ON Monday this week, VANGUARD newspaper carried a report that the National Assembly will soon commence a constitution amendment process, towards ensuring immunity for heads of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The hint came from Leo Ogor, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, in an exclusive chat with VANGUARD.
Ogor argued that: “if the head of the executive arm, the President and his vice should enjoy immunity, the heads of the other two arms of government, the legislature and the judiciary, should also benefit from the immunity”. For Leo Ogor, such free-for-all distribution of immunity (like confetti!): “would reduce distractions and crisis in the National Assembly”.
And the confetti of free-for-all “immunity” is being designed for Senate President and Deputy; Speaker, House of Representatives and Deputy, and even without solicitation but clearly a bribe and blackmail, the National Assembly hopes to also “dash” the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), their free-for-all “immunity”.
Well, Leo Ogor and those pushing the idea should know clearly, that they are embarking on an exercise in futility, because it will NEVER fly! Nigerians are no fools. The background to this deluded plan is Bukola Saraki’s indictment flowing from his controversial assets declaration and trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). So with Leo Ogor’s plan, Bukola Saraki, with “immunity”, would not have his day in court; and that desperate search for “perpetual injunction” has been the central judicial ambition of politicians who corruptly enriched themselves at the expense of the Nigerian people. The National Assembly has become the redoubt of many of these controversial individuals and this is the basis of the harebrained plan for “immunity”. This is also the context to understand the irresponsible and self serving motion that the House of Representatives passed mandating the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, to seek a “political solution” with President Muhammadu Buhari, over the criminal indictment which Bukola Saraki faces at the CCT. They have so audaciously placed the personal interest of one of them above the laws of the land and could not even ask, what “political solution” they seek, portends for Nigeria’s criminal justice system. A powerful legislator should be removed from the course of justice, on the basis of a “political solution”. That’s how it is with these characters !
Controversial induction: Members of the National Assembly have wasted so much time since they controversially became inducted on June 9, 2015. They have not done anything meaningfully in the interest of the Nigerian people and yet have continued to draw humungous salaries and allowances. These legislators are far more interested in their own personal and collective survival than any fidelity to the oath they are sworn to, to protect the best interests of the Nigerian people. Objectively, I think as things stand and especially with such irresponsible plans as mooted by Leo Ogor, this 8th National Assembly is trying to constitute itself as a veritable danger to Nigeria’s democratic development. Nigerians must tell this band of legislators that they suffer an immunity delusion syndrome. But they will have to deal with their delusion through very appropriate dosages of realism and responsibility because the plan to amend the Nigerian Constitution so that Bukola Saraki gets “immunity” to evade justice for example, will NEVER pass. I am sure even the judiciary will be quite embarrassed to be included in the deluded quest for the freebie of free-for-all “immunity”. Whoever offends the law should face the consequences of his actions: no immunity or “political solution” will ever be allowed to hamstring the process of justice! Leo Ogor and his colleagues should face what they were elected for: SERVICE!