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Whistle-blowers Protection Bill passes second reading

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Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
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calendar-icon Posted on: 2020-05-19 16:48:07
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A Bill for an Act to protect persons making disclosures for public interest and others from reprisals, also known as ‘Whistle-blowers Bill’ has passed through second reading on the floor of the Senate.

The Bill which was read the first time on the floor of Senate on 15th of March, 2016, seeks to protect persons making disclosure for the public interest (Whistle-blowers) to be protected from the knowledge or aggression of the accused.

Leading the debate on Wednesday, the sponsor of the Bill, Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti South) argued that, “the effectiveness of Nigeria’s legal framework and fight against corruption/fraud depends on the quality of the country’s whistle blowing standards/protection.

“The absence or its inadequacies are harming the citizens, the economy and the rule of law, ” she said.

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Senator Olujimi gave an instance of a staff of the National Women Development Centre, Abuja who was dismissed from the service in August 2011, for exposing embezzlement by top officials of N300m allocated for poverty alleviation programme.

According to Olujimi, “although the anti-corruption agencies have internal mechanism and made provisions for the protection of Whistle-blowers, this protection has appeared insufficient, given the country’s poor performance in the fight against corruption. ”

She was, therefore, confident that, “the enactment of a comprehensive and dedicated law as the basis for providing Whistle-blowers protections is generally considered the most effective legislative means of providing such protection. ”

It could be recalled that one Mr. Aaron Akase, a staff of Police Service Commission blew the whistle to reveal serious allegations of possible fraud in the Commission involving the management last year.

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Mr. Akase was not only humiliated, he was also placed under indefinite suspension from work without salaries. He also faces threats to his life and family daily.

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