Nigerian lawmakers considers bill to set up whistle-blower protection agency

Nigerian House of Representatives is considering a Bill for a law to protect those who make public disclosures of cases of corruption and insecurity from attacks is listed for consideration this week.

The Bill short-titled: “Public Interest Disclosure and Protection Bill, 2020” is being sponsored by Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

The piece of legislation seeks to repeal “The Public Complaints Commission Act and Enact the Public Interest Disclosure and Complaints Commission, Provide a Framework for Making Disclosure and Protection of Discloser and for related matters”.

The objectives of the Bill, are to in its section 1(a), “provide a legal and institutional framework for the regulation and management of public interest disclosure and protection of discloser; (b)! encourage and facilitate disclosure of wrongful or unlawful activities which directly or indirectly impact the administration and management of public office or authority.

(c) “Make adequate provisions for the protection of s person making a public disclosure, including persons in employment in the public service, public service contractors, whistleblowers and informants from reprisals or other adverse consequences.

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(d) “Ensure that information disclosing wrongful or unlawful activities received from persons referred to in paragraph (c) of this subsection, is properly assessed, investigated and dealt with”’ and “Establish an appropriate framework for rewarding or protecting, as the case may be, persons making public interest disclosures”.

The Bill also wants to establish “an appropriate framework for rewarding or protecting, as the case may be, persons making public interest disclosures, ensure adequate consideration is given to the rights of persons who make public interest disclosures and public interest disclosure protection programme established under this Act”.

The Bill also seeks to bar ahead of the Commission, from disclosing the identity of the whistleblower, under any condition.

The proposed law is expected to be presented for consideration this week.

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