President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill passed by the National Assembly in 2017.
This was contained in a letter read by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara during Tuesday’s sitting, in which the president cited security concerns and financial implications amongst other reasons for binning the bill.
The Senate had passed the much-anticipated Peace Corps bill on November 25, 2016, shortly after the House of Representatives passed the same bill.
The bill was largely expected to partly address the nation’s unemployment crisis and tackle some of the security challenges.
Ordinarily, the law sought to give legal backing to the establishment of Peace Corps as a government parastatal, and allow all serving members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria to be absolved into the proposed organisation at commencement.
While Buhari’s decision will raise eyebrows in certain quarters, it will come as relief to the Nigerian police who have remained opposed to the legalisation of the corps.
Accusing the head of the Corps, Mr Dickson Akoh of using the organisation to swindle young job seekers and operate as a para-military agency, the police raided their headquarters in Abuja on February 17, 2017, arresting about 50 persons.
But the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Nigeria Police to unseal the headquarters of the Peace Corps and pay N12.5 million as damages to Mr Akoh, who was later granted bail.