The Senate is set to remove the immunity in criminal matters enjoyed by Presidents, Vice Presidents, State governors and their deputies in Nigeria. The bill is seeking an alteration to the 1999 Constitution.
The second reading of the Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to qualify criminal liability for certain public officers under Section 308”, took place during plenary today March 12th.
The bill which is sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, provides that a President, Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors shall lose their immunity if they are investigated by security and anti-graft agencies, including the courts.
It reads in part:
“Section 308 of the Principal Act is altered by (a) Substituting for subsection (2), a new subsection “(2)” –
“(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply –
“(a) to civil proceedings against a person to whom this section applies in his official capacity or to civil or criminal proceedings in which such a person is only a nominal party; and
“(b) to persons who hold the office of Vice-President, Governor or Deputy Governor, if it is determined either by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Nigerian Police and State Security Service through a collaborative investigation that the said person is indicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for:
“(i) Financial misappropriation of funds belonging to the Federal, State or Local Government; or
“(ii) Sponsoring of thugs to perpetrate violence that cause injury or death of political opponent, a member of his family, agent or personal representative.”