WHO IS IMMUNED; OFFICE HOLDER OR HIS ASSETS? A LEGAL ANALYSIS OF IMMUNITY IN THE THREE ARMS OF GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA

WHO IS IMMUNED; OFFICE HOLDER OR HIS ASSETS? A LEGAL ANALYSIS OF IMMUNITY IN THE THREE ARMS OF GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA

Author by Dr. Nzeribe E. Abangwu

Journal/Publisher: Abia State University (absu) Law Journal

Volume/Edition: 15

Language: English

Pages: 1 - 23

Abstract

The Nigerian 1999 Constitution clearly recognizes and upholds the principle of the seperation of power and the need to ensure that each arm of the government operates within the purview permitted by law. Thus, to ensure that each arm of government discharges its functions effectively, the Constitution or existing enanctments further provide for their immunities and tenures of office of the members of the executive, legistlature as well as the judiciary. The objective of this research is to critically examine the legal analysis of immunity in the three arms of government in Nigeria looking at who is immuned between the office holder and his assets. The article notes that, while the innovative purpose for the inclusion of immunity clause in the Nigerian constitution was good, politicians have used the clause to the detriment of democracy and to undermine national development. The findings of this work depict that although the consitution stipulates the certain elected political office holders enjoy immunity clause but they are not immuned from being investigated from criminal offences and their asset can be seized if it was proven to be acquired with illegitimate fund like it was decided in the case of Governor Ayo Fayose where the court has put to rest the controversy on whether the assets of executive officer holder under immunity can be seized if such properties were acquired with illegitimate funds. It is concluded that the wordings of the relevant laws be amended so that the provisions of the law ill be crystal clear to all stakeholders.


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