SNG, Agbaje, Keyamo, kick against immunity for lawmakers

The Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Human Rights lawyers and political groups, on Sunday advised the National Assembly not to pass the bill canvassing immunity for the legislators.

The Human Rights lawyers, Messrs Fred Agbaje and Festus Keyamo, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) and Igbo Youth Congress (IYC) described the bill as provocative. The House of Representatives on March 7 passed for the second reading the bill which is seeking immunity for legislators.

The bill seeks to amend Section 4(8) of the 1999 Constitution to provide immunity for members of both the federal and state assemblies.
The bill, if passed, would ensure that lawmakers were not held liable or subjected to civil or criminal actions based on their utterances or decisions taken.

The SNG spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, described the bill as an ?aberration? which should be challenged by all Nigerians. “When Nigerians are talking of removing immunity clause completely from the constitution to checkmate corruption, the legislators are coming up with their own bill.”

He, however, said that the group was not surprised by the lawmakers’ move to get immunity for themselves to cover up their acts. “It is only in Nigeria that legislators will be asking for immunity which they do not need, except they have plans to contravene the law.”

In his remarks, Agbaje urged the lawmakers to disregard the bill immediately and address more fundamental issues in the nation. “This is why there is so much corruption in Nigeria. Rather than putting in place laws that will enhance good governance, the lawmakers are busy thinking of laws that will shield them from corrupt charges.

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