- The House of Representatives says the laws establishing the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) are inadequate
- The lawmakers state that there are government agencies already saddled with the responsibilities of the panel
The House faults special presidential probe panels
The House of Representatives has declared the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) as illegal and unnecessary.
Daily Trust reports that the House ad-hoc committee investigating the legality and modus operandi of the panel made the declaration on Tuesday, April 24, during a public hearing.
The committee, chaired by Aliyu Ahman Pategi said the Okoi Obono-Obla-led panel was illegal due to inadequacy of extant laws establishing it, its confrontational mode of operations and the fact that there were government agencies, such as Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) already saddled with the responsibilities of the panel.
“Special Presidential Investigation Panel has its origin from Decree No. 3 of 1984 under the Special Provisions Act for the Recovery of Public Property. The Legislature has no knowledge of its creation, operations and source of revenue. This makes the panel illegal,” Pategi said.
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A member of the committee, Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu), said it would amount to double jeopardy where the panel goes about requesting public servants to declare assets, which they have already done with the CCB.
"How can you write to public servants, including Judges, to declare their assets that they have already done?” he queried.
NAIJ.com had reported that the House of Representatives faulted the setting up of special presidential investigative panels by the federal government to investigate various matters.
The lower chamber during plenary on Thursday, March 22, said the development usurped the powers of existing anti-corruption agencies and the Code of Conduct Bureau/Tribunal.
The Punch reports that the House resolved to probe the operations of such panels, particularly the seeming duplication of the functions of anti-graft agencies such as the EFCC and the ICPC.
The resolution followed a motion moved by the chairman, house committee on public accounts, Kingsley Chinda.
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