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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Senate passes whistleblower Bill, false informant to get 5years jail, N10m fine

Senate passes whistleblower Bill, false informant to get 5years jail, N10m fine

The bill which seeks to protect Whistle-blowers was on Wednesday passed into law by the Senate.
According to the bill, while a Whistle-blower whose information leads to the recovery of looted fund gets five per cent of the loot, those who give false information will get a five-year jail term or N10 million. The bill was sponsored by the deputy minority whip, Abiodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti-South), and after consideration was adopted after the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters submitted its report on the bill.
The committee had in its report said, “First, it seeks to encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct by persons, public officers and corporate bodies both private and public sectors. “Second, it ensures that matters disclosed are properly investigated and handled appropriately in accordance with the law. “Third, the bill seeks to ensure adequate protection for the whistle-blowers from reprisals, victimisations, job losses, isolation, humiliation, which are some of the consequences for whistle-blowing. “Fourth, this legal framework also contemplates financial reward for any disclosure that leads to discovery and recovery of funds, properties, e.t.c, to serve as incentive for potential whistle-blowers.
“On the whole, this mechanism is a recognised concept, which has been adopted by many countries in the world and it has helped in the fight against corruption. The committee further submitted that “the passage of the bill will guarantee adequate protection for potential whistle-blowers against reprisals, victimisation, job losses, e.t.c. “The provision that contemplates monetary reward for whistle-blowers, whose information lead to discovery of looted funds, proceeds of crime or improper conduct, is a laudable and innovative provision of this bill. The provision will further strengthen the policy currently being adopted by the Federal Government, which is already yielding positive results.
“This proposed legislation has been enforced in other jurisdictions and it has helped in the fight against corruption and improper conduct by public officers, individuals and corporations.” Commenting on the development, Senate President Bukola Saraki said, “This is a promise kept. Today, we have passed a landmark piece of legislation to fight corruption and protect patriotic Nigerians who are fighting corruption. This bill will protect the lives of those who risk themselves to expose corrupt practices in Nigeria.”

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