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Bill seeks to protect lawmakers from arrest, prosecution

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA—A Bill seeking to    restrict security agencies from arresting and prosecuting members of the Legislature within the precincts of the National Assembly awaits second reading in the House of Representatives.

The Bill sponsored by Rep. Henry D. Seriake (PDP Bayelsa), also seeks to make it mandatory for the National Assembly and all State Houses of Assembly to electronically record their voting and other legislative businesses.

The Bill titled “An Act to Amend the Legislative Houses, Powers and Privileges Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and for Other Related Purposes”,  under the sub-heading “Procedures for Arrest of a Member of the National Assembly”, lists conditions for the arrest of a lawmaker for certain offences.

It states in part that “A member of Legislative House, shall not be arrested without warrant duly issued by a Judge of the Federal High Court, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory or High Court of the Federal Capital Territory or High Court of a State  except in the following circumstances: Upon a reasonable suspicion or allegation of commission of treasonable felony against the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, among several other conditions.

(b)   When the member is physically caught in an actual commission of treason or treasonable felony against law or the law of the State.
(2) A warrant duly issued in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) above for the apprehension of a member of the National Assembly shall be deemed to be duly executed, if such warrant is served on the presiding officer of the Legislative House through the Clerk of the House.


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