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Govs lobby N/Assembly over immunity clause

Posted by COSMAS EKPUNOBI, Abuja on 2005/12/04 | Views: 391 |

Govs lobby N/Assembly over immunity clause

ANXIETY may have gripped some state governors over purported pressure on the National Assembly to tinker with the controversial immunity clause in the 1999 constitution.

ANXIETY may have gripped some state governors over purported pressure on the National Assembly to tinker with the controversial immunity clause in the 1999 constitution.

Possible amendment to section 308 of the constitution was said to have topped the list of "over 100" proposed amendments which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said are already before the Senator Ibrahim Mantu constitution review committee.

Sunday Champion investigation reveals that the proposal has already pitched some governors against their senators serving in the committee, even as the apprehensive governors are alleged to be working on options to stop the committee from tinkering with the immunity clause, as according to them, "it would be a recipe for vendetta".

Leadership of the PDP had last Thursday confirmed that the issue of tenure was one of the over 100 amendments already recommended by its sub-committee to the Senator Mantu constitution review committee for which no consensus has been reached.

Sources close to the committee disclosed that the Senator Umar Hanbagde-led subcommittee on legal matters was of the opinion that the immunity clause should be expunged to make some of the governors already indicted of corruption face the law, while in office.

Although this was alleged to be a sub-committee proposal, Sunday Champion learnt that the Senator Mantu committee is under pressure "from the powers that be to adopt same in the final draft which may come into use from June 2006".

The source also said that this may have sent jitters down the spines of some governors, especially those with pending cases of corruption.

According to the source, most of the governors see the proposed removal of the immunity clause as the beginning of possible clamp down on those who have political scores to settle with the "powers that be".

The source said the governors have resolved to direct their representatives at the National Assembly serving in the committee to work against the planned move to expunge the immunity clause.

According to him, some of them had already put members of their state assemblies on red alert over the plot which they regard as an attempt to cow the governors.

The governors are also said to be relying on their state assemblies, whose input are also required by law, before the constitution can be amended.

Sunday Champion further learnt that it may not be difficult for some governors to convince at least two third members of their state assemblies to vote against the amendment in the event it made the final draft that will be presented for consideration.

Meanwhile, Senator Ike Enwermadu has said that final recommendation of the Constitution Review Committee will be subjected to open debate on the floor of the Senate.

Reacting to the purported third term proposal of the committee, Senator Ekweremadu said it is not expected that every recommendation of the committee would sail through in the senate.

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.