House of Representatives has begun the amendment to the Nigerian National Merit Awards Act, with a view to stripping an awardee the honour, if found guilty of any crime by a competent law court, as a Bill to that effect was read a second time yesterday.
Leading debate on the Bill’s general principles, its sponsor, Ayodele Oladimeji, explained that the amendment proposed was in the bid to strengthen the anti-corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He said: “There is need for the law to be amended; this will strengthen the anti-corruption war of the government of the day. In view of the current development in our economic and political life, the law requires an amendment which will make the Act live up to the expectations of contemporary times.
“It is on this basis that this bill seeks to strengthen the federal government’s aims and objectives in fighting corruption in all fields of life.
“This would be through the introduction of Section 8 (2) to the Principal Act which provides that Any Awardee convicted of any criminal offence shall be stripped of the National Honour.”
He stressed that the awardee must be found guilty of any crime by a competent court of jurisdiction before the executive considers stripping him/her of such honour, adding that the proposal was also intended to remind recipients that as holders of such, they were like ambassadors of Nigeria and ought not to debase the honours.
Speaking in support of the proposed amendment, Adamu Kamale said it would make the recipients of such awards to live responsibly, as exemplary leaders.