PUBLIC OFFICERS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) LAW
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PUBLIC OFFICERS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) LAW
A Law to make persons in the public service of the State accountable for corruption, improper enrichment and abuse of office.
WHEREAS it is Government policy to ensure that all persons in the public service of the State Government are at all times accountable for their actions;
AND WHEREAS reports of enquiries set up by the Government show in virtually all cases that there has been an increase in instances of corruption, improper enrichment and abuse of office;
AND WHEREAS it is expedient and in the public interest to arrest the situation by taking such actions as are necessary to enforce that policy;
Now, THEREFORE, the House of Assembly of Cross River State hereby makes the following—
Where the Governor is satisfied following reports of inquiries set up by the Government that any public officer has, during the period that he holds or has held office as such, corruptly or improperly enriched himself or any other person by virtue of his office or by any means in abuse of his office or otherwise howsoever whilst a public officer or occasioned loss of public funds either alone or through his connivance with any other person (whether or not such other person is in the public service of the State or of another State of the Federation) the Governor may by order published in the Gazette specify such sums or other assets as are lost through such corruption, improper enrichment or abuse of office have been illegally, improperly, or irregularly acquired and, be forfeited to the State.
(1) Without prejudice to section 1 of this Law, where a public officer—
(a) is convicted of—
(i) embezzlement of public funds; or
(ii) fraudulent conversion of goods belonging to the Government or intended for public use; or
(iii) any other offence arising from any fraudulent dealing with such funds or goods; or
(iv) counseling, aiding and abetting or attempting to counsel, aid and abet any such embezzlement or conversion; or
(b) knowingly benefits by any embezzlement of public funds or fraudulent conversion of goods belonging to the Government or intended for public use; or
(c) is a person whose conduct is such that his further or continued employment in the service would (through any fraud committed by him or through his connivance) lead to any or further loss of public funds or conversion of goods belonging to the Government or intended for public use, then notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any written law, the Governor may direct the Civil Service Commission to dismiss or remove the public officer summarily from office, or require him to retire compulsorily from the service.
(2) In the application of subsection (1) (c) of this section, no regard shall be had to the fact that a public officer affected by the said subsection (1) (c) has not been charged with or convicted of any offence mentioned in subsection (1) or under any written law in connection with such embezzlement or conversion.
Where a public officer is dismissed, removed for retired compulsorily in pursuance of section 2 of this Law, he shall forfeit such benefits to which he is entitled under any law in force in the State unless the Governor directs that he should be granted or be eligible for such or so much of the benefits (being less than those to which he would normally be entitled) as the Governor may in his discretion authorise.
It shall be the duty of a public officer affected by section 2 of this Law to repay the relevant sum within such time as the Commissioner charged with responsibility for finance may in writing specify.
In accordance with such arrangements as may be approved by the Commissioner charged with responsibility for finance, any sums—
(a) accruing to such officer in respect of any policy of insurance on the life of such officer; or
(b) accruing to such officer from any estate or interest in land, may be attached and paid at any time to the Government on account of the repayment due under section 4 of this Law.
(1) Any immovable property acquired or suspected to be acquired in whole or in part out of the proceeds of any embezzlement of public funds or of any fraudulent conversion of goods belonging to the Government or intended for public use shall be forfeited to the Government.
(2) Accordingly such property may be retained by the Government or sold, and if retained, it shall where necessary be registered in the name of the Government, but where such property is sold, then, out of the proceeds of such sale shall in the first place be paid the costs, charges of and incidental to such sale and in the second place the relevant sum; and the balance (if any) shall at the discretion of the Governor be payable to the Public Officer upon demand being made by him or on his behalf within one year of the date of sale.
(1) At any time after the commencement of this Law, the Commissioner charged with responsibility for finance may, in addition to or instead of taking action under section 5 of this Law—
(a) direct other public officers under his control to seize and sell any assets which he knows or has reason to believe to be assets of any public officer affected by section 2 of this Law; and
(b) cause the proceeds of any such sale to be paid into the Treasury.
(2) Any person who obstructs a public officer in the execution of his duty under this section shall be guilty of an offence and on summary conviction by a magistrate’s court shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand naira or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months, or to both.
(a) a person’s assets are seized under subsection (1) above; and
(b) that person claims that he is not a person affected by section 2 of this Law, the person whose assets have been seized may make representations against the seizure to the Governor whose decision on the matter shall be final.
(1) Sections 6 and 7 of this Law shall have effect notwithstanding—
(a) that any account or asset to which they relate is in the name or under the control of any liquidator, executor, administrator or trustee or any other person performing a similar function; and
(b) the provisions of any law to the contrary and the obligation to comply with the requisition shall take precedence and have priority over the obligation to pay any debt payable under the law relating to the administration of the assets of deceased persons.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Law, the total amount paid to the Government by virtue of this Law shall not exceed the relevant sum.
(1) Where immovable property is forfeited to the Government in pursuance of section 6 of this Law, a superior police officer shall enter upon any premises affected and shall in the presence of the occupier at the time of forfeiture, take an inventory of every furniture, installation, plant, equipment or fixture on such premises and such occupier shall sign the said inventory before the superior police officer, who shall countersign it.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, a superior police officer shall have power to compel the presence of any occupier or an adult member of the household of such occupier.
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings at the instance of any person aggrieved by anything done in good faith in intended pursuance of this Law shall be instituted in any court for or on account of or in respect of any act, matter or thing done or purported to be done by any person under this Law; and if any proceeding has been or is instituted before, on or after the commencement of this Law, the proceeding shall abate, be discharged and rendered void.
(1) In this Law, unless the context otherwise provides—
“the Government” means the Government of the State;
“public officer” means—
(a) any person who on or after 27th May, 1967 holds or has held any office in the civil or public service of the State;
(b) any person who since the date aforesaid held office as Civil Commissioner in the Government of the State, Chairman, or member of a body established by the Government or of a committee thereof;
(c) a member of any commission or advisory council established by any law in force in the State;
(d) any member or employee or former member or employee of a public corporation, board or any other institution of a public nature directly or indirectly established by or under any Law in force or having effect as such Law;
(e) employee of any local authority, Local Government, Development Council or Area Development Committee in any part of the State;
(f) any person who holds or has held office as a member of the Board of Directors of any company registered under the Companies Act or Companies and Allied Matters Act and who has been appointed as such member by reason of the fact that the State Government or any public corporation or board established under any law in force in the State holds or has held shares in the Company;
[Cap. C20 LFN.]
(g) any person who has been appointed to any other public office being an office to which is exercisable the power of appointing by any person or persons deemed to be public officers for the purposes of this Law;
“relevant sum” means the sum certified by an auditor or other examiner of accounts as representing a loss to the revenue through the fraud of a person held responsible therefore;
“revenue” means public funds of the State;
“State” means Cross River State;
“a superior police officer” shall have the same meaning as it has in the Police Act.
This Law may be cited as the Public Officers (Special Provisions) Law.
PUBLIC OFFICERS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) LAW
No Subsidiary Legislation