Posted by News Express | 13 October 2015 | 2,610 times
I begin my commentary today with a huge quote from Tonye Barcanista on the sinister call for immunity for the top hierarchy of the National Assembly and the Chief Justice of the Federation. Nothing could be more laughable than this ugly proposal belching out of the decayed and decaying belly of its remote sponsors.
Please come with me as I lay bare the piece written by the said Tonye on the subject:
Proposed Immunity For Senate President, Speaker Etal: Dead On Arrival (DOA) by TonyeBarcanista
Often times I wonder the kind of people that dominates our political space. I read in amazement the proposed move by members of the National Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution(as amended) so as to grant immunity powers to the President of the Senate and the Deputy, the Speaker of the House of Representative and the Deputy, and also the Chief Justice of the Federation. Their argument was simply because the Head and Deputy Head of the Executive arm of government at both the Federal and State levels enjoy such privilege. Let’s look at the constitutional provision
The Constitutional Provision
For any amendment of the Constitution to be valid, Section 9 must be fulfilled upon which the president shall grant his ascent (or veto). According to sections 9(1) and (2) of the Constitution...
9(1) The National Assembly may, subject to the provision of this section, alters any of the provisions of this Constitution.
9(2) An Act of the National Assembly for the alteration of this Constitution, not being an Act to which section 8 of this Constitution applies, shall not be passed in either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of that House and approved by resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the states.
Going by the emboldened, we can SAFELY say that irrespective of the overwhelming support the proposal may have in the NASS, it is still subject to the approval of two-thirds of all 36 States Houses of Assembly. Will the States support the amendment? How long will that take (considering that each States Houses of Assembly may conduct public hearing and seek the views of stakeholders/constituents before arriving at a decision)?
Is The Proposed Immunity Pro-Nigeria or Pro-Corruption?
It is very unfortunate that our federal legislators in their bid to protect some of their own from facing corruption and criminal offences seek to tow this inglorious path. This is even coming at a time when the call for the removal of immunity clause from Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors is very high. What kind of immunity does the leaders of the parliament need when parliamentarians already enjoy legislative immunity (that is they won't be arrested/prosecuted for whatever they do on the floor of the parliament)? This move is at best anti-Nigeria and pro-corruption. Besides, it is alien to any democracy that parliamentary leaders enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution. It is unheard of even in the USA that our democracy is modeled from.
It is unfortunate that our parliamentarians have taken such futile exercise as matter of importance instead of legislating on issues that affects the common man. Finally, I wish to assure members of the NASS that their proposed effort to grant their leaders such privilege is futile, unpatriotic and shall be resisted. We are waiting...
May God Bless Us All. End of quote!
As often argued, the success or failure of the Buhari government would be determined by the tripartite of the impunity of the ravaging Fulani herdsmen, the glaring and uncontrollable impunity of the old members of the National Assembly, and the all pervading impunity of money bags who came by corruption, live on corruption and are hell bent on sustaining corruption in the land.
We have seen from the onset that the money in the arsenal of the old members of the National Assembly was more than sufficient to overrun the entire Assembly and make Lilliputians of all the green horns in the Assembly and by extension make nonsense of the proceedings of the hallowed Chambers throughout the life span of President Buhari’s presidency.
I have no doubt in my mind that the men and women who will sanitise this country and rid the country of the stench of the past 16 years are probably not born; but certainly not the men and women in the National Assembly as currently constituted. Those hungry agbadarians who are so preoccupied with recouping the huge debts incurred in their political campaign enterprise are very much prepared to play undignified servants to whoever can bail them out. And there are people in the same vicinity that can freely dole out 250 million naira to any member willing to play the fool!
Closely allied to this category of spoilers that may not allow the success of Buharism to see the light of the day are the godfathers of corruption who in the last 16 years had accumulated stinking wealth that the whole of Nigeria can be said to be in their pocket. Everyday they bellyache that one Buhari has come to put sand in their gari and konda in their rice. They feel choked by the new wave of anti-corruption mantra and they believe that by hook or crook they will fight any attempt to sniff life out of them with all weapons at their disposal. This is the third leg of the tripartite referred to in this conversation. They are decidedly more deadly than the other two legs of the tripartite in the sense that they are more widespread and they have tentacles in the Judiciary, the Military, the Police, the SSS, and all the traditional institutions. Money speaks and tons of money roars!
The Fulani herdsmen have been at their brutish game for decades and they get more emboldened by the day as they seem to get away with blue murder. They behave as if they are above the laws of the land. Their impunity, audacity and recklessness speak to high heavens while their victims all over the country are made to lick their wounds without protection whatsoever from the Law. The danger here is that this leg of the tripartite can easily inflame a conflagration and provoke inter-ethnic insurgency that may consume the country.
It is against this backdrop that any call to add to the impunity already being enjoyed by all or any member of the tripartite should be seriously challenged by all the good people of this country. As a matter of fact, we enjoin all Nigerians to fight for the eradication of the immunity being currently enjoyed by state governors. In a democratic setting where everyone is equal before the Law, it is only the Head of State that should be given immunity in certain areas. It should not even be a blanket immunity.
Whoever is behind the call for extending immunity to the Senate President, the Speaker and the chief Justice of the Federation should perish the thought.
And those advising our President must be constantly on their toes and with ears to the ground to checkmate all evil machinations that are daily being hatched by those who want to extend the darkness of yesterday to envelope the sunshine of our new dawn.
The impunity and recklessness which had characterised our national ethos for long must stop. Let all those who want to continue to play God limit their ‘untouchableness’ to their bedrooms and family compounds!
•Chief Tola Adeniyi (shown in photo) is a former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria. He can be reached via can be reached via email@example.com
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