Muhammadu Buhari and Bukola Saraki at 55th Independence Day ceremony at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
By Ben Agande, Abuja.
Mixed reactions have trailed the proposal by the national assembly to grant immunity to its presiding officers with many Nigerians describing the move as unnecessary and Ill timed.
The minority leader of the House of Representatives Hon. Leo Ogor was quoted as saying that the national assembly was proposing to amend the constitution to grant immunity to the presiding officers as well as the head of the judiciary as enjoyed by the president t and his vice and governors and their deputy.
But speaking with Vanguard in Abuja, respondents said the move was not borne out of altruism.
According to a lawyer, Barrister Manasseh Ejiofor, the proposal was uncalled for and smacks “legislative rascalism”
“Why are they bringing up the issue of immunity now? Whose interest are they serving? There are so many issues for the national assembly to address the least of which is the issue of immunity for its presiding officers. They should concentrate on making laws for the benefit of Nigerians and not their selfish selves.
“For instance, why can’t the national amend some of our laws that are obviously regain and needs to be brought in tune with modern realities. Granting immunity to the presiding officers of the National Assembly is the least problem that we have now. It is being done in bad faith” he said.
Another respondent, a senior civil servant who does not want to be named because of his status said the proposed amendment was just to protect the selfish interest of the assembly members.
“It is surprising that of all the laws that need amendments, the national assembly is contemplating granting immunity to its presiding officers. Nigerians elected them to make laws for the general well being of Nigerians and not a few members of the National Assembly. Nigerians should resist this move because it is not borne out of altruism” he said.
Another lawyer, Barrister Samuel Oloruntoba in his reaction said the move is to divert attention from the searchlight being beamed on the leadership of the National Assembly.
“Why have they not amended our laws to make it more difficult for civil servants to steal money? Why have they not made laws to make it more difficult for the kidnappers to operate freely. This proposed amendment is nothing but a self serving move and should be rejected by Nigerians ” he noted.
But a former members of the House of Representatives in his reaction said the amendment was necessary in order to shield the legislature from unnecessary interference from the executive.
“If the amendment scales through, it will strengthen the legislature against unnecessary interference from the executive and guarantee the independence of the legislature. Our democracy is still work in progress so we need such a law to make the institution stronger” the former lawmaker who does not want to be named said.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.