Whistleblower Bill Scales Second Reading At House Of Reps
The house of representatives has passed for second reading the whistle blower protection bill.
This comes about eight months after the senate passed the bill.
The bill, which is jointly sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader, from Lagos; and Kayode Oladele, from Ogun, seeks to provide an act to encourage and facilitate whistleblowing in the country.
It also seeks to “provide for the protection against victimisation” of whistleblowers and also pave way for their reward.
Leading the debate on the bill, Oladele said it will help curb corruption which “is not just a crime but a crime against humanity”.
“Even though we have agencies fighting corruption, we need [to involve the people]and also protect them. There is no law to protect the people … people are afraid of political witch hunting,” he said.
Aminu Shagari, a lawmaker from Sokoto state, however, argued that instead of passing a new bill, the witness protection act should be amended to include financial compensation.
But Muhammed Monguno, from Borno, disagreed with him. He said the witness protection act protects witnesses against harm, while the whistleblower act will provide the framework for rewarding and protecting informants who are voluntarily providing information.
Ehioze Agbonayinma, from Edo, however, angered some of his colleagues when he said “only corrupt people” would oppose the bill in any form.
He was immediately opposed by many of the lawmakers.
Thereafter, the lawmakers passed the bill for second reading and referred it to the committee on justice.