be a member of the board for his lifetime. “Paragraph (c) provides that any other member that does not fall into the above two categories, shall be a member for five years. “I believe there is no problem with the above provisions. “The problem appears to be with the provisions contained in the schedule. “This schedule provides that the Code of Conduct of Bureau shall have a chairman and nine members. “The condition for their appointment includes that they must not be less than 50 years of age at the time of their appointment and they must vacate office once they attain the age of 70 years.” Noting that the AGF office made a somersault by issuing the later letter, she held that all the CCB members that fell under the third category by being appointed by virtue of Section 155(1)(c) of the Constitution were expected to spend five years in office. •Buhari •Senate President, Bukola Saraki She ruled, “There is no confusion in this. The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, in Exhibit CCB ‘C’, has given advice on this and that advice is the correct position of the law, this Exhibit is dated March 5, 2012. “On May 13, 2014, the same Honourable Attorney General of the Federation did a somersault and gave another advice, Exhibit CCB ‘D’, contrary to the earlier good advice. “The tenure of a chairman and member of the 6FRb6GV7Bb'W&VR0ffRV'2bFVB'f'GVRb6V7FSR2&fFVBFBR2B&VpSV'2bvRBFRFRb2FVBB'&W7V7FfRbvWFW"0ffRV'227VB"BFRFVW&Rv6R6RRGF2FRvRbsV'2( 2WRbR2FVBBFRvRbcrRv6V6RF&RV&W"6RRGW&2sV'2WfVFVvRvVBfRǒ6W'fVBf F&VRV'2( 66WVVFǒFRFVW&RbV&W'2bFR6FRb6GV7B'W&VR@W'6FVB26&"V&W"bbFR&FW27&VFVB'6V7FS2bFR67FGWFW'7VBF6V7FSR22ffRV'2( 66&"V&W"FVB'f'GVRb6V7FSR2bFR67FGWF&#2ffRזV"FVW&RFB6V@VB&#R( 66WVVFǒ7vW"FRVW7F2FRff&FfRBFV6&P2W"FV6&F( ХFRVFvRvWfW"FV6ƖVBFW"&W'26VvB'FRFfg27FFr( Ē6BRFV6&F"2fRWfFV6R&Vf&RP2FvFW&R7Fff6RBvB66G66BPFV6&F22fRWfFV6R2FvFRW&&RGF&WvVW&bFRfVFW&FvfRGv6fƖ7FrGf6W262FR6P77VRB&FW"2W"&VƖVb6VvN( b( Ф&W76RFR6&bFR44"fVBV&Vf&RFR'VFf6bFR6W'BbVv7BFRVFvVBआR62#rfVBFF6R6VVr&FW"`FRfVFW&v6W'Bv6FVƗfW&VBFRVFvVBF7FWV7WF`FRfW&F7BVFrFRV&rBFWFW&֖FbFRVFRƖ6FfVBF&VvFV"6V6VVƖ7VwvRv06&VBfW"w&VG2B67W'FVB'6&w&ffFfBFRƖ6Fv266VB'fW"w&VBF6RbVfVB&Vf&RFR6W'BbV'VF6VvRFRVFvVBbFPfVFW&v6W'BFRVN( 2wW"&wVVBFRF6RbVFBFRVFvPW'&VBr'FrFBFR6&BV&W'2bFR6FR`6GV7B'W&VRvW&RǒVFFVBFffRזV"FVW&RFRVB66FVFVBFBFRffRזV"FVW&R&fFVB'6V7FSRbFR67FGWFv2vVW&&f6Ɩ6&PFFRWV7WFfR&FW2आRFVBFB'BbFRF&B66VGVRFFR67FGWF&fFVBf"7V6f2FVW&RbWFFRGFVBbFPvRbsV'2f"FR6&BFR&&BV&W'2आRgW'FW"&wVVBFB6V7FBbFR6FRb6GV7B'W&VR@G&'V7B63RrbFRfVFW&FbvW&#BWVǒ@6֖"&f6FRVB6&wVVBFBFRVFvRW'&VBr'FrFBFPFVW&Rbff6RbFR7W'&VB6&bFR44"BFR&&BV&W'2vvW&RFVB'FRFV&W6FVBvFV6F&#BW&VB#RvRF2v2VFrf6R&W6FVBV֒6&vv0FV7Fr2&W6FVBFR'6V6Rb&W6FVB'V&VR"FW&֖FVBFRFVBbFR&&BV&W'2B&fVBFPFVBbWrV&W'27V&V7BF6f&F'FR6VFR֖FVB'6&2FR6&bFRWr&&Bv2G"VB6g&vv7FFR'FvW7BRFRFW'2֖FVBV&W'2bFR&&B&RW'F涖G6'FvW7BRVVVRGF&fW'26WF6WFRFV6FVF6WF6WFRV&6v'F6VG&RBFƶƒ6&v'F6VG&RFR&W7B&R&b2bwVF&R6WFvW7BRv旗PצBwV6WFvW7BR6( B'V&"v&R'FV7@( %6&RBG"f6VBvƒV&疒6WFV7BR'WBvRFRWr֖VW2vW&RvFrF&R6f&VB'FP6VFRffRbFRf&W"V&W'2( 2FV&vF&V&VVgVB( 2fVBWr7VB&Vf&RFRFGW7G&6W'B`vW&6VvrFV"&Vfg&ff6RFRf&W"6&6&( 2Rv2677VW6ǒ֗76rFPƗ7BbFR6G2vFFVBFR7VB&W6FVB'V&FR6VFRFRtbBFRWBF&R6f&V@6&BV&W'2bFR'W&VRvW&RVB2FVfVFG2FP7VB&VB4$B#rFRFGW7G&6W'BBFRfVFW&v6W'B'Vv6V&ƖW"FVƗfW&VBFR&#VFvVB&R6W'G2b6&FFPW&6F7F'WBFW7FRFRfVFW&v6W'BFRffRFfg2FV"g&W67V@6VvBrFW'2( FV6&FFB'&f62b6V7FSr`FR67FGWFFR6G26ǒ&R&VfVBg&ff6R'FR&W6FVB7FrFG&W727W'FVB'GvF&B&GbFP6VFR&rFBFW&R&VfVBf"&ƗGFF66&vRFRgV7F0bff6RvWFW"&6rg&f&֗Gb֖B"&G"&G"琦FW"6W6R"f"֗66GV7B( ФFFFF6VVr&FW"( &V7FF~( FV2V&W'2bFP44"BF&Vff6RVFFWvW&RsV'2BFR6G2&P66VVr( &FW"bW'WGVV7F&W7G&rFR&W6FV@g&f'v&FrW2bFRfW'FF7FFVfVFG2"FW W2FFR6VFRBFR6VFRg&67&VVrB6f&֖pFRfW'FFFR7FFVfVFG2"FW"W'6226&@V&W'2bFR6FRb6GV7B'W&VRVW72f"FRW'6RbfƖpf&Rf66W2"FR6G2&R&VfVBg&ff6RFRvBW"&W67&&VB'~( 'WBFR6R&6&BbFRf&W"V&W'26FVW2FvVW&FPFW"Gv7G2FWfVBF6VVrFW&7WF'V7F&W7G&rFR&VWfBWF&FW2g&67FGWFrFRWr&&@V&W'2f6FVFvRbFR2'VW7F6Rv&&ƒVwW7@#vfRv&rFFRWF&FW2BFvVBvFFR67FGWFbFRWr&&BvRFR7VB'FRf&W"V&W'2v27FVFrF2fvVBV6VVB'FRFV7Fr&W6FVB6&F&V7FrFR֖VW2F&W7VR7Fr66GVFrFV 6 f&F'FR6VFRFRf&W"&&BV&W'2F&VvFV"wW""RwvP4V&VB&Vf&RW7F6R&ƒVwW7B##r&rf"খFW&V7F'VƖrW7F6R&ƒFVB( FRƖ6G2&Rr&VV6fRfWrbFR&W6VB6GVF2fW'&VBFRƖ6G>( ffFfB7W'@bFF6RFFVBVwW7B##r&w&FBFVWf6V@'&F67BFRvW&FVWf6vVG2bf'7BBF&BFVfVFG2&W7FVG2F&V7FVBFRfW'FFFR7FFVfVFG2&W7FVG2F&W7VRFV"6F226&BV&W'2b6FRb6GV7@'W&VRVFr6f&F'FR6V6BFVfVFBFR6VFR( ХVFr6RbFRWF&FW26FVB'FR6G2R6B( FP6W'BbV"WR֖6Vb6VbvG6&`2'2#Bbt"BCBCRC&w&Rr7G&W76rFRGWG'FW2F&W6W'fRFR&W2VFrFRFWFW&֖FbƖ6Ff V7FVB( WƖ6Ff"&FW"bV7F7FfFW0ffV7FrFR&W7B&W7FVG2&RWFF6ǒFW&֖FVB"WBআB2&b&W7V7BFFR6W'B&Vf&Rv6FRƖ6F2VFr( vW&RGfW'6R'Gv&W2F6RbFRVFrƖ6Ff"V7FB6FVW22Fr2VVBR6BW6R0Vv6FF7&VFR7FGW2V( bw&VRBB( Ф'WBW"6'&W7FVBv2f&VBFBFR&W6FVBbFR2@WBF76vFR66RFWrVFvR66RW7F6R&ƒ66VFVB6GFp2f6FVFvR6WFV&W"#rVvR6FRFRv&r77VVB'W7F6R&ƒFR6VFR6VV0BF&RWB&VGf"FR6f&FbV&W'2bFR44"&RFF&VRF2gFW"FRW2bFR֖VW2vW&R&W'FVBFfR&VV6VBFFRWW"Vv6FfR6&W"