Kogi Assembly to Pass Bill Establishing State Anti-Graft Agency

Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja

As part of efforts to stem the tide of corruption in Kogi State, a bill for a law to establish the Kogi State Anti-corruption agency has passed through second reading in the state House of Assembly.

While presenting the argument for the bill on Tuesday, the lawmaker representing Okene ll,  Suleiman Abdulrazak, explained  that the bill, when passed into law, will assist the government in combating corruption in the state.

Abdulrazak, who is also the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, averred that the bill is not being sponsored to compete with the federal anti-graft agency rather to complement its efforts in fighting corruption in the country.

In his contribution Bin-Ebaiya Shehu Tijani noted that the bill was coming at the right time, adding that: “In the year 2015, our leader, who was at the front of winning the election, died during the process.

“That situation in Kogi State put the country into confusion since such incidents was not captured in our constitution.  When it happens, that was why there was a review in our constitution. That is the reason I said this is coming at the right time. Before an outsider will come to look at our book, an agency will be on ground to say this has happened and this has not happened.”

Enefola Major of Igalamela/Odolu constituency opined that corruption has been a bane in the Nigeria society, hence, the need to give the bill an express passage.

 “Corruption is endemic in our society. Sadly, many Nigerians are corrupt. It is high time we all held the bull by the horn. I am appealing to our colleagues to join hands to support this bill,” he stated.

The members representing Yagba West state constituency,  Idowu Ibikunle; Ajaokuta, Abu Onoru-Oiza Jibrin, and Okene South, Yusuf Zakari Eneve, all threw their weight behind the speedy passage of the bill.

The Speaker, Aliyu Yusuf, in his ruling said the bill is very important, stressing that the agency will not be established to antagonise the federal anti-graft agency.

According to him, “With this type of body in place, it will equally assist the House of Assembly on it oversight function.

Of course, for those of us who happen to be privilege in position of approval, we will be very careful. If this body is establish, it is not to antagonise any federal body but to collaborate with them and make our society a better place.

“Maybe some of the cases the federal government are losing as a result of no investigation or not having enough evidence, the state government will be able to provide them with more, so that perpetuators will be brought to book.”

The bill has been committed to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Legal matters.

Meanwhile, a bill for a law to repeal and re-enact the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission and a bill for a law to repeal and re-enact the Kogi State scholarship board edict, 1998, have passed through second reading in the House of Assembly.

Also, a bill for a law to establish the Kogi State Electricity Market and the Kogi State Electricity Regulatory Commission to regulate electricity generation, transmission, system operation, distribution, supply, and promote access to electricity in the state through increased private investments or private sector partnership in grid, mini grid and other off-grid electricity option using renewable energy and non-renewable fuel source in the state has passed through second reading in the Assembly.

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