By Damilola Oyedele
Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator David Umaru says the reports on anti-corruption Bills in the Senate are ready and will be laid for passage soon.
Â Umaru who was reacting to remarks credited to the Attorney General of the Federation to the effect that the President is disappointed that the National Assembly had refused to pass the bills, said the AGF’s comment was made out of lack of understanding of the workings of the legislature.Â
He said that the 8th Senate does not delay bills but takes its time to ensure that it passes bills that would stand the test of time and in line with international best practices.Â
Umaru in an interview with reporters in Abuja said: “The comment of the AGF is not a fair comment. It is a comment made out of lack of understanding of the workings of the legislature.Â
“In this 8th Senate, we do not foot-drag on any Bill. We have a rule and process that guides all our legislation. Each Bill that comes up must go through the whole gamut of the process.Â
“Take for example the Criminal and Mutual Assistance Bill of 2016. When the Presidentâ€™s letter was read on the floor as an Executive Communication, that constituted the First Reading of the Bill. Â
“Then, it went through Second Reading, and after that, it was sent to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, which I Chair, to handle it jointly with the Committees on Anti-Corruption and Foreign Affairs.
“For a Bill like this, it is incumbent on us to conduct a public hearing. Hence, we did conduct one, where we took public views from stakeholders that included the Ministry of Justice, Law Reforms Commission, EFCC, and CBN.”