No immunity, life pension for NASS leaders- SERAP, Falana

– Anti-corruption group, SERAP has condemned the
proposed life pension and immunity for National
Assembly leaders.
– Falana said the plan to have immunity, life pension
for National Assembly leaders is insensitive, irrational
and immoral
– Debo Adeniran said lawmakers seeking immunity are
those who allegedly committed the worst form of
corruption crimes and desire to escape justice

The National Assembly is proposing immunity and life
pension for its leaders
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP),
human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) have
condemned the proposed life pension and immunity for
National Assembly leaders.
While SERAP described the demands as gross injustice and
double jeopardy for millions of Nigerian pensioners, who
continued to be denied the fruit of their labour at their old
age, Femi Falana said the plan is insensitive, irrational and
immoral.
The immunity and life pension for the presiding officers
were proposed by some senators at a retreat on
constitution review organised by the Senate Ad Hoc
Committee on Constitution Review in Lagos on Saturday.
SERAP, in a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo
Mumuni, said, the proposal “is the calculated use of
legislative powers to alter the 1999 Constitution in their
favour so that they can enjoy life benefits at the expense of
millions of economically and socially-disadvantaged
Nigerians who voted them into office.”
It added, “Granting senators and members of the House of
Representatives immunity and life pension would neither
enhance governance, accountability nor contribute to the
betterment of Nigerians.”
Speaking with Punch, Femi Falana said the proposal at a
time many state governments were unable to pay workers’
salaries depicted high level of insensitivity.
“The proposals for immunity and life pension for the
principal officers of the National Assembly are insensitive,
irrational and immoral.
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“Indeed, it is the height of insensitivity for legislators to
propose life pension for their leaders at a time that workers
are owed arrears of salaries in many states of the
federation.
“The proposal to confer immunity on legislators is
provocative, to say the least. No serious nation can grant
immunity to legislators who have been linked with criminal
diversion of public funds, forgery and rape.
“We can assure the concerned members of the public that
the satanic proposals of the legislators will not succeed. It is
pertinent to inform the legislators that the members of the
human rights community have resolved to mobilise the
Nigerian people to reject both proposals.”
Also commenting on the issue, the executive chairman of
CACOL, Debo Adeniran, said, “Those seeking immunity for
some principal officers of the National Assembly are the
same people supporting the weakening of the anti-
corruption agencies.
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“This is even coming at a time the Nigerian public is
clamouring for the removal of the immunity clause that
protects the executive arms of federal and state
governments with a view to reducing the impunity with
which corruption and other crimes are committed by
them.”
Adeniran said lawmakers seeking immunity are those who
allegedly committed the worst form of corruption crimes
and desire to escape justice adding that those asking for life
pension for the National Assembly members as treasury
looters.

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