Dr Kolawole Olaniyan, a legal Adviser at Amnesty International, London has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to speak out on the plan by the National Assembly to create immunity clause in the constitution to protect the leadership of the legislative arm from prosecution while in office.
In a statement signed by Dr Olaniyan, he wondered why the lawmakers will be planning such move when it was not part of their promises to the electorate when they were seeking their mandate.
“Extending constitutional immunity to these powerful officials is the only way to counter what they see as ‘the constant external influence and manipulations in the choice of presiding officers of the National Assembly,” he said.
“The immunity initiative looks like a revenge job, and one for self-aggrandisement. This is undoubtedly a low period in public esteem for our ‘lawmakers.”
He opined that the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s proclaimed fight against corruption hinges not only on his ‘integrity record’ or members of his cabinet but also the collective involvement of all arms of government, in particular the National Assembly and the judiciary.
He urged President Buhari to be aware that the immunity initiative poses serious risks to his anti-corruption agenda, and the likelihood of it being compromised is very high.
He therefore called on him to speak out and “move swiftly to dissuade members of the 8th National Assembly from taking forward the immunity initiative if his vision ‘to be remembered as a Nigerian president who fought corruption to a standstill’ is to be effectively realised.”