By Dotun Ibiwoye
The Commonwealth Information & Action Network (CIAN ), a non governmental organization, today said the immunity clause, as enshrined in the Nigeria constitution, needs to be reviewed by the National Assembly
According to CIAN, the original purpose for which the clause was meant to serve has been hijacked and largely turned into an engine of fraud.
In statement by the Executive Director, CIAN, Mofe Jeje, the original intention for the clause’ inclusion in the Nigerian constitution was good, but politicians have corrupted and bastardized the well-reasoned privilege, and willfully undermine the wisdom behind it to the detriment of Nigerians.
Jeje affirmed that any attempt to side-step or reject the call for a genuine and sincere review of the clause in the light of mounting kleptocratic activities of our thieving political elite is a disservice to the nation, a betrayal of public trust, and the power people repose in representative democracy.
”Crafted and provided as an open-ended protection, the clause at present, provides a loophole that breeds criminals in power as it gives latitude to boldly, with impunity commit crime against the state and the people. Given this palpable danger, it is apparently clear that the immunity clause as presently provided can no longer serve the need of contemporary Nigerian politics, he said
”It needs to be reviewed in line with emerging and contemporary realities. CIAN recommendations that to forestall abuse, such immunity, as immunity from arrest, immunity from prosecution or immunity from imprisonment should be reviewed against cover to fraud, corruption, embezzlement, and vindictive tendencies in government.
He added further: ”The clause should be reviewed to include prompt arrest and trial of any incumbent executive found polluting the Excellency and stealing our common patrimony.
”Since graft in whatever forms wrought the same effect as overthrowing the sovereign, offenders should be charged with treasonable felony against the state.
The group believes that if immunity clause, because of political expediency is accepted into the constitution to check frivolous law suits that may impair government functions and cause unnecessary political distraction, then, by the same token, the clause should be reviewed to take care of the loopholes and check the new wave of stealing our commonwealth.