Cartoon: May 17, 2016

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Amendments to Integrity Commission Act dangerous – Opposition Leader

first_img…says decision to remove persons from public office may soon be politically motivatedFunctions that reside with an independent body to remove public officials who act unprofessionally and/or unlawfully may soon lie in the hands of the Executive if Government has its way and passes its proposed amendment to the Integrity Commission Act.The proposed amendment, which was circulated by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, puts the enforcement powers in the hands of the President, David Granger where Government Ministers are in breach and in the hands of the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon in cases of other persons in public life, including elected Members of Parliament (MPs).These observations were made by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who noted that such a move would not only be dangerous but outright unconstitutional.“So, just imagine, Harmon will now decide the fate of Members of Parliament, because persons in public life may be removed from office when s/he contravenes any of the provisions in this code,” he surmised, noting that it would be unconstitutional for a sitting minister to be empowered to remove an elected official in the National Assembly.He argued, too, that both the President and Harmon were subject to the Integrity Commission Act and if they were responsible for enforcing provisions under it, then there would be a major conflict of interest.“So, what they are doing now, moving it (power) from an independent body that the Executive should have no control over, because members of the Executive, including the President, have to submit their statements to this body and be overseen by this body and [it can] initiate prosecutorial actions against the President for breach. They are seeking now to amend that Act under the Code of Conduct, which is for not just Ministers but MPs and put the enforcement power, the ability to remove people from public life in the hands of the President and Minister of State,” he explained.In this regard, Jagdeo said the parliamentary Opposition would reject the proposed amendment to the Integrity Commission Act.“We will oppose this amendment, because this amendment is another tool to seem as though they are doing something about a Code of Conduct for Ministers, to seem as though they are pursuing transparent, accountable lives, but, on the other hand, they are setting the basis for further witch-hunt and to come after PPP members,” he stated.Jagdeo surmised that the Government Ministers only portrayed themselves as guardians of probity and paradigms of transparency and accountability while they quietly and insidiously dismantle institutions that prevent corruption.He alluded to the subversion of tender boards across the country, attempts to influence the courts by launching onslaughts on the Judiciary, among other moves.Jagdeo also reminded that these same Ministers refused to support a motion to have all parliamentarians make certain submissions to the Integrity Commission.He reminded too that Government has already disbanded the Commission by sending home staff and taking possession of documents that belong with the constitutional body.Furthermore, he contended that all Government Ministers should be in jail right now for numerous breaches of the Code of Conduct.The Code stipulates that Ministers must declare all private interests relating to duties of public officials, demonstrate objectivity in executing business and make decisions based on merit and solely in the national interest without benefit or personal gain.Jagdeo contended that the Code of Conduct was nothing but a farce as all of the Ministers were in breach of it.last_img read more

Nigeria fans banned from bringing chickens into World Cup game against Croatia

first_imgNigeria fans have been banned from taking live chickens into their opening World Cup group game against Croatia.‘Super Eagles’ fans believe taking live chickens into games brings them luck and they were planning on bringing more fowl into the Kaliningrad Stadium for the Group D game. However, the Russian government have told Nigeria fans they will not be allowed to continue the practice.“Fans from Nigeria asked if it’s possible to go to the stadium with a chicken. We told them that it is not possible,” Andrei Ermak, minister of culture in Kaliningrad, revealed in a statement.This is not the first time Nigeria have been banned from taking chickens into a World Cup game.Officials at Ellis Park in Johannesburg stopped chickens from being brought in during the 2010 World Cup game against Argentina. 2 It was not all bad news for Nigeria fans however, with Emrak adding there would be designated areas outside the venue where fans could carry their lucky chickens.After Saturday’s game, the Super Eagles will face England’s bogey team Iceland in Volgograd on June 22, before a potential decider in Saint Petersburg against the mighty Argentina on June 26. Nigeria fans believe bringing chickens into football stadiums will bring the Super Eagles luck Nigeria fans outside Ellis Park in 2010 2last_img read more