SANs reject immunity for CJN, others as National Assembly votes today

Some SANs who spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent on Monday described the attempt to confer immunity on more public officers as unnecessary.

Adegoke Rasheed (SAN), said this was not the first attempt by the National Assembly to confer immunity on presiding officers, adding that the privileged immunity they enjoy is enough.

He described the decision to extend the same to the CJN as nothing but a bribe.

Adegoke said, “The Legislative Privileges Act of 2017 actually tried to confer immunity on presiding officers of the National Assembly which we found unconstitutional. I filed a case which is still pending at the Federal High Court challenging the constitutionality of that, it was pursuant to that they wanted to amend the constitution so that they could insert that provision into the constitution to cure the defect in the Legislative Privileges Act.

Another senior advocate, Afam Osigwe, said Nigerians should not allow the National Assembly to carry on with the amendment.

Osigwe said immunity would be abused if it is granted to more public officers.

He said, “In every part of the world, immunity is granted only to the President and even the ones granted to the executives is limited, if you commit an offence while in office it may be a ground to take away the immunity. I don’t see why we should grant immunity to the CJN. It is not done.

For Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), the presiding officers of the National Assembly do not deserve immunity.

He queried the logic behind such a proposal, adding that those who had nothing to hide ought not to fear prosecution.

Adedipe added, “It is not right to extend immunity to this set of people. We should open the democratic space and access to the court. If you have a problem with the conducts of presiding officers in the National Assembly how are you going to bring them to justice if you confer immunity on them? I do not support it and I do not think it should be passed into law.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress has asked members of the National Assembly to massively support labour-related matters today (Tuesday) during voting on the amendment to the 1999 Constitution.

Speaking during a protest at the National Assembly on Monday, the President, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the lawmakers should also vote for the autonomy of local governments and the judiciary.

Wabba stated, “We want an overwhelming vote. We don’t even want 99 per cent when members of the National Assembly are voting tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday. We want 100 per cent of their votes to guarantee the independence of the judiciary and to guarantee full autonomy for local governments.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *