No immunity for senate president, speaker as n’assembly votes on constitution amendments

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The national assembly has rejected a constitutional bill seeking to expand immunity to the presiding officers of the national assembly.

The bill also sought to extend the immunity privilege to the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).

The proposed legislation is titled: ‘A Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Expand Immunity to the Legislative and Judicial Arms of Government; and for Related Matters.’

The house of representatives special ad hoc committee on the review of the 1999 constitution had recommended immunity for presiding officers of the national assembly and judicial officers.

Presently, only the president, vice-president, the 36 governors and 36 deputy governors enjoy immunity.

Using the electronic voting system during plenary on Tuesday, 185 members of the house of representatives voted in favour of the bill while 111 voted against it — and five lawmakers abstained.

At the upper legislative chamber, 50 senators voted against while 29 voted in favour of the bill.

The national assembly is voting on the amendments to the 1999 constitution, with 68 constitutional bills up for consideration.

Source: (The Cable)

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