Constitution Review: Reps Drop Immunity Bill For Saraki, Dogara
The House of Representatives may have bowed to criticism with a change in plan to insert legislative immunity for the National Assembly’s principal officers in the constitution.
The bill, an Act to Alter Section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and sponsored by Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun, PDP, Oyo State, had already entered its second reading.
According to Dokun, the bill which seeks to extend Immunity to Cover Presiding Officers of Legislative Institutions and for Other Matters is to ensure stability in the polity by shielding the National Assembly’s presiding officers from arrest and to be sued while in office.
Although it was listed as one of the items for debate on Thursday, when Speaker Yakubu Dogara called for the presentation for onward reference to the constitution review committee, Chairman, Rules and Business, Worker Jev announced its withdrawal.
Defending his position, he stressed that the immunity clause the governors are enjoying does not stop them from being prosecuted for criminal charges but only protects them from being prosecuted for civil allegations.
He explained that removing the clause would distract the governors from administering their states properly.
The Deputy Speaker hinted: “Part of the amendment would dwell on financial and administrative autonomy for local governments.”