Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has predicted that if the removal of immunity clause from the Constitution as approved by lawmakers is passed into law, governance might grind to a halt.
Admitting the removal of the immunity clause was done in good faith and demanded by constituents across the country, the lawmaker averred that it was not the way to go because the resultant suits will be distractive for the elected official and that will be detrimental to governance.
He suggested that laws such as the Act setting up the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), should be amended to make the commission independent and empowered to investigate sitting elected President or governors.
Further explaining his stance on the immunity clause, the lawmaker who did not vote for the removal, referred to the on-going political crises in Rivers state, stating that “if there was no immunity clause, the Governor of Rivers state will today be in court, if for nothing; framed up charges.”
He noted that the immunity clause was not an ‘absolute law’ as it was before the amendment (removal) because Governors and President can still be investigated while in office.
“The immunity clause not being absolute, should have remained and accountability will then start after their (trial of Governors and President) term of office,” he said.
According to Mr Gbajabiamila, the immunity clause is found in most advanced democracies and should have being retained in the Constitution with a focus on how to get elected officials to be more accountable.
Asked on the possibility of the House to reverse the approval, Mr Gbajabiamila stated that “yes it is possible for the House to reverse itself.”