The Oyo State House of Assembly on Wednesday holds a public hearing on oyo state anti corruption agency bill 2019 which was passed to the house by the Executive Governor of the state.
The public hearing is said to be intended to source diversed views, opinions and inputs from stakeholders for laws to be fully implemented after passage
In his opening address, Chairman, Committee on Public Account, Finance and Appropriation, Hon Olatunde Kehinde said the Bill is an initiative of Executive Arm of Government which intends to ensure probity , transparency, accountability and prudency in the management of public funds by managers in various Government Ministeries, Department and Agencies
He added the Anti Corruption Agency in Oyo State is the second of its kind in Nigeria after kano state that established its Anti Corruption Agency. The Oyo State Anti Corruption Agency established by Clause 3 of the Bill has power by virtue of Clause 15 to receive and investigate any allegation of corrupt practices against any Public Officers and refer the matter to the Attorney General of the State for necessary action.
According to the chairman, the Agency shall support the promotion and protection of the Right of the Citizens as well as effective operational mechanism which will allow the Agency to establish offices in each Local Government Area of the State and direct any law enforcement.
Rt Hon Debo Ogundoyin, the Speaker of 9th Oyo State House of Assembly In his address explained that the Bill is aimed at entrenching discipline and good governance in the State in tandem with the pace setting heritage.
He added the Bill intends to ensure transparency, accountability, probity and prudency in the management of State resources by the Public officersin various Government Ministeries and Departments.
While considering the nature and sensitivity of Anti Corruption Agency Bill 2019, the Speaker on behalf of the house considered it imperative to source inputs from stakeholders to achieve an implementable and acceptable legislation.
While presenting their memorandum on the proposed bill, representative of The Independent Corruption Practices and Other Related Offences ICPC, Mrs. Adeoluwa, said the commission supports the initiative, adding that the constitution of the country enable it for a state to abolish any means of corruption in its jurisdiction.
The commission enjoins that the Agency should be retroactive to make it available for past looted funds records to be traced and duly litigated.
ICPC added that the Agency should not concentrates on Public Offices alone but should also affect private individuals and firms.
She also enjoins the agency to create more room for confidentiality in identity of personnel and whistle blowers to aid their safety and Job security.
Representing the Nigeria Police, OC Legal Department, Iyaganku, State CID, SP Funke Fawole, submitted that the Chairman of the Agency should be appointed by the state governor after an earlier approval of the House of assembly. She added that the Chairman should not assume office until he/She declare his/her asset at the Code of Conduct bureau and inaugurated to office.
Nigeria Police further submitted that youths between the age range of 21 – 30 be eligible to be a member of the agency.
Police also advice that there should be creation of an Head Office and branches in all the 33 local governments of the state.
Auditor General of Oyo state while adding his contributions stated that the Oyo State Anti Corruption Agency should organise a public enlightenment to sensitise people on the roles and activities of the Agency.
This particular public hearing is the second of its kind to be held by the 9th Assembly since they assume office.