BY VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA—A UNIVERSITY don, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ibe of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, has called on the National Assembly constitution review committee to remove the immunity provision for the president and governors and their deputies while amending the constitution, arguing that the immunity clause encourages autocratic absolutism against democratic norms.
In a paper he presented at a symposium on the review of the 1999 Nigerian constitution organised by the Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Anambra State, Ibe who is the Head of Department of Commercial and Property Law of the university, contended that the immunity clause had led to the violation of the foundational and fundamental ideas of sustainable and enduring good governance.
He said: “It is clear that not much attack is made against immunity privileges as it affects the judiciary and legislature and with good reason. It is otherwise with the executive, notably the president and governor. Now, we gaze at our own brothers and sisters who have become our Lords.
“We see them appropriate public property to themselves, friends and relatives and with full might because of their immunity. We have become incapacitated as a result of this opprobrium called immunity sustained by our very constitution.”
The lecturer added that Nigerians would remain grateful to the present lawmakers if they succeeded in removing the immunity provision in the constitution because it would help to keep the leaders in check.