CCB plans 53-point strategy to name, shame asset defaulters

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The Code of Conduct Bureau has drafted a new strategy to re-awaken it from its over 30 years of moribund status, Akelicious has learnt.

A copy of the CCB’s draft strategy obtained by our correspondent shows that the bureau is to start a ‘name’ and ‘shame’ approach to strengthen its enforcement of compliance with code of conduct by public officers.

A 53-point strategic objectives document developed by the bureau to guide its operations from 2019 to 2023 was introduced at a recent retreat organised by the bureau for its management, staff and board members.

Speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the retreat on May 2, 2019, the Chairman of the CCB, Prof. Isa Mohammed, noted that the event was part of the moves by the CCB’s new board inaugurated in November 2018 to re-awaken the CCB.

Under the heading, ‘Enforcement of Code of Conduct strengthened’, the draft strategic objective stated among others that the bureau would “Develop and implement ‘name and shame strategy for defaulters, and other violators to support the enforcement of compliance with code of conduct.”

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There are 13 codes in the Code of Conduct for Public Officers provided for in the Constitution and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act which the CCB is expected to enforce and ensure public servants comply with.

But in the 30 years of its existence, the CCB has only focused primarily on one of the codes – assets declaration.

Among the important codes which the CCB seems to have abandoned over the years is “prohibition of retired public officers from accepting public offices (while receiving pension) from accepting more than one remunerative position” of a company owned or controlled by the government or public authority; prohibition of “certain retired public officers” such as the president, vice-president, Chief Justice of Nigeria, governor and deputy governor of a state from “service or employment in foreign companies or foreign enterprises”.

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In a bid to address this, the CCB proposed to “Explore new ways of implementing the CCB mandate and develop an action plan to define and give renewed meaning to all aspects of the Code of Conduct e.g new challenges like operating domiciliary accounts which the initial enabling law did not envisage”.

Other proposals in the planned strategy include revising relevant provisions of the Constitution and its enabling law, reviewing and updating prosecution procedures and protocols to address process failures and developing Standard Operating Procedure for investigation and case handling.

On one of the ways of enhancing the bureau’s cooperation with Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, the document proposes that the bureau will “Undertake a study to establish the most efficient way to accurately access information on public officers by putting in place mandatory requirements for data submission from MDAs.”

It also states that the bureau will “establish whether a database of public officers exists; assess the potential for CCB lining to such a database for declaration purposes”.

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The bureau also plans to strengthen its collaboration with civil society organisations and stakeholders in some ways including, developing “an external communications strategy and plan for a national campaign using the mass media to reach public officers and the general public; and conducting periodic public perception survey to assess public awareness of CCB activities and the level of public confidence in its fight against corruption.”

Among other key parts of the strategy is to “Establish joint procedures and protocols with the Code of Conduct Tribunal to improve judicial performance”.

The CBB Chairman had at the May 2 event of the bureau regretted that despite the constitutional powers and the Act of the parliament establishing it, the bureau had remained ineffective for over 30 years.

“We want to look at ourselves and tell ourselves the truth why the CCB has not been able to perform over the last 30 years that the CCB has been in place,” he said.

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