Forensic and Investigate bill: Institute writes Senate, warns of duplicity

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As the Chattered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professional of Nigeria (CIFIPIN) bill awaits concurrence by the Senate and the House of Representatives before being transmitted for presidential assent, the CIFIPIN has drawn the attention of lawmakers to two fresh bills with similar mandates.

The Institute said the two private bills were not in the interest of the nation. It asked the upper and lower legislative Chambers to decline passages.

In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan by the Legal Counsel to the Chattered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professional of Nigeria (CIFIPIN), E.S Gimba and Co, a copy of which was made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, the lawyer noted that the latter bills were meant to scuttle CIFIPIN bill which was passed into law by both Chambers and now waiting for concurrence and presidential assent.

The Institute asserted that the bills have similar functions with the already passed CIFIPIN, hence, giving it a legal tooth would be counterproductive and a waste of resources given that the process of public hearing before passing a bill into law by the parliament is capital intensive

The letter said: “The protest became necessary in view of clandestine moves by the House of Representatives to create an overlapping function.

“We were surprised that while the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria 2021 (HB.791) was in its final stage of passage in the House of Representatives and eventual transmission to Mr. President, the two bills seeking to establish the same Chartered Institute of Forensics of Nigeria were introduced.

“The Chartered Institute of Forensics and Fraud Examiners of Nigeria, 2021(HB. 1220), and Chartered Institute of Computer Forensics of Nigeria 2021, (HB.1491) are not different in general principles and functions from CIFIPIN.

“It is instructive to note that these two later bills are on the same subject matter as the earlier one which is Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPIN) bill 2021.”

Clearly, the Institute maintained that this runs counter to Order 12, Rule 14(a) of the House Standing Orders, saying that the House of Representatives should withdraw those two later bills.

CIFIPIN also warned on the activities of some faceless group whose intention is to malign the Office of the Senate President to pave way to hijacking the activities of the new body.

“Be Informed that some mischief makers disguising as Civil Society Organisations (CSO) who wish to hijack the already existing Chartered Institute of Forensics and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria Bill, had written series of petitions maligning the office and person of the Senate President.

“It is in the public domain that they are moves by the mischief makers to prevail on the Attorney General of the federation to discourage the final assent of Mr President to the new body,” he said.

The body expressed dismay that some federal lawmakers have become a willing tool in the hands of lobbyists to duplicate the activities of CIFIPIN in the course of time when passed by both Houses.

“Also worried that the House Committee on Rules and Business could not as a matter of duty, detect that those two later bills were on the same subject matter with the earlier Bill passed by the Parliament even when its attention was drawn to it.

“We, therefore, advise the members sponsoring the two later bills appropriately or alternatively, inform the House promptly to avoid ridiculing the image of the Parliament.

“This is an abuse of legislative processes which can never be in the interest of our dear country and Africa at large. Documents are available on this and are hereby attached,” he added.

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