Senate passes bill to protect whistleblowers

Following its third reading on the floor, the Senate has passed into law the Whistleblower Protection Bill, also known as “An Act to Protect Persons Making Disclosures for the Public Interest and Others from Reprisals, to Provide for the Matters Disclosed to be Properly Investigated and Dealt with and for other Purposes Related Therewith”.

The bill, which seeks to encourage and facilitate the disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies, was presented by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, chaired by the senator representing Niger East, Senator David Umaru.

Passing the bill into law on Wednesday, the Senate explained that it is aimed at ensuring the protection for persons with potentially reliable information on the war against corruption.

The legislation, amongst other things, seeks to ensure that persons who make disclosures about corruption do not suffer reprisals in relation to such dy law.

It however specifies who is qualified to make disclosure of improper conduct; the procedure for making disclosures; and the protection due to ‘whistleblowers.’

Under the newly-passed bill, a person who makes a disclosure shall not be subject to victimisation by his or her employers or by fellow employees. Additionally, a person who makes a disclosure has the right to take legal action if he or she is victimised, dismissed, suspended, declared redundant, transferred against his or her will, harassed or intimidated in any manner.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the passage of the bill was “a promise kept”, pointing out that the bill will protect the lives of persons who risk themselves to expose corrupt practices in the country.

“Today, we have passed a landmark piece of legislation to fight corruption and protect patriotic Nigerians who are fighting corruption,” he said.


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