Code Of Conduct Tribunal In Nigeria|Public Officers

Any allegation that a public officer has committed a breach of or has not complied with the provisions of the code of conduct for public officers shall be made to the code of conduct Bureau.

The tribunal is a quasi-judicial body established under the fifth schedule part I, item 15 of the 1999 constitution to determine cases of contravention of the code of conduct for public officers and impose sanction where it is applicable. The tribunals consist of a chairman and two other persons. The chairman shall be a person who has held or is qualified to hold office as a judge of a superior court of record in Nigeria.

The president in accordance with the recommendation of the National judicial council shall appoint the chairman and members of the code of conduct tribunal. A person holding the office of chairman or member of the code of conduct tribunal shall vacate his office when he attains the age of seventy years.

A member of the code of conduct tribunal shall not be removed from his office or appointed by the president except upon as address supported by two – third majority of each House of the National Assembly praying that he be so removed for in ability to discharge the functions of the office in question (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or for misconduct or for contravention of the code).

The code of conduct tribunal has power to impose the following punishment on any public officer guilty of contravention of any of the provisions of the code.

1. Vacation of officer or seat in any legislative house as the case may be.

2. Disqualification from membership of a legislative house and from the holding of any public office for a period not exceeding ten years.

3. Seizure and forfeiture to the state of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of office and such other punishment as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

Note that these sanctions mentioned above shall be without prejudice to the penalties that may be imposed by law where the conduct is also a criminal offence. In other words, a public officer can equally be prosecuted or punished for an offence in a court of law. Where the code of conduct tribunal gives a decision as to whether or not a person is guilty of a contravention of any of the provisions of this code, an appeal shall lie as of right from such decision or from any punishment imposed on such person to the court of appeal at the instance of any party to the proceedings. This right of appeal to the court of appeal shall be exercised in accordance with the provision of an Act of the National Assembly and rules of court for the time being in force regulating the powers, practice and procedure of the court of appeal.

The provisions of the constitution relating to prerogative of mercy shall not apply to any punishment imposed in accordance with the provision of code of conduct tribunal (see the 5th schedule, part 1, of the 1999 constitution).

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