By Dayo Benson
The appearance of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nassarawa state before the commission of inquiry into Alakyo killings has been described as unconstitutional. Because he cannot waive his immunity.
This assertion was made by a senior Advocate of Nigeria Hassan Liman who explained the legal implication of the governors appearance before the commission in a letter dated 29th October, sent to the governor, the Chairman and members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the recent Killings of members of the Nigerian Security Forces.
While purporting to waive his immunity under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, the governor appeared before the commission of inquiry at its Government House sitting venue, last Friday where he admitted that he gave N1 million to Ombatse youths to pacify them.
The lawyer who wanted the commission to disregard Al-Makuras testimony or any allegation against the Governor in its findings and recommendation said that the constitution prohibits any kind of Judicial Proceedings to be taken against the holder of the office or to be continued against him or for any process of Court to be issued against him compelling his attendance or appearance in Court.
He stressed that no question of waiver of the relevant immunity by the incumbent of the offices concerned or, indeed, by the courts may therefore arise.
Liman maintained that whatever motivated the Governor to appear before the Judicial Commission or for the Commission to have allowed him the Governor of Nasarawa State to testify before the Commission was done without due regard to the provision of Section 308 of the Constitution which gives absolute immunity to the Governor of a State.
His words: In my view, the immunity granted to the incumbent of the relevant office under Section 308 (1) (a) of the Constitution prescribes an absolute prohibition on the courts from entertaining any proceedings, civil or criminal, in respect of any claim or relief against a person to whom that section of the Constitution applies during the period he holds such office. No question of waiver of the relevant immunity by the incumbent of the offices concerned or, indeed, by the courts may therefore arise.
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