CCT needs more power to combat corruption – Ladan
By Clement A. Oloyede
The prescribed sanctions listed in both the Schedule to the Constitution and the CCB and CCT Act are grossly inadequate to curb the various breaches of the code and the act as such a term of imprisonment should be added to the existing sanctions, Prof. Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria has said.
He made the suggestion in a paper titled “Combating Corruption and Abuse of Public Office Through Compliance with the Code of Conduct for Public Officers in Nigeria: Role of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal” presented at the recently concluded Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kaduna Week.
Ladan submitted that a term of imprisonment should be added to the existing sanctions, no matter how punitive or little, because it deters the commission of offence more effectively than forfeiture, fines and other non-custodial sentences.
“ It attracts also stigma and public shame on such a convicted person,” he said.
He added that there was need for the bureau to consider publication of assets declaration forms in its possession and widely circulate such in newspapers, official gazettes and official websites of the bureau so as to reduce the capability of public officers from abusing the system.
He said the non-publication of declaration has made it practically impossible or very difficult for complaints to be lodged against under, or false, declaration of assets by public officers.
He noted that it was not news that some public officers had become skillful in the act of inflating their assets in anticipation of future corrupt enrichment/acquisitions.
“After all, members of the public cannot be expected to complain about the unknown,” he added.
Pending any amendment, the punishment which the tribunal may impose include: Vacation of office or seat in any legislative house; disqualification from holding any public office (elective or appointive) for a period not exceeding 10 years; and seizure and forfeiture to the state any property acquired in abuse of office or corrupt enrichment.