A bill to strip state governors, their deputies and the vice president of their immunity should they misappropriate public funds has been brought to the floor if the Nigerian Senate.
At the moment, the President of Nigeria, his/her vice, state governors and their deputies are protected by the nation’s laws from criminal prosecution while in office.
This proposed bill seeks to change this, however the president is excluded.
The bill titled, ‘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,’ seeks to alter certain sections of the constitution to allow law enforcement officers to pounce on erring public office holders even while they are in office.
The bill was sponsored by Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.
The proposed amendment seeks to alter Section 308 of the Principal Act by substituting subsection 2 with a new subsection, and will allow defaulters to be immediately indicted by law enforcement agencies.
It reads in part, “To persons who hold the office of Vice-President, Governor or Deputy Governor.
“If it is determined either by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Nigeria Police and Department of State Services through a collaborative investigation that the said person is indicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for:
“a. 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.”