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Kogi State to Establish Anti-Corruption Agency, Bill Passes 2nd Reading

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Kogi State to Establish Anti-Corruption Agency, Bill Passes 2nd Reading

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Kogi State to Establish Anti-Corruption Agency, Bill Passes Second Reading

A bill to establish the Kogi State Anti-Corruption Agency has passed its second reading in the state House of Assembly on Tuesday. The proposed agency aims to assist in combating corruption within the state, complementing federal anti-graft bodies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

Key Support for the Bill

Suleiman Abdulrazak, representing Okene state constituency and the Majority Leader of the House, presented the lead debate, highlighting the bill’s importance in enhancing the state’s efforts against corruption. He emphasized that the new agency would support, not compete with, existing federal agencies.

Bin-Ebaiya Tijani, another lawmaker, stressed the need for an internal mechanism to oversee and report on state affairs before external federal agencies intervene. He referred to a 2015 constitutional crisis in Kogi State to illustrate the necessity of having robust state-level checks and balances.

Enefola Major, representing Igalamela/Odolu Constituency, underlined the pervasive nature of corruption in Nigerian society, advocating for swift passage of the bill. Other lawmakers, including Idowu Ibikunle (Yagba West), Abu Jibrin (Ajaokuta), and Yusuf Eneve (Okene South), also voiced their support.

Speaker’s Endorsement

Speaker Aliyu Yusuf affirmed the bill’s importance, clarifying that the state anti-corruption body would collaborate with federal agencies to enhance investigative and oversight functions. He pointed out that such a body could provide additional evidence and support for federal investigations, ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable.

Legislative Developments

The bill has been forwarded to the House Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters for further consideration. This move comes as the EFCC pursues an investigation into alleged fraud involving the immediate-past governor, Yahaya Bello.

Additional Legislative Actions

On the same day, the Assembly advanced several other bills:

  • A bill to repeal and re-enact the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission.
  • A bill to repeal and re-enact the Kogi State Scholarship Board Edict of 1998.
  • A bill to establish the Kogi State Electricity Market and the Kogi State Electricity Regulatory Commission, aimed at regulating electricity generation, transmission, system operation, distribution, supply, and promoting access to electricity within the state.

These legislative efforts signal a comprehensive approach to governance and development in Kogi State.

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