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President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has charged the newly inaugurated Commissioners of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), to prevent acts of injustice and abuse of power among Nigerians in order to make the nation a better place for all.
Speaking when he officially inaugurated the Chief Commissioner, Hon. Chileh Igbawua and other Commissioners of the PCC from the 36 States of the Federation, Saraki said the Commission must be proactive and focused in the discharge of its mandate.
He noted that the PCC is the sole agency under the National Assembly with significant roles in strengthening government institutions while urging the commission to not to betray the confidence reposed in the by Nigerians.
Saraki said: “The institution of the Ombudsman is highly regarded worldwide, as the machinery for the control of official excesses, including non-adherence to administrative rules and procedures.
“The Ombudsman provides much-needed succor to citizens, especially the weak and the marginalized, who may seek redress against administrative violations by public authorities, private organizations, and companies.
“In recognition of the duty entrusted to you as gatekeepers of this important institution, you must be bold, courageous, fair and just to one and all, irrespective of religion, tribe or gender.
“You are to perform the quasi-judicial duties of your office with diligence, integrity, and good conscience – while holding yourselves to the highest standards of probity, devoid of conflict of interest and partisanship.
“It goes without saying that there should be no room for internal wrangling, red-tapism and unnecessary bureaucracy in your work. All Petitions and Complaints are to be treated promptly, dispassionately and effectively.
“I should also remind you that you are to submit an Annual Report on your activities to both Chambers of the National Assembly, without fail, every year. These, in a nutshell, should be taken as your operational guidelines or Code of Ethics,” he said.
On his part, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara represented by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa lamented that many Nigerians still do not know of the existence of the Commission even though it has existed for 43 years.
He urged the Commission to be more proactive in its dealings so as to actualize the aims and objectives of seeking up the commission.
“The Commission may be working hard and making impact, but it is not known by a majority of Nigerians,” Dogara said. “You, therefore, need to step up your activities and also publicize same. Maybe you need to conduct a public hearing on your investigations to involve Nigerians in what you do.”
However, the Chief Commissioner of the PCC, Hon. Chileh Igbawua, pledged the readiness of the commission to justify the confidence reposed in the appointees by carrying out their mandate diligently and conscientiously.