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I won’t shield corrupt officials …. Yar’Adua

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA—President Umaru Yar’Adua yesterday promised that he would neither shield nor protect any public official who runs foul of the law or breaches the Code of Conduct for public officers.

He spoke on a day the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Constance Momoh called for abrogation of Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution shielding 74 political office holders from prosecution while holding office.

The President spoke at the commissioning of the N464, 294,668.90 worth Code of Conduct Tribunal Headquarters/Court Complex in Abuja.

Represented by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Adamu Aliero, the president assured that his government will do all it takes to entrench probity, integrity, transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.

“I do reiterate before the entire nation on this day, that my administration will neither shield nor protect any public official who falls foul of the law or breaches the code of conduct for public officers”.

Yar’Adua expressed his unyielding commitment to zero tolerance for corruption as a cardinal principle of governance for socio economic development and effective national regeneration that cannot be attained with corrupted and contaminated governance and political process. He assured the CCT of Federal Government’s support as it strives to entrench probity, transparency and accountability of office holders.

In her welcome address, the CCT Chairman, Justice Constance Momoh lamented that the immunity clause provided for certain public officers by Section 308 of the 1999 is a great hindrance to the tribunal.

While appealing to courts to “have a re-think on the thorny issue of granting indiscriminate injunctions against the tribunal”, she flayed a situation where some public officers are charged simultaneously before the tribunal and the high court over same matter.


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