Just In: Senate Passes Witness Protection Bill

On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Witness Protection and Management Bill, 2022.

The passage of the bill was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, in his presentation, said the bill was read for the first time on February 23, 2021, and a second time on January 25, 2022.

According to the lawmaker, the bill seeks to provide for the legal and institutional framework for the protection of witnesses and related persons in respect of disclosures made for the public interest.

“It also seeks to provide support, management, and protection of witnesses, which will be implemented by all public institutions vested with powers to investigate and/or prosecute criminal cases.

“This program is a universally accepted concept for the protection of witnesses, who are willing to provide information and evidence for the purpose of enhancing the justice system and whose lives are threatened as a result thereof.

“Therefore, the need to have this legislation in place, cannot be over-emphasized as it will give the needed impetus and credence to the current anti-corruption drive of this administration”, he said.

The report on the Witness Protection and Management Bill was passed by the Senate after a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole.

The bill which was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), seeks to regulate, control, and limit any threat to public health, or the environment from the commercial handling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria.

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The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill after consideration to the Committee on Environment for further work.

The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the chamber in plenary.

The Senate on Wednesday also stepped down consideration of a report on a bill to establish the Federal Polytechnic Orozco, by the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.


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