Whistleblower Protection Bill Passes House of Reps’ First Reading

House of Reps

 In recognition of Article 33 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption encourages state parties, Nigeria inclusive, to develop legal frameworks for whistleblowing and the protection of whistleblowers, Hon. Kayode Oladele, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes presented for the first reading a bill for an Act to protect whistleblowers from all forms of attack and reprisal.

The Bill titled an act to encourage and facilitate whistleblowing, to regulate the receiving, investigating and otherwise dealing with disclosures by whistle blowers and to protect whistle blowers from reprisals and other adverse actions and for other related matters provides for Disclosure of impropriety; Person who qualifies to make disclosure of impropriety; Person to whom or institution to which disclosure of impropriety may be made; Procedures for making a disclosure; Action by person who receives disclosure of impropriety; Investigation; Application to court for assistance; Submission of report of investigation to the Attorney-General; and Action by the Attorney-General.

According to the sponsor of the bill, it further provides for; Protection for making disclosure of impropriety; Protection of whistleblower; Report to a Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice; Action by the Commission and enforcement of its orders; Matters concerning national security, military, intelligence or official secrets; Right of action for retaliation; Legal assistance; Police protection for whistleblower; Immunity and protection; and Void employment contracts amongst others.

The bill was a product of 2-day high-level stakeholders’ seminar to engage the legislative process of enacting a whistleblowers protection law for the country organized House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes in collaboration with HEDA Resource Centre and PremiumTimes Centre for Investigative Journalism with the technical support of PLAAF.

The Seminar was attended Speaker of House of Representatives, representatives of Open Government Partnership Secretariat, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation; Director General, National Orientation Agency; representative of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes; representative of the Acting Chairman of EFCC; media practitioners, labour leaders, civil society leaders; NUJ President; and acting President of National Youth Council.

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