Code of Conduct Tribunal is established by Section
15(1) of the Fifth Schedule, of the
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It provides that –
“There shall be
established a tribunal to be known as Code of Conduct Tribunal which shall
consist of a Chairman and two other persons.”
virtue of the further provisions in Section
15, the Chairman of the tribunal must be qualified to hold office as a
Judge of a superior court in Nigeria. Also the Chairman and other two members
are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial
Chairman’s tenure of office ends when attaining the age of 70 and the Chairman
cannot be removed by the President except upon an address supported by
two-thirds majority of each House of the National Assembly praying that he be
so removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office.
to section 18, where the Code of Conduct Tribunal finds a public officer guilty
of contravening any of the provisions of the Code of conduct for public
officers, such public officer may be directed to vacate the office or seat in
any legislative house as the case may be, or, be disqualified from membership
of a legislative house and from holding
any public office for a period of 10 years or seizure and forfeiture to the
State of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of office. These above
stated penalties are without prejudice to any penalty that may be given by a
Court if the offence is of a criminal nature.
a code of conduct for Nigerian public officers, according to the Constitution,
the tribunal has jurisdiction over any of the following persons including;
The President and
The President and
Deputy-Speaker of the Senate, House of Representatives and Speakers and
Deputy-Speakers of Houses of Assembly of States, and all members of legislative
Chief Justice of Nigeria,
Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, other judicial officers and all
staffs of the court of law.
Attorney- General of the
Federation and States.
Ministers of the Federal
Government and Commissioners of State Governments.
All Chiefs of the armed
Inspector- General of
Police, all members of the police and security agencies.
Secretary to the
Government and Head of the Civil Service including permanent secretaries and
all members of the civil service, either Federal or State.
Commissioners and other officers of Nigerian missions abroad.
Chairman and members of
local government councils.
Chairman and members of statutory
All staffs of Universities
and institutions owned or financed by the Federal or State Government.
Chairman and members of
staff of permanent commissions or councils appointed on full time basis.
This blog post is the second of a
series relating to crimes and punishment under the Armed Forces Act, Cap C20, Laws
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004). Last time, I wrote a piece on the
offence of Mutiny
under the Armed Forces Act.
Philip is in a big hurry to get to his interview, he has been invited by a
busy CEO to come in at 12, for a personal interview and he is stepping on the
accelerator, heading fast to Victoria island on the 3rd mainland bridge, when suddenly, the commercial bus – driver in front of him makes an unexpected
swerve into his lane, he tries to avoid a collision, steps on his breaks and
drives straight into the Peugeot 206 on the left lane. Philips looks ahead at
the badly damaged 206 through his cracked windscreen and is quietly giving
thanks for being alive, when 4 kacki dressed soldiers jump out of the 206,
before he can say Jack Robinson, 2 soldiers are beside his window, one dishes
him a hot slap while the other drags him out through the window, Philip begins
to shake and stammer , he knows he is in big trouble.
Two area boys beat – up a soldier while others cheer in the Onitsha motor-park
because he slapped one of them who had earlier driven his commercial bus into
the soldier’s Toyota Camry, he angrily speeds
off towards the barracks and 15 minutes later, two trucks carrying about 40
soldiers drive into the park, solders disembark quickly and horse-whips begin to crack on the backs of any
and all bus drivers/park touts in the garage.
Today’s post is on disorderly behaviour
among the ranks of the Armed forces or persons subject to service law (service
law means the Armed Forces Act and it includes the military, naval, or air-force
laws of any allied forces. Members of
the armed forces are required to be of lawful and responsible behaviour always.
Incidents involving vandalism, street fighting and acts of public nuisance are strictly
under the purview of area boys and touts, not for our highly trained, highly
skilled and honourable service men.
In the past, we have had instances
where soldiers behaved unruly in public, a recent incident happened on Ikorodu
road in Lagos where it was reported that soldiers burnt a Lagos owned BRT
commercial bus and allegedly beat a few BRT drivers/ members of the public,
though military authorities denied the involvement of soldiers in the mayhem.
If you have lived in Nigeria for a while, it’s kind of a default attitude to
life to stay out of the way of service men, there is an aura around them that
oozes “you don’t want to mess with me”, LOL. Especially, if you run into a
military convoy on the road with menacing looking solders holding machine guys,
kobokos horse whips chasing you out of the way.
Fighting, quarrelling and disorderly
behaviour is provided for under Section 55 of the Armed Forces Act, it states
that: A person subject to service law under the Act who –
- Fights, quarrels or behaves in a disorderly manner with any other person,
whether subject to service law under this Act or not, or
- Uses threatening, abusive, insulting or provocative words or behavior
likely to cause a disturbance,
Is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a
Court- Martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less
punishment provided by the Act.
This must be an eye – opener for most
people, service men breaking the above mentioned law is not a new thing, ask
the danfo-drivers and motorists who have been victims of severe beatings and
bullying by service men. Though, i know sometimes the motorists could be at
fault, inflicting physical pain on them in my opinion is an abuse of power.
Next time, you happen to be around when another person is getting bullied or
beat-up by any service man, let them know they are in breach of the law. There are
always exceptions though, for example in instances where service men are
ordered to restore the peace during a riot or where jihadist and oil bunkering
thieves are being challenged, now that’s a different ball game altogether.
Adedunmade Onibokun, Esq
Adedunmade is a legal practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria and publishes the
law blog “Legalnaija”.