Bala signs anti-corruption Commission bill to law, says no corruption case will be overlooked

Mohammed Kaka Misau

Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed has signed into law, a bill passed by the state house of assembly for the establishment of Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission.

Speaking at the EXCO chamber of the government house on Friday, the Governor declared that, with the establishment of the Commission, no case of corruption will go unprosecuted in the state.

“With the establishment of the state Anti-corruption Commission therefore, no case of corruption will be overlooked at the state and the local government levels”, he said.

The Governor described the signing of the bill to law as another milestone in his administration’s drive towards entrenching transparency and accountability in governance.

According to Bala Mohammed, the establishment of the Commission which is backed by law is part of the effort of his adminstration to take advantage of the federal structure of the country as enshrined in the constitution that give state latitude to replicate functions that are also performed by federal agencies.

According to him, there are already existing federal and state government agencies that play complementary roles in the service delivery in both the social and economic sectors.

“Example of such agencies include, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which with the corresponds with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) corresponding with State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and correspondingly, the State Contributory Pension Scheme, among others.

He said that the replication in the state of agencies that also exist at the federal level would greatly reduce the burden on the federal agencies, thereby, making them more effective and efficient.

“Similarly, the state agencies been close to the people and more conversant with the local culture, tradition and terrain are better placed to handle local issues especially in the areas of security, investigation or prosecution of offenses”, the Governor said.

He further noted that the establishment of the Commission in the state and others at the subnational level would provide employment opportunity for the youth, thereby addressing security challenges, among others.

The Governor said so many states have already domesticated the Anti-corruption law in order to ensure the administration of justice, adding that the state Anti-corruption Commission will handle cases of corruption at the state level due to the size of Nigeria which have burdened the EFCC and other federal agencies, leading to many cases remaining mostly uninvestigated.

“We have so many cases that we have submitted and some public spirited individuals agencies and individuals have done that but still they are not investigated and we have not gotten anything out of it to date due to the fact that there are so many of that cases with the ICPC and EFCC and the rest of the investigative agencies”, the Governor said.

“Just like the speaker has said, we have really studied all the already existing laws the states and the federal agencies and ensured that there was no conflict and we are doing it in furtherance of what was agreed even at the governor’s forum that such things be done at the states level so that we can bring enforcement and fight corruption in consonance with the drive of the current administration”, Bala further explained.

The governor expressed hope that the Commission would be used to address macro and micro cases of corruption in governance so that resources would be made available for service delivery by the state government.

Earlier speaking, the Speaker of the Bauchi state assembly, Rt. Hon. Sulaiman Abubakar said that the bill was forwarded to the assembly last month.

Represented by the deputy Speaker, Danlami Kawule, Rt. Hon. Abubakar noted that understanding the importance of the bill, it was committed to the house Committee on public complaints, followed by all the necessary scrutiny and public hearing with all the relevant stakeholders.

“Your Excellency, I want to assure you that we consulted resource persons that have ideas on anti-corruption and other matters and finally this bill has scaled the third reading and we enacted this Bill to become a law that is why we are here before you for your assent”, the speaker said

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