SERAP condemns Reps bill seeking immunity for Nigerian lawmakers
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the reported passage of a bill seeking to give leaders of federal and state legislatures immunity from prosecution for corruption.
SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in a statement Tuesday night, said such was tantamount to ripping off the constitution, blatant assault on the rule of law and breach of public trust.
SERAP urged the of the House of Representatives to immediately withdraw the obnoxious bill.
The statement called the bill a huge setback for the rule of law that the same lawmakers that regularly make laws that consign ordinary, powerless Nigerians to prison for even trivial offences.
“Whereas countries like Guatemala has voted unanimously to strip their president of immunity from prosecution for corruption our own lawmakers are moving in the opposite direction.
“The message seems to be that in Nigeria, powerful and influential actors must not be and are not subject to the rule of law. It’s simply not proper for lawmakers to be the chief advocates of immunity for corruption.
“It’s a form of political corruption for the parliamentarians to abuse their legislative powers, intended for use in the public interest but instead for personal advantage. This is an unacceptable proposition as it gives the impression that both the principal officers of the National Assembly are above the law.
“If the House of Representatives should have their way, this will rob Nigerians of their rights to accountable government.
“Public officials who are genuinely committed to the well-being of the state and its people, and to the establishment of an effective and functioning system of administration of justice, should have absolutely nothing to fear,” it said.
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