Constitution Review: Remove Immunity Clause, CAN Tells NASS

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on the National Assembly to remove the immunity clause from the constitution in order to make every Nigerian equal before the law.

The Director, Legal and Public Affairs ,CAN, Barrister Comfort Chigbue, said this on Thursday while presenting the apex Christian body’s memorandum during the public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution, in Abuja.

Chigbue said the immunity clause had provided a cover for criminals to perpetrate evil agenda against the country.

According to the barrister, “CAN stands for equality of all persons before the law. So, we want the immunity clause (Section 308) to be expunged. Some governors hide under the cover of immunity to perpetrate heinous acts, but they cannot be challenged in court.

” If you err either as a President or Governor, and it is so fundamental, you should have nowhere to hide,” she said.

She argued that the immunity clause had anti-democratic tendencies; saying that it aids corruption and criminality.

The other issues the umbrella Christian body wants to be addressed in the constitution amendment process were, “Gender Equality: Women employment through Education and inheritance, equal opportunities in all social-political affairs, 18 years as the age of maturity and for consent for marriage.

“Federal structure and power devolution: a confederation of independent regions or federation of states or regions

“Devolution and decentralization of power and governance system through the formal introduction of Geo-Political Zones /Regions with clearly assigned roles.

“Constitutional recognition for Traditional Rulers and religious leaders by strengthening their Cultural and Social-Religious leadership responsibilities.

“Constitutional backing for the operational decentralization and recognition for law enforcement agencies, expunge sections 214 and 215 (4) of the 1999 constitution.

CAN said it also wants redefinition of courts of superior jurisdiction to accommodate the purpose regional /zonal system with respective appellate structures.

“Remove and religion provisions or if need be, insert also constitutional provisions for ecclesiastical courts.

“Revenue allocation and sharing formula to be Guided by the principles of sustenance and benefits to sources of derivation on a ratio of 70% retained by regions and 30% for the central level.

“Maintain the Financial autonomy /independence of the Judiciary. Separation of office of Attorney General from the office of the Minister of Justice. The proper constitutional definition of indigene and residency rights.

“Creation of new States for administrative impartment and governmental dividends Vis-a-vis – Southern Kaduna/Kataf / Gurara State, Adada State from present Enugu State, Cross River North State, Okun State, Okigwe State, Oke Ogun State ETC

“Amend Section 3 (2) and delete sections 3 (6) of the 1999 constitution as to allow for the creation of local government Areas of such autonomous Administrative units to be created by the respective regions/confederating units.

“Constitutional provisions for enforcement of our fundamental human rights. Review of the legislative lists contained in the second schedule of the 1999 constitution,” CAN added.

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