SENATE PROPOSES BILL IMMUNITY LOSS TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FOR MISAPPROPRIATION PUBLIC FUNDS

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The Senate has introduced a bill that will make the vice – president , governors and their deputies lose their immunity if they misappropriate public funds. The President of Nigeria , vice – president, governors and their deputies are currently protected by the nation ’ s laws from criminal prosecution while in office .

However , the proposed legislation from the Senate seeks to change this , but excludes the President from the proposed legislation .

The bill is meant to alter the necessary sections of the constitution to make it possible for law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute the vice – president , governors or their deputies found guilty of funds’ misappropriation.

The bill is titled , ‘ An Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , 1999 , to qualify criminal liability for certain public officers under Section 308 . ’

It is sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, who is also the Deputy President of the Senate , Ovie Omo – Agege.
The proposed amendment seeks to alter Section 308 of the Principal Act by substituting subsection 2 with a new subsection .

It added that any beneficiary of the immunity clause currently in the constitution would lose it if indicted by the court after a thorough investigation by the police and the anti – graft agencies .

It reads in part , “ To persons who hold the office of Vice – President , Governor or Deputy Governor .

“ If it is determined either by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Nigeria Police and Department of State Services through a collaborative investigation that the said person is indicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for:

“( i ) Financial misappropriation of funds belonging to the Federal , State or Local Government ; or
“( ii ) Sponsoring of thugs to perpetrate violence that cause injury or death of political opponent, a member of his family , agent or personal representative. ”

source:punchng

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