SERAP Blasts ‘Self Servicing’ Lawmakers Over Immunity, Life Pension

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SERAP Blasts ‘Self Servicing’ Lawmakers Over Immunity, Life Pension

Socio-Economic Rights and

Accountability Project (SERAP), a right

group has described as “self-serving

and despicable” the attempt by some

senators to grant immunity and life

pension for presiding officers of the

National Assembly after their tenure in

office.”

SERAP’s statement followed the

proposals by the senators at a two-day

retreat on Constitution Review

organised by the Senate Ad Hoc

Committee on Constitution Review in

Lagos on Saturday.

Among others, the proposals want

presiding officers, such as President of

the Senate, Deputy President of Senate,

Speaker of the House of

Representatives and Deputy Speaker of

House of Representatives to enjoy life

pension and immunity, since the

executive and judiciary are enjoying it.

But SERAP in a statement on Sunday by

its executive director Adetokunbo

Mumuni said; “The retreat by the

senators and representative was titled

‘Towards Ensuring Governance

Accountability in Nigerian federalism’

but their grand strategy is the

calculated use of legislative powers to

alter the 1999 constitution in their own

favour so that they can enjoy life

benefits at the expense of millions of

economically and socially

disadvantaged Nigerians who voted

them into office.”

The statement reads in part: “SERAP

calls on the Senate President Bukola

Saraki and the Speaker of the House of

Representatives Yakubu Dogara to

show leadership and refocus the

National Assembly to be able to

perform their law-making 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.”

“Nigerians will reject any self-serving

attempt by the senators and

representatives to tear up section 308

of the 1999 constitution to grant their

leaders immunity from prosecution for

corruption and money laundering.

Nigerians will also reject the despicable

attempt by the senators and

representatives to grant themselves life

pensions. SERAP will pursue all legal

avenues nationally and internationally

to compel the senators to drop the

immunity and life pension proposals.”

“SERAP is worried that the proposal

for life pensions is coming from some

ex-governors in the National Assembly

that continue to enjoy ‘pensions’

for serving as governors for 8 years.

This is a gross injustice and double

jeopardy for millions of Nigerian

pensioners who continue to be denied

the fruit of their labour in old age.”

“It’s a massive let-down for those

elected to make laws for the peace,

order and good governance of the

country to prioritise their own personal

interests over and above those of

millions of Nigerians who continue to

suffer the effects of high-level official

corruption.”

“Rather than engaging in

constitutional amendment for personal

aggrandisement the leadership of the

National Assembly should encourage

the inclusion in the constitution of

legally enforcement economic and

social rights such as the right to food,

to adequate housing, to access to

healthcare, to work and good

conditions of service, and to adequate

standards of living for millions of

Nigerians who continue to live in

poverty. Saraki and Dogara should

promote constitutional amendment

that will ensure and provide legal

standing and access to effective

remedies for victims of corruption.”

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