Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has faulted the bill seeking to give leaders of federal and state Houses of Assembly immunity from prosecution for corruption.
SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare in a statement on Tuesday, said that providing immunity for presiding officers against crimes of corruption was tantamount to ripping up the Constitution.
Oluwadare said it was a blatant assault on the rule of law and breach of public trust.
“The leadership of the House of Representatives must immediately withdraw this obnoxious bill; we will vigorously challenge this impunity.
“It is a huge setback for the rule of law that the same privileged and powerful leaders of parliament that regularly make laws that consign ordinary, powerless Nigerians to prison for even trivial offences. “Yet want to establish elite immunity to protect themselves from any consequences for serious crimes of corruption and money laundering.
“Whereas countries like Guatemala has voted unanimously to strip their president of immunity from prosecution for corruption, our own lawmakers are moving in the opposite direction,” he said.
Oluwadare said that the message seemed to be that in Nigeria, powerful and influential actors should not be and were not subject to the rule of law.
He said it was simply not proper for lawmakers to be chief advocates of immunity for corruption.
He added that the bill was a form of political corruption for the parliamentarians to enable them abuse their legislative powers, intended for use in the public interest for personal advantage.
“This is an unacceptable proposition as it gives the impression that both principal officers of the national assembly are above the law.
“If the House of Representatives should have their way, this will rob Nigerians of their rights to accountable government,” he said.
Oluwadare said that public officials who were genuinely committed to the well-being of the state and its people, and to the estalishment of an effective and functioning system of administration of justice, should have absolutely nothing to fear.
2023: Vote Candidates Who’ll Protect Your Interest, CAC Advises Christians
The President of the Christ Apostolic Church, Pastor Samuel Oladele, has charged Christians in the country to vote for a presidential candidate that would protect their interests.
The cleric who condemned the same faith presidential ticket said it was improper in a pluralistic country like Nigeria.
Oladele gave this advice in his address at the annual 2022 Pastors Conference of the CAC, held at the camp of the church in Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State on Wednesday.
He said, “Throughout the course of human history, God has always sought men and women to stand for Him in the place of leadership – like Joseph in Egypt, David before Goliath the Philistine, Esther in Shushan and Daniel in Babylon.
“The forthcoming general election is one that we must be interested in, as we cannot afford to remain complacent while decisions that affect our faith are being made. We shall be guided by the criteria provided by the Christian Association of Nigeria for the election of our next set of political leaders in Nigeria.
“ I urge you to vote for candidates who will protect the cause and interest of Christianity in Nigeria. I make bold to declare loud and clear that the interest of the kingdom of God and of His Christ is more important than all other interests. Hence, the interest of God’s kingdom must guide our consideration of who to vote for in the forthcoming general election in Nigeria.”
Expressing concern about the present situation of the country, the cleric admonished Nigerians not to despair but to be more prayerful for better days to come and also to walk on the way of righteousness.
He said, “It is an undeniable fact that we are in dire strait as a nation. The continued decline of socio-economic infrastructures as well as the nonchalance of those who are entrusted to provide the desired solution to these problems, calls for concern.
“However, we are not without hope because we have a God who rules in the affairs of men. Let us continue to call upon Him while we play our roles as responsible citizens of Nigeria. Righteousness remains the panacea to the reproach of our nation, Nigeria. Let us not only preach it, but practice righteousness.”
2023: NSCDC Tasks Politicians On Peaceful Campaigns
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps , (NSCDC), has stressed the need for politicians to eschew all forms of hate speech and violence ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Commandant of the Corps in Cross River State Mr Samuel Fadeyi, stated this in Calabar on Wednesday during the commemoration of the 2022 International Day of Peace.
Mr Fadeyi who led personnel of the command in the state on a peace walk along major routes in Calabar metropolis to create awareness on the benefits of peace building for nation’s growth emphasised that peaceful co-existence is a sine-qua-none for development.
He noted that as the campaigns for the 2023 general elections commence on September. 28, it was important for politicians to eschew all forms of hate speech and promote unity.
“All campaigns should be issue based, it shouldn’t be based on discrimination, racism or gender. People should shun hate speeches and embrace peace because we need unity to grow as a nation.
“Today has been designated by the United Nations as International Peace Day. It was established in 1981.
“By 2001, because of the conflicts all over the world, the day was designated as non violence and cease fire day as an addition to it been an International Peace Day.
“As we go out for this peace walk today, we are creating the awareness that peace must continue to reign in the country,” he said.
The theme for the 2022 International Peace Day is “End Racism, Build Peace”.
He said the command has commenced sensitisation of the public to imbibe the need for unity and peace.
Ayu Must Resign, S’West PDP Group Insists
A group, South-West Forum of PDP Stakeholders for Justice, on Wednesday, reiterated its support for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and others sympathetic to his cause, that the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu should resign.
In a statement by former Publicity Secretaries of Ondo and Lagos states, Messrs Banji Okunomo and Taofik Gani, the forum said Ayu’s resignation will bring about confidence, inclusiveness and oneness in the party.
The statement reads: “We, the above-named Forum of the Party, wish to affirm our support for the position being canvassed by Governor Seyi Makinde, corroborated by the doggedness of the ‘Wikes’ and the wisdom of the ‘Bode Georges’, as a lasting panacea for peace and eventual victory of our party at the 2023 Presidential election.
“We wish to justify our position on the following premise: “Assuming Dr. Ayu, in his wisdom, genuinely chose and believed in the emergence of a Northern Presidential Candidate for the PDP and went further to acknowledge Governor Aminu Tambuwal as the hero of democracy following his withdrawal from the Presidential race to pave way for Atiku Abubakar at the Party’s national convention, it is our take, that Dr Ayu should indeed go further to logically and wisely conclude the process that would guarantee the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the next president of Nigeria by making other possible sacrifices necessary to achieve that goal.
“Indeed, this is why and when Dr. Ayu himself will be more celebrated as PDP’s Hero of Democracy rather than clogging the Party’s wheel of Progress and creating avoidable crisis for the Party.
“We will not forget to admonish our candidate, the next president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to be wary of the ill and reactionary advice of some traditional moles, who are insistent on offering opinions capable of jeopardizing the chance God has opened for the PDP in the emerging dispensation.
“Nigerians are indeed awaiting the PDP as the actual potent alternative government, and God forbids, if this opportunity skips us, Nigerians may never again associate with the PDP.
“We call for immediate restoration of sanity, confidence, inclusiveness and oneness in the Party as a stitch in time saves nine.”
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