Bill Seeking Immunity For Lawmakers From Persecution Scales Second Reading


A cross-section of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives chamber in Abuja on January 29, 2020.

 

A bill seeking to extend immunity to cover Presiding Officers of Legislative Institutions has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill which was sponsored by Representative Odebunmi Olusegun was supported by the majority of the lawmakers who say it is important to safeguard the sanctity of the National Assembly.

In supporting the bill, Majority Leader, Ado-Doguwa said: “It should be passed for the simple reason that it provides protection for leaders of the legislature considering the important work of the legislature.”

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However, the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu asked the lawmakers to place the interest of their constituents above personal interest.

“Outside here, our people are being killed and butchered. We are coming up with a bill on the issue of immunity while some of us are saying that people should be held accountable for what they do. I think it is wrong and it should not be allowed.”

Some of the lawmakers who opposed the bill argued that it was coming at a time when there are calls for the withdrawal of immunity from the governors.

The lawmakers say there is no need for such a law, especially considering the spate of insecurity in the country.

If the bill eventually becomes a law, it will, therefore, translate into an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as immunity covers the President, Vice President, Governors and their Deputies.





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