As the process leading to the amendment of the 1999 constitution continues, renowned constitutional lawyer, Mr Tunji Abayomi has faulted the approval of the removal of the immunity clause from the Nigerian constitution by the House of Representatives.
Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday endorsed some new amendments to the 1999 constitution, one of the most notable amendment being the removal of the immunity clause, which applies to the president, vice president, governors, and their deputies.
“There is no common sense in subjecting the president, vice-president, governors and their deputies to the travails of prosecution while in office, so the amendment does not make any sense to me at all,” The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Abayomi as saying in an interview.
“After all, the immunity is only temporary; there is no time limitation to prosecution as such officeholders can still be prosecuted fifty years after leaving office.
“It therefore makes more sense to retain the immunity clause because removing it will make nonsense of the offices of these chief executives and I urge the Senate and state assemblies to reject it,” Abayomi said.
Abayomi also described as unnecessary, the Reps’ approval of the separation of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from that of the Minister of Justice was unnecessary, arguing that a good AGF can effectively combine both.
Separating the two offices, according to the lawyer, would lead to unnecessary bureaucracy and increased government expenditure.