Posted by News Express | 24 July 2020 | 1,078 times
By NDUBUISI ORJI, Abuja
The House of Representatives, on Thursday, passed for second reading a bill seeking to alter Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to provide for immunity for justices of the Supreme Court.
Apart from Supreme Court justices, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Courts, the chief judges of the various states High Courts and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, will also enjoy immunity from legal proceedings, if the bill is eventually passed into law.
The bill is sponsored by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member from Ebonyi State, Igariwey Iduma Enwo.
Enwo, in his lead debate, said the proposed legislation is intended to protect the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court, the Federal and state high courts.
He lawmaker explained that the since the judiciary is said to be the last hope of the people, there is need to protect the heads of the judiciary at both the federal and state levels.
According to him, “It is said that the courts are the last hope of the common man and constitute a bulwark in the defence of our constitutional democracy.
“In the discharge of their solemn functions, the courts are expected to dispense justice without fear or favour. It is, therefore, expedient that in order to protect the integrity and independence of the leadership of the superior courts of records at the state and federal levels.
“The immunity clause as contained in Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) should be extended the Chief of Justice of Nigeria and justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and the Chief Justices of the State High Courts and Federal Capital Territory. This will be in the best interest of maintaining the doctrine of separation of powers, as contemplated by the 1999 Constitution and the protection of our judiciary from the excesses of the executive.” (Daily Sun)
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