National Assembly Finally Passes Anti-Corruption Bill with Amendments

177

By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia’s National Assembly has finally passed the Anti-Corruption Bill 2023 with amendments, after years of undergoing several legislative processes. 

The passing of this important Bill on Thursday, 21 December 2023 came following its reconsideration on Monday, 18 December 2023, during which lawmakers extensively argued on whether or not Clauses 2 and 75 should be maintained, amended, or deleted, as stipulated in the bill.

‘Clause 2’ deals with the ‘Undue Advantage while ‘Clause 75’ deals with ‘Prosecution of Offence’, both triggering arguments and attracting divergent views from lawmakers.

After some heated argument, the matter was put to a vote, and subsequently, the bill was finally considered with no changes made to the said Clauses, as Members resolved to maintain them as they have been outlined and enshrined in the bill.

At the conclusion of the session on Monday 18th December, it was resolved that the Attorney General should do the final touches on the bill and to subsequently bring it back to plenary for the third time for it to be passed. 

As Thursday 21st December 2023 was the appointed time for the third reading of the bill, the Anti-Corruption Bill was finally passed and now awaits the President’s ascent for it to become law. 

The bill was introduced and tabled on Tuesday 3rd December 2019 during the Fifth Legislature by the former Justice Minister AboubacarrTambedou.

While tabling the bill, he told members that the bill among other things, seeks to provide more independence to the Anti-Corruption Commission and will give greater powers particularly investigative powers including more latitude for investigation. The bill seeks to enact an Act to prohibit and prescribe punishments for corrupt practices and other related offences and connected matters.