- SERAP blasts proponents
By Charles Adegbite and Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
SOCIAL activist, Yinka Odumakin has described a proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), to allow immunity for presiding officers of the National Assembly as well as pension for the Senate President and deputy and Speaker of the House of Representatives and deputy as a desperate attempt to push Nigerians to the wall.
The proposal by the senators was an outcome of the two-day retreat on Constitution Review organised by the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Constitution Review in Lagos at the weekend.
Odumakin advised lawmakers not to try it when he spoke with Daily Sun yesterday. “How can they be asking for pension when there areNigerians who have not received salary for a year, despite the fact that the minimum wage is still N18,000. It is a sign that they are insensitive to the suffering of common people at this critical time when the nation is facing serious economic crisis.”
On immunity from criminal prosecution, Odumakin insisted “there should not be immunity for governors and that nobody should be above the law, as long as you have come to serve us, now, they are now talking of immunity for lawmakers.”
Meanwhile, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has described the proposals as “self-serving and despicable.” SERAP, in a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, called on Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara to “show leadership and refocus the National Assembly to be able to perform their legislative functions in a manner that will rid the country of impunity for corruption and not embrace or tolerate it. Granting senators and Representatives immunity and life pensions would neither enhance governance accountability nor contribute to the betterment of Nigerians.”