The Nigerian house of representatives went berserk over the proposition to give immunity to the Senate President and his deputy.
The session for the day went absolutely off the track with the pushing of the minority to amend section 308 of the Nigerian constitution to accommodate the national assembly leadership in the few who enjoy immunity while in office.
Basically, the Nigerian constitution only granted such privilege to the office of the President, Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors.
A majority has strongly refuted the proposal on the grounds that it jeopardizes the real essence of the legislature.
The legislature of any nation is responsible for law making and the assurance of justice and fairness in government administration. If no one is truly above the law, then the legislature should play by that decree, to show example.
It is largely believed that granting the Senate Presidency immunity while in office has a tendency to make the Senate President above the law, and that is not what a nation’s legislature is all about.
On the contrary, the lead supporter of the bill, Leo Ogor believes that the proposal will guarantee the independence of the legislature.
“The amendment is straight forward but it needs some clear explanation. The amendment seeks to strengthen the national assembly, they (leadership) should be protected in the period they are in office.”
Femi Gbajabiamila, leading the majority opinion rejected the idea.
“We must feel the pulse of the people; there is something about timing, timing in any piece of legislation is important. There are issues in the senate and I pray it’s resolved.”
Properly assessing the situation, it is good to recall that the current Senate President, Bukola Saraki has been at loggerheads with President Buhari and the Nigerian anti-graft agency, EFCC. He is still undergoing series of trials.
Calming the house, Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, said the bill would traditionally be sent to the special committee on constitutional review.