The National Assembly is reportedly set to begin the process of constitution amendment towards ensuring immunity for heads of the three arms of government.
When the process of the constitution amendment is completed, those set to benefit from the immunity are the Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, his deputy and the Chief Justice of the Federation, CJN.
The move to include the head of the country’s legislature might not be unconnected with Senate President Bukola Saraki’s ongoing travails at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
If he had immunity, as currently enjoyed by the heads of the executive, Saraki wouldn’t have been docked on a 13-count charge bordering on alleged corruption and falsification in his asset declaration over 10 years ago.
Again, the inclusion of the CJN is a smokescreen by the proponents of the immunity to hide their true intentions – protect the Senate president by all means necessary including a constitution amendment.
The development is even worrisome because it is coming at a time when Nigerians, including legal practitioners, are advocating a removal of the immunity clause from the Constitution because it has been abused over the years.
This much was confirmed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Leo Ogor, who exclusively told Vanguard that if the head of the executive arm, the President, and his vice should enjoy immunity, the heads of the other two arms of government, the legislature and the judiciary, should also benefit from the immunity.
According to Ogor, this would reduce distractions and crisis in the National Assembly as well as put a stop to the frequent change of the presiding officers as a result of external influence.