Guys, I never thought I'd live to see this day! Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday endorsed new amendments to the 1999 Constitution.
A major highlight of the endorsement was the removal of the immunity clause for the President, the Vice President, the governors and their deputies. By implication, occupiers of the offices can be tried for criminal offences while still in office.
A total of 252 lawmakers voted in Abuja to adopt 70 new clauses added to the constitution. (Under section 9 of the constitution a constitution amendments bill succeeds after two-thirds of the house; 240 out of 360 members vote in support).
The Senate is yet to vote to adopt the bill and following the Senate’s voting, the document will be forwarded to the 36 state Houses of Assembly for “approval” by two-thirds of the Houses and returned to the National Assembly again for the final approval.
Under the new provision, the President and governors can be prosecuted for criminal offences while still in office and stand removed from office once found guilty.
A number of other clauses were adopted (including life pension for the President and Deputy President of the Senate as well as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.) visit Here and Here to read more. But Immunity particularly caught my interest because well, it always has and this has been in issue for longer than I can remember.
While it's necessary to note that this immunity is stripped only in criminal cases and still avails them in civil cases, if the removal of this clause is passed into law do you think it will be implemented? If implemented do you think it will be enforced, and by whom? Do the cons not outweigh the pros; what are the chances of this being abused, or used to settle personal vendettas? Or do the pros outweigh the cons; a deterrent against misappropriation and other likely criminal acts? What are your thoughts on the removal of the Immunity Clause from the Nigerian constitution?