The Presidency on Friday kicked against the proposal by the House of Representatives to remove the immunity clause being enjoyed by the President, vice-president, state governors and their deputies under the constitution.
The recommendation for removal of immunity was one of the highlights of the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution report, which was presented to the House by its chairman and deputy speaker, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, on Thursday.
The immunity clause, as currently enshrined in the nation’s constitution, allows the president and the governors, as well as their deputies, protection from prosecution while in office.
The report was based on the demands of Nigerians during the November 10, 2012 People’s Public Sessions on the constitution.
The Presidency, however, said the proposal would not sail through.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, told SUNDAY PUNCH in an interview on Friday that the retention of the immunity clause in the constitution was the best thing that could happen to the country.
He warned that unscrupulous persons, who were bent on getting at public officials out of sheer envy, would capitalise on the removal of the clause to cause distraction in the system.
Gulak said, “The planned removal of the immunity clause will count, the recommendation will not sail through.
“The President, vice-president, governors and their deputies really need immunity. Immunity is the best thing that has happened to this country today.
“These public office holders should not be distracted. The removal of immunity will expose them to frivolous litigation by unscrupulous elements that want to get at them out of sheer envy and not based on constructive criticism.
“Removal of immunity will not be good for this country. The recommendation will fail.”
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