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NBA condemns immunity bill

25 March 2013, 16:02

Lagos -  Onyekachi Ubani, the Chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) has described as unrealistic, the bill seeking immunity against prosecution of National Assembly members for their speeches.

Ubani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that if passed into the law, the bill would promote corruption.

NAN reports that the bill passed through the second reading on March 7, at the House of Representatives.

The bill seeks protection of  lawmakers from civil or criminal prosecutions based on their utterances during parliamentary proceedings.

Ubani said that the bill had no legal basis, and that ``it is comfort seeking''.

``To my mind, this is neither here nor there. Lawmakers should concentrate on making laws that will impact positively on Nigerians who are suffering daily under the yoke of economic hardship brought about by corruption.

"It is my submission that they should pay less attention to their comfort, and enact laws that will effect positive changes," Ubani said.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yemi Candide-Johnson, told NAN that the bill was meant to ridicule Nigeria.

He said it was disgraceful for lawmakers to seek such immunity ``when there are a plethora of national issues waiting for redress’’.

Candide-Johnson said that such immunity would  institutionalise corruption and impunity.

"There can be no support for this bill, whatsoever. It should not be allowed," he said.


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