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Don’t Grant Lawmakers Immunity – Civil Rights Activist files Suit at Federal High Court



Federal High CourtThe Federal High Court, Lagos, has been urged to restrain the National Assembly from passing into law, any bill seeking to grant immunity and life pension to officers of the assembly.

A civil rights activist, Kabir Akingbolu, made the call in a suit he filed at the court on Tuesday.
Joined as respondents in the suit were Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Akingbolu, in his originating summons, said the move by the federal lawmakers was not only detrimental to the well-being of every citizen, but amounts to gross violation of constitutional provisions.
He argued that the move by the National Assembly to propose life pension for its leaders at a critical economic period was crude.

Relying on sections 15 (5), 16 (1) (b), (2) (a) (b) and 17 (1) of the Constitution, Akingbolu argued that the proposed life pension and immunity laws by the lawmakers, was a total departure from the provisions of the constitution.

He contended that such proposal would not only further impoverish the citizens as resources meant for their common good would be concentrated in the hands of a few, but also encourage corrupt practices.

In a supporting affidavit, the lawyer averred that the lawmakers failed to take into consideration the constitutional provision bordering on maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen, before proposing such laws.

He averred that what was required of the National Assembly at the moment were laws that would foster maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen.

According to him, for decades, no officer of the National Assembly has been granted immunity and there is no harassment of the holders of the said offices.

“The move to obtain immunity for officers of the National Assembly for offences while in office, is anti-people and unconstitutional.
All over the world, there is nowhere members of the legislature are granted immunity against offences; therefore any grant of same is a crude attempt to place lawmakers above the law.”

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

Photo Credit: NAN

1 Comment

  1. Oma

    July 19, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Like is Nigeria a joke? Who even thought it would be a good idea to grant immunity to lawmakers? No shame again, things people should be ashamed of even thinking they now have the boldness to speak out loud, amazing! These leaders just want to milk this country dry, without guilt, since most of them and their children have dual citizenship. I fear for my country, if things continue like this i fear a day will come when the common man will open his eyes and there will be no country no more…

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